Summer Bummers

By Linda Formichelli

Summertime and the living is easy…or is it? You and your toddler are having a great time playing, swimming and walking outdoors—but with all of this fun activity comes the risk of health woes ranging from bug bites to sunburn. Prevention of these conditions is the best-case scenario, but failing that, knowing how to treat them and when to seek professional help are paramount. Here’s how to prevent and treat your little one’s summer health bummers so you can both enjoy the long days and beautiful weather.

1. Hold Off Heat Rash
When a tot’s sweat glands get plugged, the tiny, clear, fluid-filled blisters or red bumps of heat rash may appear. It typically occurs under clothing and on areas that have been pressed against a car seat or stroller.

Prevent it: Keep your child cool. Use fans and air conditioners when possible, and dress her in light, loose cotton clothing.

Treat it: “A tepid bath, blot-drying and a light layer of cotton clothing should be sufficient,” says Anthony J. Mancini, MD, head of pediatric dermatology at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. “The rash will usually fade on its own over 48 to 72 hours.” Cold compresses will help relieve discomfort. Avoid ointments and lotions, which can cause the rash to worsen.

See your pediatrician if… the rash doesn’t resolve within 48 to 72 hours with a tepid bath and light clothing, or if it’s accompanied by blisters, pus-filled bumps or fever, which may indicate infection, eczema or reaction to a drug such as antibiotics.