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How to keep your baby cool and comfortable in summer
Summer is fun, sure. All that time off and extra daylight is glorious but there are some, er, less exciting aspects. Sweat, chafing and extra sun exposure can all wreak havoc on your body but your little one? There’s even more you need to be conscious of.
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We chatted with dermatologist Dr. Leona Yip about how the summer heat can affect your baby’s skin and what you can do about it.
For a baby, the summer heat can result in an array of skin issues. “Heat and moisture can irritate the skin in different ways and cause skin conditions such as heat rash (miliaria), aggravation of eczema and nappy rash, and sunburns from UV rays,” says Dr. Yip.
Protecting precious skin
When it comes to keeping skin cool, there are some key general measures you can implement. “Staying in air-conditioned areas or under shade, wearing loose-fitting “breathable” clothing, don’t swaddle or dress with more than one thin layer, to reduce sweating as much as possible. [And] when outdoors, ensure to cover up baby with protective clothing and broad-brimmed hats.”
Packing a perfect nappy bag is also key to protecting precious baby skin. Dr. Yip recommends that – aside from the usual nappy-changing essentials – you pack protective gear like a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. She also suggests a zinc oxide barrier cream or sprays to help prevent nappy rash.
Nipping nappy rash in the bud
Extra fluid intake and increased sweating lead to more wet nappies and moisture in the nappy area which means you need to keep nappy rash top of mind. “Any eczema in the nappy area may also flare up in summer in the heat and with sweat,” says Dr. Yip.
To prevent and treat nappy rash during summer, Dr. Yip advises that you do the following:
Use disposable nappies over cloth ones (they’re more absorbent) and change them regularly (about every four hours for disposables and every two hours for cloth nappies) and as soon as possible once soiled.
Use soap-free bath oils and washes over soaps as they can irritate the skin more.
Try to give your baby as much nappy-free time as you can. Ideally 30 minutes a few times a day.
Keep moisture to a minimum by using a barrier cream and reapplying it every time you change a nappy. A zinc oxide barrier spray or paste is best to use.
Avoid using baby wipes where possible. Gently dab and clean the nappy area with a cloth or cotton with water instead.
Go to your GP for medical advice if there are red spots, pustules blisters, pain, a fever or if the nappy rash doesn’t respond to zinc oxide barrier cream as it may be infected.
Has your baby’s skin been affected by the summer heat? Did you try any of these tactics?
Main image: @chrissyteigen
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