Summer Skin Care Tips for Babies and Toddlers
Summer is here and you know that it’s time for some fun outdoor activities but you also are aware that your child’s skin needs protection from the sun. In some cases, your child might get a slight burn so you have to know how to safely take care of their beautiful precious skin when they are small because one bad burn could affect them for life. It’s also good to keep your child’s skin full of moisture so it doesn’t dry out. Water and the sun can dry out anyone’s skin so it’s good to use the appropriate steps to care for your baby’s and toddler’s skin in the summer.
Keep Their Skin Healthy
A baby’s skin is a barrier and the first line of defense from the germs of the outside world. A baby’s skin is more sensitive to the irritants of the outdoors, changes in temperature, and humidity. It’s important to make sure you keep their skin clean, hydrated and moisturized daily.
It’s a good idea to use a moisturizing baby cleanser and lots of water to wash your baby. This helps to maintain their skin gently as you are washing it.
All babies have to have continuous moisturization and this is why it’s important to moisturize their skin on a regular basis. This is very important after their bath to help protect their skin from getting too dry.
Knowledge about Sunburn
All parents love a sunny day, but this is when it’s time to be careful when it comes to your child’s sensitive skin. A baby’s skin is thin and delicate and can burn easily. You probably know this from experience that sunburn really hurts. One bad sunburn in your child’s life doubles the risk of melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer. This can occur later in life. This is why skin care and sunscreen are very important.
Treating Sunburn in Babies and Toddlers
If your baby or toddler gets sunburned, first cool their skin by using a cold, wet washcloth for 10 or 15 minutes. Do this 3 to 4 times daily until there is no more red skin. Soothe the skin with aloe vera gel or a mild hypoallergenic moisturizer. Sunburns generally make their skin red, hot and painful. If your child is under one year old and gets a sunburn, call your pediatrician. If your children are older, call the doctor if the sunburn looks very red and blisters along with a fever, chills, and pain. If your doctor says it’s ok, give them the proper age dose of Tylenol to babies 2 months and older and ibuprofen to babies 6 months and older. Keep your child out of the sun until their sunburn is completely healed.
Ways to Prevent Sunburn
Summer skin care requires some work to keep your child from getting burned. Try to stay inside between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm when the sun is the hottest. This is when you should schedule your outdoor playtime after 4 pm or before 10 am. Make sure your baby always wears a hat with a wide brim and lightweight clothes that are made to cover up as much of their skin as possible. 15 or 20 minutes before you go out, put some child-safe sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher broad spectrum and waterproof). Babies under 6 months, you can put a small amount on the parts of skin that are showing and put them in the shade and make sure their clothing is not too warm but protects them. Older toddlers can have a bunch of sunscreen slathered on their bodies and this should be reapplied every few hours and after water activities.
Heat rash or prickly heat is common and is a summer skin care problem. This looks like tiny red bumps on the face, neck, armpits, and upper torso and makes a crabby baby. The bumps are caused by clogged sweat gland pores that trap their sweat. It’s very itchy and uncomfortable for them.
Treating Heat Rash
Cool your child with a lukewarm bath and use a mild cleanser. Don’t use any lotion or powder after the bath because this can clog their pores even more. The rash usually goes away in a week, and call the doctor if the bumps contain pus and swell. This could be the start of a yeast or bacterial infection.
Preventing Heat Rash
You should keep your baby from getting too hot and when the weather is intense, don’t be outside too much with a baby or toddler. Your body heat can make them warmer and make sure they have dressed appropriately for the heat.
If your baby gets bit by bugs wash the area with soap and water. You can put a cold, wet washcloth to help reduce swelling and pain. If the bites are itchy, use some calamine lotion and if you see signs of an allergic reaction to the bug bites like swelling or pain, breathing problems, hives, or itching everywhere, then call your pediatrician immediately.
How to Prevent Bug Bites
When your baby is under 2 months old, dress your child in lightweight shirts with long sleeves, long pants, a hat and socks to keep the bugs from biting. You can use 0.5% permethrin bug spray on clothes to protect them from mosquitos, and ticks; the protection should last several washes if sprayed on their clothes. Use insect netting to cover the stroller and go inside at dusk when the bugs get worse.
It’s also safe to use Deet products or picaridin, which is your best defense against insects that bite infants older than 2 months. Make sure not to use any products that contain more than 30 percent of Deet, or 10 percent of picaridin. Whatever insect product that you choose to use, don’t apply it on your child more than once a day and keep this away from their mouth, eyes or hands. After you are inside of your house again, always remember to wash off the product you chose with soap and water.