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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy, healthy bottoms this summer

Summertime means it's hot out and diapers can become uncomfortable for little bottoms.The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following steps to keep baby healthy and dry.

Get the Red Out

Healing the rash involves being more vigilant about changing your baby’s diapers. While your baby is battling a bout of diaper rash, here’s what you can do:
  • Rinse the affected area with warm water. Repeat the process with each diaper change until the rash subsides. Wash with a mild soap only after a bowel movement since overusing soap can disrupt the healing process.
  • Choose the right kind of wipes. Avoid wipes that contain alcohol or fragrances. “If wipes seem to bother your infant, try plain water with a soft paper towel or wash cloth until the rash heals,” Dr. Altmann says.
  • Expose your baby’s bottom to air. Let your baby wear a loose diaper so air can circulate. While she’s napping, take the diaper off and lay her on a towel. Drying out the area will reduce the risk of developing a yeast infection.
  • Consider a good soak. Soaking in an oatmeal bath can help soothe a sore bottom, Dr. Altmann says.

Keeping Rash at Bay

Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent diaper rash, especially if you know your child is vulnerable. Apply a thick layer of diaper ointment that contains zinc oxide on to your baby’s bottom at every diaper change. Avoid putting the diaper on too tightly, which will trap the moisture and discourage air circulation. A petroleum jelly type product also works well.
Consider using extra absorbent diapers, too. “With the advent of super-absorbent diapers, which wick moisture away from the skin and keep the skin dry, the frequency of irritant diaper dermatitis has declined greatly,” says Dr. Krowchuk, who is also former chair of the AAP Section on Dermatology.
And make sure to change your child’s diaper frequently. “Changing the diaper promptly after it becomes wet or soiled is the best way to prevent diaper rash,” Dr. Krowchuk says.
If you'd like to donate to Austin Diaper Bank, you can help keep babies in dry diapers.