How to Treat a Baby's Heat Rash

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Heat rash is a condition in which tiny, red bumps appear when a baby or child becomes overheated either due to hot weather conditions or snug fitting clothing. This condition may occur primarily in the summer months when temperatures are hot and humid, but it can happen in winter, also.\n\"Prickly heat\" or \"summer rash\" are commonly used names for heat rash. Although children of all ages can develop heat rash it is mostly seen in babies.\nBabies have smaller pores than adults and when they sweat a lot it is harder for the sweat to be released from his body, so the pores clog and heat rash develops. Usually the rash appears on the chest & stomach, the folds of the legs or arms, crotch area and buttocks. \nAlthough heat rash isn't a painful condition, it is itchy and can be very irritating to a small baby. The bumps can become tender to the touch.

Get the baby cooled off. Remove or loosen clothing and put the baby in a cool room or shady spot. Placing the baby on a cotton towel can help absorb and excess sweat.

Cool down the rash. Use cool, wet cloths on the rash to help cool it down and ease the itching. Giving the baby a lukewarm bath with about 2 teaspoons of baking soda mixed in can feel soothing. Do not dry the baby with a towel, but let him air dry which prevents irritating the rash.

Keep the baby's room cool at night. Use an air conditioner or fan, but be sure not to let the cool air aim directly at the baby or they will get chilled. Keep them comfortably cool, not cold.

Trim the baby's fingernails. It's important to keep the baby's fingernails short to prevent scratching himself if the rash itches. At night you can put baby socks on his hands to help protect against scratching in his sleep.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dress your baby in loose fitting, lightweight cotton clothing.
  • Use cornstarch in the folds of the baby's skin to help keep those areas dry.
  • Keep the baby well hydrated.
  • Stay in shady, cool places when the weather is really hot and humid.
  • Check your baby's skin periodically to make sure he isn't overheating.
  • Do not use plastic diapers or plastic diaper covers which trap in heat.
  • Do not use talcum powder.
  • Do not keep your baby outside in the sun on really hot days.
  • Be sure to see your baby's doctor is the rash doesn't go away after a few days, gets worse or if the baby develops a fever.

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