Summers are very exciting for children as it brings with it a lot of fun time for playing and frolicking. But it also brings woes for mothers wrought by the heat on the small children who are oblivious to the wrath of summer heat. To beat the ill effects of summers, doctors advise that parents should be including fresh seasonal fruits that are available in summers to protect their young ones and make them stronger from the onslaught of heat.
It is also clinically proven that toddlers’ skin is very sensitive and prone to heat rashes. To protect children’s skin from the harsh and harmful effects of the sun, all-round care is additionally required.
Dr Jyoti Chawla, Senior Consultant Pediatrics, Paras Bliss Hospital, Panchkula says, “In children, hot and humid weather can lead to itchy rash or prickly heat. It is also known as sweat rash or miliaria rubra (in medical terms). Although rashes can happen in other seasons, heat and humidity is the most significant risk factor undoubtedly. Rashes in children are more common in and around neck, shoulder and chest. Folds of skin and places where your clothing rubs your skin are other areas where prickly heat rashes might occur. It is often associated with intense itching and irritation or cause reddening and inflammation of certain areas of skin, with small blisters.”
Common factors aggravating prickly heat type conditions in children are wearing synthetic clothes, tight clothing, intensive exercising or physical activity (involving high levels of sweating), use of oil-based cosmetics, etc.
“Newborns are generally very sensitive to changes in temperature. If parents observe small red rashes on their baby’s neck, on their armpits, or at the edges of his or her diaper, they should consult a doctor to find out if it is actually a heat rash or something else. Heat rashes are most commonly noticed to appear in groups around the folds of the skin, particularly in areas where the garments stick to the body parts. If you are putting a cap for your child, even the head can get affected and synthetic fabrics or plastic liners can make your kid more susceptible. When happening continuously, it makes your child restless and irritated,” adds Dr Jyoti Chawla.
If a child develops rash, usually it is self limiting, however there are a number of soothing or healing measures you can take too.
“Although prickly heat does not usually need formal treatment as such, you can take some easy steps to reduce your toddler’s discomfort and prevent chronic infection. If your child is feeling itching or irritation, calamine lotion or talcum powder can be used for soothing effect. At times mild steroid creams may be required, but give him medicines only after consulting a pediatrician. Also make sure he or she does not scratch, as this only worsens symptoms,” says Dr Chawla.
Dr. Chawla suggests a few other preventive measures you can take to protect your children from prickly heat and rashes:
- Make them avoid situations causing heavy perspiration such as playing in sun (between 10 AM to 3 PM).
- Buy them loose cotton clothes, and do not make them wear too much of clothing layers, particularly when they go out.
- Change their undergarments and sweaty clothes after they reach home from work out, play, or school.
- Avoid using oil based cosmetics for children.
- Keep their sleeping room cool and ventilated.