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Summer is just around the corner which means heat rash (also known as miliaria) is just around the bend.
What can we do to treat heat rash and what are preventative measures to help keep it at bay?
Quite simply, heat causes heat rashes.
But when we examine the process in which baby became too hot in the first place, we may note that parents sometimes dress baby too warmly or wrap them in blankets, worrying that baby may be too cold since his/her arms and legs may be a bit cooler than we are.
A good rule of thumb is to base baby’s temperature comfort off of your own. If you are too hot or uncomfortable, baby is probably a little too warm as well.
Here’s what MedicineNet.com has to say: “Heat rash occurs when the skin’s sweat glands are blocked and the sweat produced cannot get to the surface of the skin to evaporate. This causes inflammation and produces a rash.”
Most commonly, you’ll find red bumps, usually in skin folds or other areas on baby that don’t get much ventilation, including underarms, scalp/hairlines, or even the back of baby’s neck.
It can be itchy, and even look like tiny blisters on reddened skin.
We have to remember that babies are incapable of regulating their body temperature until they are about 3 months old, therefore we need to be aware of their bodies’ signs of overheating.
Heat rash should usually go away once the skin has had the opportunity to cool down, within 3-4 days. If you notice the rash is getting worse or looks infected, or your child begins to run a fever, get in touch with your child’s pediatrician ASAP.
As you can see, there are many methods to avoiding such madness. All you need is a little creativity.
First and foremost, you need to get baby to cool down. If that means yet another errand to push off, so be it. We don’t want to add a trip to the hospital to be added to that list.
Loosen or remove baby’s clothes and let them air dry. WebMD says not to use towels, and this makes sense as we don’t want to clog any more pores or sweat glands by rubbing the sweat in along with dirt that is sticking to baby.
Don’t rub any ointments or lotions on him as this can also block sweat glands and cause more problems.
Generally heat rash is not something to worry about. Following, are some signs something more serious is going on and needs medical attention:
Note: DO NOT pop those tiny pimples, whether to get rid of them or check for puss. This could lead to infection and will absolutely cause unnecessary irritation. Allow your baby’s skin to take care of itself on its own.
Heat rash is a sign that baby is overheated. It is otherwise harmless and can heal on its own, and does not need medical attention unless other, more serious symptoms accompany the rash. Ointments and lotions are not its friends.
There are a gazillion ways to prevent it and stay cool, many of which can be very fun for both you and baby, and are cost friendly. Loose clothing and air flow are best for keeping baby’s pores clear. Stay out of the sun. Those tiny white bumps are not something for Mommy or anyone else to pop for any reason. And most importantly, to keep baby cool and comfortable, look for the earlier symptoms that tell you baby is too hot.
Otherwise, have a cool and funtastic summer. What are more fun ways you and baby stay cool in the heat? How did your parents or grandparents do it when you were little? Let me know in the comments below.
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