Child care: How to deal with a heat rash

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When a child develops a heat rash, it is usually due to humid, warm conditions that trigger sweating. Significant sweating can block the pores in the skin which causes the heat rash.

Using ointments that trap moisture on the skin can lead to the development of heat rash. Infants face a higher risk for the skin condition. The heat rash can manifest as small-sized bumps and even blisters in some cases. In most cases, the bumps might redden, especially among those who have fair skin. The heat rash can be aggravated by overdressing or diapers. Remember that an overheated child can end up with serious issues such as heat stroke.

  • Wash the skin with heat rash using cool water without any soap every 2-3 hours. Make sure that the skin is air dried. The smaller spots of heat rash can be managed with an application of a cold compress instead of a bath. The cold compress must be applied for 5-10 minutes at several sessions throughout the day. The child should be bathed in lukewarm water using 2 teaspoons of baking soda for each gallon of water.
  • An air conditioner or fan should be used in the room of the child to help circulate the air to keep the environment cool. You have to make sure that the flow of air is in the direction of the child but not directly on him/her.
  • Apply a 1% hydrocortisone cream on the itchy areas only. Make sure that the cream is applied at least 3 times. In case this cream is not available, you can also utilize calamine lotion instead.
    Heat rash
    Significant sweating can block the pores in the skin which causes the heat rash.
  • The child must be dressed in loose-fitting clothes or remove the clothes so that the skin can breathe. Just make sure that the child stays in a shaded area where he/she can cool off.
  • A child over 1 year of age can be positioned on a cotton towel to absorb the perspiration from his/her skin.

Additional measures in dealing with heat rash

Avoid using an ointment in place of hydrocortisone cream. The ointments and other types of heavy lotions can clog or block the pores in the skin.

There are cases of heat rash that might require medical care. A doctor should be consulted if the rash has no indication that it is healing after 3 days or if the child develops any of these:

  • Fever
  • Reddened, wet or oozing area that might indication infection
  • Radiating rash outside of the diaper area
  • Rash becomes worse in the skin creases
  • Blistering

It is best to seek medical care right away for children below 3 months old that develops a heat rash. In case the child scratches the rash, you have to clip his/her fingernails or place socks over his/her hands at night time to protect the rash from getting irritated that can worsen the condition.

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