Managing heat rash in children: prevention and treatment strategies

Heat rash, also known as prickly heat or miliaria, is a common skin condition that occurs when sweat becomes trapped in the sweat ducts, leading to inflammation and irritation. While heat rash is usually harmless, it can be uncomfortable for children. Understanding how to prevent and treat heat rash is essential for parents and caregivers. In this guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about heat rash in children.

Causes and symptoms of heat rash:

Heat rash occurs when sweat ducts become blocked, preventing sweat from reaching the surface of the skin. Common causes and symptoms of heat rash in children include:

  1. Hot and humid weather: heat rash is more likely to occur in hot, humid environments where sweating is common.
  2. Overheating: children who are overdressed or exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods are at increased risk of developing heat rash.
  3. Friction: tight clothing or bedding can exacerbate heat rash by rubbing against the skin and blocking sweat ducts.
  4. Symptoms: heat rash typically presents as small, red bumps on the skin, often accompanied by itching or a prickly sensation. In severe cases, heat rash may cause discomfort or pain.
heat rash

Prevention strategies:

Preventing heat rash in children involves keeping the skin cool, dry, and well-ventilated, especially during hot weather. Here are some tips to prevent heat rash:

  1. Dress children in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics such as cotton.
  2. Keep indoor spaces cool with fans or air conditioning, especially during hot weather.
  3. Avoid overdressing children, particularly infants, and ensure bedding is lightweight and breathable.
  4. Encourage frequent breaks in cool, shaded areas during outdoor activities, and offer plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  5. Use gentle skincare products and avoid heavy creams or lotions that may clog sweat ducts.

Treatment options:

Most cases of heat rash in children resolve on their own without treatment. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, consider the following treatment options:

  1. Cool compresses: apply a cool, damp cloth to the affected area to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation.
  2. Calamine lotion: calamine lotion can help alleviate itching and discomfort associated with heat rash.
  3. Avoidance of irritants: keep children away from potential irritants such as tight clothing, heavy creams, or excessive heat until the rash resolves.


Heat rash is a common and usually harmless skin condition in children, but it can cause discomfort and irritation. By following prevention strategies and implementing simple treatment measures, parents and caregivers can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing of heat rash in children.

If you are worried about your child having a heat rash, please contact us or book an appointment with one our Childhealthy team.


Disclaimer: information contained in this article is intended as general advice and does not replace a medical assessment. If you are concerned about your child, please contact your doctor for advice.

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