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How do I care for a child or infant with a heat rash?

David C. Fiore, MD
Family Medicine
If your infant has what you think might be heat rash, the most important thing is to be sure it really is heat rash. Babies develop rashes for many reasons, and it's important to be sure that it's not a sign of something serious. Usually this means bringing your baby in to see the doctor. If an older child has heat rash, treatment can be quite simple. Try to cool your child down. This can involve just getting out of the sun or heat, drinking cool fluids, sitting in front of a fan or taking a cool bath. Since heat rash can last for a few days, wearing clothing that doesn't rub the skin can be very helpful.
If the child or infant develops heat rash, give care by:
  • Removing or loosening clothing to cool down the child or infant
  • Moving the child or infant to a cool location
  • Cooling the area with wet washcloths or a cool bath and letting the skin air-dry
If the area remains irritated, use calamine lotion or a hydrocortisone cream if the child is not sensitive or allergic to these products. Avoid ointments or other lotions. They could further irritate the skin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.