Heat rash commonly known as prickly heat or summer rash or miliaria rubra and is characterized by red pimply bumps or rashes that appear around the folds of the skin, chest, neck, stomach, crotch and buttocks. It is common in almost all age groups of children.
Heat rash in toddlers occurs when they are covered with snug fitting clothes which make them too warm. It might affect the forehead and scalp if they wear hats. They are generally pimply, itch and sometimes become tiny blisters.
Heat rashes are caused by exposure to heat and humidity or excessive warm clothing. Your toddler sweats to cool the body and when he sweats too much the pores get blocked and the sweat cannot get out. This is when a heat rash breaks out on the skin. Toddlers and young children are more vulnerable to heat rash as their pores are smaller than those of adults.
Heat rash is more prevalent in hot weather but can occur in winter if your toddler is clothed in too many layers of clothes or has fever which may cause excessive sweating. More info on toddler rashes
Heat rash is not serious but can get bad and lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke if the child is not cooled down. It is not painful, but the itching can be annoying and if scratched can make it tender and sore.
Toddler heat can be treated in simple ways. At first, remove or loosen your child’s clothes to cool the body and move him to an airy, cool room or a shady place. You can place him on a cotton sheet or towel and wipe him with a wet wash cloth on the affected areas. A bath in lukewarm water with two teaspoons of baking soda per gallon of water will also help soothe the rash. You can add oatmeal in the bath to reduce inflammation and soothe the skin.
Instead of wiping your toddler dry with a towel, allow his body to dry in the air. Avoid applying creams or lotions on the skin as it can aggravate the condition by trapping the moisture on the skin. You can spray a little cornstarch on the affected areas.
Another way to get relief is to apply gram flour, fuller’s earth, or sandal wood powder on the rashes.
To prevent your toddler from scratching the rashes, keep his nails cut short. Make him wear loose and lightweight clothes and dust a little cornstarch powder when your toddler spends time outdoors. If it is too hot, keep him indoors and give him plenty of fluids to keep him cool.