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Top 10 tips for protecting your babies skin this summer

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.

Outdoor activities for busy toddlers?

The weather is absolutely beautiful at the moment and we don’t know about you, but our kids just love getting outside! Although the heat can sometimes cause eczema flare ups (you can get some great tips on managing that here) you can still have lots of fun outdoors! We’d recommend playing in the shade wherever possible and avoiding the hottest parts of the day.

Here are our favourite outdoor activities for busy toddlers.

Catch

An oldie but a goodie! Balls are always enticing for toddlers and they also help with their gross motor skills and coordination. Grab a few balls of different sizes and textures and play catch with your toddler. You can also play round up the balls and get your little one to collect all the balls and try and throw them into a bucket or hoop.

Bikes or scooters

Kids love to get mobile and balance bikes, scooters and trikes are awesome for this. Let your child whiz around the garden or park, and if you want to add an extra bit of fun, add in some obstacles or create a road or path with chalk or tape!

Nature play

There’s so much to explore outside, and kids are fascinated by nature. Create a nature trail or a “shopping list” where your child needs to find a selection of items. This could include a stone, a feather, some dirt, a leaf, a gum nut etc. Once they have all the items, spend some time talking about them – what they feel like, what they smell like etc and if you have a magnifying glass, get them to look at the patterns close up. Finish off with some good old-fashioned mud pie making!

Bubbles

Bubbles are always a winner. You can get bubbles from most supermarkets and toy shops for just a few dollars. Remember once the mixture has run out, you can make your own solution with washing up liquid, water and sugar and keep reusing the tubes and wands! Making the mixture is just as fun for your child as playing with the bubbles!

Water play

Kids love splashing in the water – it’s fun and it also helps to keep them nice and cool! If you have a paddling pool, fill it up and add some bath toys for extra fun. If you don’t want your child to actually be in the pool, try filling a container with water and encourage them to wash their toys. Add a few bubbles and they’ll relish in soaping up their favourite toys and laying them out in the sun to dry. You can also add things like pom poms to the water and give your child a pair of tongs /or a scoop to get them out again.

Painting the walls

Don’t panic, we’re not talking about actual paint! Our toddlers love to copy grown ups and giving them a proper job always makes them feel special. Give them a bucket of water and a paint brush and task them with painting the fence or table legs. The water will change the colour of the surface, so they’ll get a great sense of satisfaction, and your furniture gets a bit of a cleaning!

Teddy bears picnic

Grab a picnic rug, some snacks, books and your child’s favourite bear and have a teddy bear’s picnic! You child will love taking Storytime outside and will love doing something special with you.

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.

Can sweating cause eczema flare-ups?

Here in Australia we’re blessed with beautiful sunny days and clear skies, and whilst that makes for a great outdoor lifestyle, it can play havoc with sensitive skin.

Heat is a common eczema trigger and heat also equals sweat. Your child will sweat more in warmer weather as they try to regulate their body temperature. Many people with eczema become itchy or experience a “prickly heat” sensation when they sweat, which is very uncomfortable.

Sweat contains mainly water, which takes all the moisture out of the skin, causing dryness and irritation. This environment attracts bacteria which further inflames the skin. Sweat also has a very small amount of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc which can also further irritate your poor bubs skin.

You may have noticed that the areas of the body where moisture accumulates most, such as the insides of the elbows, back of the knees and around the neck, tend to be hot spots for eczema rashes.

There are two types of sweat glands in the body that help with the sweating process. These are eccrine and apocrine glands. There are occasions when the opening of these ducts become occluded, especially in hot weather. This can lead to miliaria, a type of rash that commonly occurs on the back and can be itchy.

Management of your child’s eczema is crucial in the hotter months, and as always, prevention is better than treatment when it comes to flare ups. Try to keep your child as cool as possible on hot days. Carry a handheld fan where possible to cool the skin and get rid of any residual sweat. Dress them in light, cotton clothes that help wick away moisture and keep them in the shade where possible.

Make sure sweat doesn’t stay on your child’s body – wipe and dry the skin with cool water when necessary. If you do wash the skin, re-apply some eczema moisturiser or sunscreen straight away, to lock the moisture back in.  Keep your little one hydrated by getting them to drink lots of water throughout the day.

Here are some great tips on managing your baby’s eczema in hotter weather.

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.

heat and eczema

Why does heat make eczema worse?

We’re coming into Summer which means beach days and picnics. We love being outdoors and enjoying the sunshine, but we also know it can make eczema symptoms worse.

You may have a great management plan in place throughout Winter and Autumn, but as the heat increases, you may find you need to re-think your approach. It turns out hot weather is one of the most common trigger of eczema, especially in children, so you might notice your little one’s eczema more during Summer than Winter.

How does heat trigger eczema?

Heat causes water loss which dries out the skin. Dryness breaks down the skin’s natural barrier which can then no longer protect it from irritants and toxins, allowing them to get into the skin and cause damage. Hot temperatures can also make us sweat. Not only does sweat take all the moisture out of the skin, but it also brings any irritants to the surface where they can aggravate and inflame the skin.

What does heat do to eczema skin?

  • Dries out the skin which makes it a nice place for bacteria to live and irritate the skin.
  • Makes the skin red which causes itching.
  • Breaks down the skin’s natural barrier so irritants can more easily get in.
  • Causes sweating which makes the skin damp and takes away moisture.
  • There is also a study which concludes that people with eczema don’t get rid of the heat from their bodies as well as those without eczema which triggers itching, redness and inflammation.

How can you prevent flare-ups in the heat?

  • Loose fitting cotton clothing is least likely to trap heat around your little one’s body during warmer months. Layering what you put on your little one will let you take off one layer as the weather heats up throughout the day. This is especially important when you’re travelling in the car. Dress for car travel, rather than your destination.
  • Night time heat can trigger eczema too, so avoiding thick pyjamas and doonas which can trap heat is really important. Try using a cotton sheet and cotton blankets instead of a doona and removing a blanket on warm nights.
  • Regular bathing of your little one with eczema has two benefits. It removes irritants from the skin’s surface which can cause itching and inflammation and it is the most effective way to put moisture back into the skin. Using itchy baby co bath soaks in the bath will leave a thin film on the skin which acts as a barrier to trap moisture to stop the skin from drying out and they also have anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties.
  • Moisturising immediately after taking your little one out of the bath and while the skin is still damp will lock in hydration to the skin and help to protect the skin’s natural barrier. Moisturising can also reduce the temperature of the skin which helps to prevent it from drying out. Our eczema moisturiser is made with 100% natural ingredients and has soothing colloidal oatmeal, shea butter and vitamin E, which help protect your child’s skin.
  • Using a cold compress on eczema skin can be a good way to lower the skin’s temperature and help to manage itching. To make a cold compress use a clean washcloth which has been soaked in cold water. Rest it on the skin for a few minutes to take the heat out and repeat until the skin has cooled down.

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.

three-step guide

Our three-step guide to soothe your little one’s skin

If your child has eczema, you may feel overwhelmed and not know where to start when it comes to soothing their skin. We thought we’d share this easy, three-step guide to getting your child’s eczema under control so you can feel empowered and confident.

Diagnosis 

There are a number of types of eczema, each with its own range of symptoms, triggers and varying degrees of severity. Whilst some children may only have mild dryness and itching, others can experience sever and painful symptoms. Always get diagnosed by your GP so you know which type of eczema you’re dealing with. You may still need to try different treatments to find the ones that work best for your child. Once you do, stick to that routine.

Management 

Which brings us to our final point – management. Once you know the type and severity of your little one’s eczema, create a management plan and stick to it. This will include everything from avoiding triggers and preparing for changes in the seasons, to stocking up on the right kinds of supplies and creating lasting routines. Treatment can range from natural solutions like colloidal oatmeal and oils, to topical steroid creams for sever eczema symptoms.

Let’s move on to some steps you can take to give your child the best chance of experiencing healthy, happy skin…

Step 1. Soak it up with daily bath time

A ten minute, luke warm bath gives us a chance not only to add moisture into the skin, but it also washes triggers away from the skins surface and prepares the skin to absorb more moisture after the bath. Using a bath product which leaves a thin film on the skin to stop it from drying out is an important step in managing your child’s eczema, we recommend our natural oatmeal bath soak during bath time.

Step 2. Spread the love to scalps & faces

Eczema can affect all parts of the body, especially scalps and faces. These areas can sometimes need different types of products, such as scalp oil and face mask. The best time to look after these areas is before you have moisturised your little ones body.

Step 3. Seal it in with an eczema moisturiser

What you do immediately after you take your child out of the bath or after using the face mask is the next step in your eczema skin care routine. Within two minutes of taking your child out of the bath generously apply eczema moisturiser to their skin in downward motions. This helps the skin’s natural barrier to lock in hydration and stop irritation and possibly infection. To maintain the hydration in your child’s skin you will also need to moisturise at least twice more throughout the day.

If your child has eczema, you may feel overwhelmed and not know where to start when it comes to soothing their skin. Our starter pack includes all the goodness you need to complete our three-step routine to help your little one feel some relief.

I hope this has helped you get started in understanding what an eczema skin care routine is and how you can get started in managing your child’s eczema and itchy, dry, skin.

This blog post was brought to you and your child with love and care from 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.