Tender skin requires tender loving care, especially in warm weather where you may spend most of your time outdoors. Besides the pain, it is crucial that you protect your baby against sunburn. Simply put, sunburns aren’t healthy. Skin cancer has been linked to a history of burns, especially blistering ones, in the first decade of life, and the risk is cumulative over one’s lifetime. The best protection you’ll ever have for skin cancer is sun protection. Avoid the sun when it’s at its strongest, between 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, if you can. Seek shade whenever possible, and always wear light protective clothing.
Apply sunscreen, an SPF 30 or something even higher, before heading outside. If you’re out for long periods of time, remember to reapply every 2 hours or so. Even when products claim to be waterproof, they will eventually wash off. It’s important for parents to model how they apply sunscreen to their own skin so that your baby will grow up to be familiar with the pattern. When choosing the right brand, remember that it should protect your baby’s skin against UVA and UVB rays, and the SPF doesn’t go below 30. For babies with extremely sensitive skin, there may be less chance of irritation with something that’s chemical-free. This usually contains a physical blocker like zinc oxide.
As for insect bites, never forget to put one inside the diaper bag as well. Insect repellent with DEET concentration between 10 and 20 percent will suffice once they’re old enough. But for younger infants, go with what is recommended by your doctor. When applying it to your child’s skin, avoid putting on hands, fingers, and areas near the mouth. Be sure to rinse off with soap and water before you put them to bed. Once you see that they’ve been bitten by a mosquito, you can apply hydrocortisone to the affected areas 2 or 3 times daily. An over-the-counter oral antihistamine may also be helpful to ease the itch of the bite.
Insect bites and burns aren’t your only worries during warm season. You also have to think about ways to prevent heat rash. So how does it look like? Heat rash presents as small red dots and bumps. It may be mildly itchy, but it resolves over a day or two on its own if you keep your baby constantly cool. If the rash persists, avoid application of creams and lotions to the skin, as this will only make the whole process worse. Stick to what is recommended by the doctor and keep them cool and comfortable with light, breezy clothing.
You also need to be mindful of other skin problems that tend to happen during summer. Ringworm is a common fungal infection that comes in different forms, including athlete’s foot. To help prevent it and plantar warts, have your child wear flip-flops when you take a walk around the pool or when you use the public showers. Your baby’s skin is more sensitive than yours. And once there’s discomfort, you may be the one who loses sleep.
By: (Bianca Miciano)