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How To Prevent Diaper Rash


New parents are often baffled at why their child is crying. One common reason is that he or she has an unfortunate case of diaper rash. This itchy skin irritation can occur once in a while or be a continual problem for young children.

Thankfully, it's easily preventable with a few tips:

1. Frequently change your baby's diaper

A major cause of diaper rash is that the baby's bottom is wet for long periods of time. If you notice your child's diaper is soiled, change it right away. Use a wet wipe to clean the child and then let his or her bottom dry before putting on a clean diaper. This will greatly reduce the chances of the baby developing a diaper rash.

2. Keep it loose

Diapers that are too tight can prevent airflow to a child's behind. Sweat can build up, creating a moist bottom, which leads to diaper rash and painful chafing. When changing a child's diaper, ensure that you can slip a finger between the diaper waistband and your baby's skin, as well as between the leg holes and his or her legs. If the diaper is too tight, this will be difficult. 

3. Use scent-free products

Another common skin irritant that can cause or worsen diaper rash is scents. Diapers, lotions and other skin products should all be fragrance free to avoid any allergic reactions. Use mild soaps and baby wipes that don't contain alcohol or scents.

a selection of baby products sitting next to a diaper bag

4. Hit the tub

When your baby's bottom is too messy to clean with just wipes, rinse him or her off in the tub. Once you've thoroughly cleaned and dried his or skin, let the baby air dry further before putting on a diaper. The Mayo Clinic promotes exposing baby skin to fresh air because this is a natural process. Set your baby on a towel and play until you put on a fresh diaper.

5. Swap diapers

When choosing a diaper you're likely to go for the most-absorbent option. However, these diapers may be so great at keeping moisture in that they don't allow for air flow and can cause diaper rashes. If you've tried other options to treat and prevent this skin irritant with no luck, consider switching diapers. Cloth varieties are less absorbent but can promote better air flow and reduce the effects of diaper rash.

6. Add diaper ointment

Baby skin is incredibly sensitive. Everything from fabric to grass can cause rashes and itchy skin. For children who are especially susceptible to irritated skin in the diaper area, ointment can help. This moisturizing product typically contains zinc oxide and petroleum jelly which protect the skin from further damage and promote healing.

Preventing diaper rash isn't just about your baby's skin. This condition is temporary but can lead to serious infections if not treated and washed right away. Always wash your hands before and after diaper changes to reduce the chances of introducing harmful bacteria to your baby's skin.

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