We’re facing a heatwave of a Summer here in Australia which can be hard to manage when you have young children. Babies and young children can’t cool themselves as well as adults so they’re more at risk of overheating and developing a heat-related illness. The heat can also play havoc with your child’s sensitive skin and lead to flare ups of eczema.
Here are our top 10 tips for protecting your little one’s skin in the hotter weather.
1. Be sun smart
After the age of 6 months, dress your baby in light, cotton clothing that covers their shoulders and arms. Always pop on a hat and if your child will be exposed to the sunlight, apply a natural, sensitive sunscreen. We’ve just launched our Itchy Baby Co natural sunscreen SPF50 that uses zinc oxide and colloidal oatmeal to protect your child’s sensitive skin, without causing irritation. (Please note, babies less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. Their skin contains too little melanin, the pigment that provides some protection from the sun.)
2. Splash around
Use water-play to cool your baby down in the heat. Set up a paddling pool in the shade or let your child play in a cool bath. Cool baths bring relief to the skin’s surface and won’t raise the body’s core temperature. Adding Itchy Baby Co natural bath soak to the bath will cleanse the skin, taking away any irritants sitting on the skin’s surface, whilst adding moisture, hydration and nourishment.
3. Keep inside cool
Cool the inside of your house with fans and air conditioners. Keep your baby’s bedroom cool during the day by closing blinds or curtains. When you put your baby to bed make sure their room is a nice cool temperature.
4. Keep hydrated
Give your baby or toddler lots to drink on hot days. Extra drinks, icy poles and fruit like watermelon are great to hydrate on a hot day. You know your baby is hydrated if there are six to eight pale wet nappies a day. If your baby is under 6 months and exclusively breast or bottle fed, just offer them extra feeds. They don’t need extra water, but they may wish to feed more often during the hotter weather.
5. Using cool compresses or wearing a dampened singlet
Applying a cool compress to the skin or wearing a dampened singlet will immediately start taking the heat out of the skin and the edge off itching. Apply the wet compress for a few minutes, or until you can feel it warming up and then repeat until the skin cools down. When you have finished, moisturise the skin to stop hydration leaving the skin.
6. Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise again
The key to keeping eczema under control is moisturising the skin regularly. Don’t wait until the skin becomes red and itchy, make it part of your daily routine to moisturize your child so their skin stays soft and hydrated. Keep some cream or ointment close-by or in your handbag too so you can keep them nice and moisturised throughout the day if you’re out and about.
7. Regular bath time routine
Regular bathing is important in managing eczema because it helps to wash any irritants that may be sitting on the skin’s surface and allows a greater opportunity to absorb moisture using a moisturising and protecting bath soak. It helps to also wash away sweat or pollen from the environment to soothe your child’s skin.
8. Store your moisturiser in the fridge during Summer
This is a fab mum-hack and my kids always love it when I smooth the freezing cream on them straight from the fridge! It’s refreshing when applied to the skin and has a cooling sensation which is divine during those Summer months.
9. Wear loose, cotton clothing
The skin needs to breathe to be able to keep cool. Cotton is a breathable fabric and wearing loose clothing means the heat doesn’t get trapped at the surface of the skin causing itch and irritation.
10. Eczema Friendly diet
A diet rich in foods which have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties can help to reduce eczema flare ups. These foods include broccoli, apples, cherries, spinach and kale. Fatty fish contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is also a strong anti-inflammatory. It is important to give your child foods with a high-water content such as cucumbers, apples, celery, carrots and pears to help keep their body hydrated.
This post was brought to you and your baby with love by Julia and the Itchy Baby Co. team. X
Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.