5 Tips To Help Your Baby’s Heat Rash (Plus 5 Tips To Prevent It)

5 Tips To Help Your Baby’s Heat Rash (Plus 5 Tips To Prevent It)

I was totally freaked out the first time my son got a heat rash.

I took every precaution when I took him to my parent’s pool.

He had a rash guard on, for goodness sake!

I also smothered him with sunscreen, kept him under our umbrella, and was very conservative in my efforts to do small doses of sun. 

But, despite my efforts to keep him cool, he just wasn’t cool enough.

When I noticed that he had small, red, prickly bumps on the back of his neck and around his arms, I was terrified.

Had something bitten him when we were lounging in the shade? Was he having an allergic reaction to something he ate? 

Nope.

It just turned out to be a sensitivity to the heat itself, even if he was directly out of the sun.

If you want to learn more about heat rash and understand how you can treat and prevent it, read on!  

What Is Heat Rash?

Heat rash looks red and bumpy and appears on areas of your baby that don’t get a lot of air, like their armpits, their scalp and hairline, and the back of their neck. 

A heat rash can be itchy and can cause your baby total discomfort. Think back to a time you’ve personally gotten too much sun, or have had enough of the heat.

How did you feel? Probably not your best!

At its worst, heat rash can also look like small blisters on bright red skin. This tends to happen when your baby’s skin has been exposed to direct sunlight and heat for far too long.

How Does Heat Rash Happen?

Heat rash happens to everyone now and again, from babies to adults. 

Basically, if the sweat glands get blocked, the sweat itself cannot make it to the surface. So, it stays masked away and it creates the rash.

It mainly happens when you spend too much time in the sun or outdoors in the heat itself (even if you’re in the shade). However, infants and toddlers can also get a prickly heat rash in the winter.

How?

When the heat is cranked up in the home and your kiddo is dressed in excessively warm clothing, all the dryness and heat makes them sweat more than they need to.

And, because their sweat glands are still developing, sweat gets trapped and produces a rash, much like what happens in the summertime.

How To Tell If Your Baby Has Heat Rash

You will know right away if your baby has heat rash!

They will feel warm all over, have reddened skin, have small (or large) bumps or blisters, and will be extremely uncomfortable and irritable. 

They may have difficulty sleeping and/or eating and may also resist clothing because of the way it sits against their skin.

The chaffing and rubbing may be unbearable for some who have especially sensitive skin.

5 Tips For Treating Heat Rash

If your little one gets hit with heat rash, here are some helpful tips to deal with it until it subsides.

#1. Get Cool

First thing's first: you want to help keep your baby cool!

You should remove your baby from the heat and keep them indoors in an air conditioned spot, for a long period of time. 

This will help their body temperature come down and keep them comfortable since they’ll be feeling extra hot.

#2. Use Compresses

Cold compresses help soothe a scorched body.

You can re-wet a washcloth with icy cold water every 15 minutes or so, and continue to apply it to the warm patches of your baby’s body until you feel their body temperature start to come down. 

#3. Dress Them In Loose Clothing

If you put your baby in restrictive clothing, it will only worsen their pain.

Dress them in light and loose fitting clothes.

You may even want to keep them in a diaper for awhile, if their rash is large and extra painful. 

#4. Apply Aloe Vera

Lotions and creams are great, but pure aloe vera really helps soothe irritated skin and rashes.

I have purchased an aloe plant to keep in my home solely for summer circumstances: you can literally break off a piece of its stem and squeeze the clear and soothing liquid directly on hot spots and prickly skin.

#5. Give A Cool Bath

Cool water will help ease your baby’s pain and will also remove any sweat or body oil that will continue to get trapped and irritate your child’s skin even more.

Many parents think a dip in the pool will help, but this will require taking your baby back outside in the heat. So, put them directly in your bathtub!

5 Tips For Preventing Heat Rash In The Future

Once your baby gets heat rash, you’ll want to take precautions to prevent it in the future.

Here are some tips to help make sure your baby doesn’t get heat rash frequently.

#1. Dress Your Baby In Layers

Overheating is the main cause of heat rash, and in the winter, your baby doesn’t have to be bundled up to the point where they sweat.

Dress them in layers so you can remove their sweater if they are active or get too hot. 

#2. Stay Indoors If There's An Advisory

Many parents make the mistake of taking their baby outside to the pool to stay cool during a heat advisory.

While this sounds good in theory, and even though they are submerged in water, the heat is just too much for their little bodies.

#3. Consider Crib Placement

Never put your baby’s crib near a fireplace or directly under or next to a heating element; this could lead to overheating.

Put your crib near a cool mist humidifier, so the proper amount of moisture is restored to the room and your baby is surrounded by a comfortable environment.

#4. Keep The Car Cool

In your car, always keep the windows closed when driving, as this only draws the hot air in.

Also, run the air conditioner steadily and cool down the car before placing your baby in their confined car seat, especially on very hot summer days.

#5. Apply Shade

On hot days when you have to be outside, always make sure you keep your baby in the shade.

While this strategy is not 100% foolproof, it does help a bit.

Umbrellas are key by the pool, as are sun shades on strollers, car seats, and infant carriers.

When To Call The Doctor

Heat rash does go away after a few days.

Sometimes medicated creams are needed, or even antibiotics to speed things up.

If you notice heat rash forming, be sure to keep a close eye on it while you’re treating it. 

You should definitely call your child’s pediatrician if you notice:

  • Blisters forming that contain puss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • A fever over 101 degrees

These symptoms signal infection and need to be addressed immediately.

Wrapping Up

Heat rash happens to everyone at some point. If your baby contracts this common rash, you're not a bad parent! 

But, now that you are more aware of it and in tune with prevention, you can apply some of these tactics and strategies during hot summer months, and on very cold days. 

Kate Trout
 

Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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