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Summer with an eczema baby: Top tips for dealing with the heat & sunshine

While hot summer weather is lovely and a welcome change to the damp British weather, keeping an eczema baby comfortable and safe from the sun can be a real challenge. These are tricks that we use to keep our eczema baby healthy and happy in the heat.

How to keep your eczema baby happy during the summer heat and sunshine

  • Stay in the shade. We try to avoid the need for sunscreen at all by staying out of the sun in the middle of the day. We also try to stay in the shade when we are out and about. With a bit of practice, we’ve found that we can keep out of the sun on the way into town just by crossing the street and being a bit careful about the routes we use. We’ve also found a couple of shady play areas near us.
  • Take the shade with you. Some places just don’t have any shade so we take the shade with us in the form of a sun tent or, when we need moving shade, UV blocking golf umbrella. The kids love using the umbrella as a den. If you do go down this route – a hooked handle looped around the changing bag makes a great anchoring point.
  • Pop on a hat – Protect your little ones face, neck and ears with a brimmed sunhat. While baseball caps look cute, they don’t protect ears and neck. On the other hand, our kids find the legionnaire style ones really hot. When it comes to keeping hats on, we’ve found that the kids are much more likely to wear their hats if we are wearing one too. And just in case one gets lost or forgotten, we keep spare hats in the changing bag.
Baby girl wearing red spotted, wide brimmed sunhat on bright sunny day
Brimmed hats protect a baby’s face, ears and neck without being too hot. And you’ve got a much better chance of it staying on if the whole family is also wearing their hat.
  • Accessorise your pushchair. Adding a UV blocking sunshade to your pushchair will keep your baby cool and protected from the sun. And, it may sounds counter-intuitive but using sheepskin liner in the pushchair can really help keep your little one fresher. This is because the open pile of the fleece allows air to circulate under the body so they don’t get as hot and sweaty. However, do steer clear of this solution if your baby’s eczema is triggered by lanolin. This is derived from the natural oils found in sheep’s wool. On really hot days, we have a couple of cold packs that we slide under the sheepskin. These help to keep the kids cool on the ride into town. While it’s tempting to drape a muslin or blanket over your pushchair to keep the sun off your little one, do be aware that this can reduce the air circulation increasing the temperature inside the pushchair. While lighter fabrics, which are better for air circulation, they will only offer minimal UV protection. It really is worth investing in a UV sunshade.
  • Find a sun block that works for your eczema baby. Sunscreen contains all sorts of chemical nasties that can trigger reactions in sensitive skin. Our itchy boy is sensitive to parabens which turn up in a good number of the most popular kid’s sun protection products. Other products just seem to make him itchy, especially around his knees and elbows and often without any visible rash. It’s worth trying a number of products until you find one that works for you. This can get really expensive, so our approach was to beg a squirt from each friend we found with a different brand of sun-block. Mineral sunscreens, containing Zinc, tend to be better as the summer reflects off the sunscreen keeping him cooler. We are currently using the Green People kid’s sun lotion. It’s light and not at all not greasy so doesn’t aggravate prickly heat. We’ve had no nasty reactions and, so far, no sunburn. Read our guide to understanding sunscreens for more information.
  • Keep your car cool. We all know that parked cars can get unbearable hot in the summer weather. For an eczema baby, being strapped into a hot car seat in a hot car can bring on some serious scratching. Keeping the car in the garage, parking in the shade, or investing in windscreen sunshade can make a huge difference. If keeping the car itself cool just isn’t an option, try to cool it down as much as possible before you strap your little one in by opening the boot and doors to let the hot air blow through. Keeping the car seat in the house can be a hassle but it will help to keep your baby cooler. ScratchSleeves can also help minimise scratching damage on hot car journeys.
  • Cover up – Long sleeves and trousers are a great way to protect delicate skin without using sunblock. It’s worth knowing that darker fabrics block more harmful UV rays than light coloured ones. The easiest way to test how much protection a fabric offers is to hold it up to a light. The more light you can see through it, the more UV can get through too. Obviously, there is a trade-off between protecting against the sun and keeping cool, but loose and long cotton clothing works for our family. Long-sleeved T-shirts can be tricky to get hold of this time of year – but it’s definitely worth the effort.
  • Rinse off. We found that regular, cool baths were really important to keep our eczema baby’s skin clear of irritating sweat and leftover sun-block. After really hot nights we would give him a quick bath in the morning. This would get rid of the sweat and claggy emollient residues. And of course, the paddling pool, or just a bowl of water in the garden, is a great way to cool off during the day.
  • Keep bedrooms cool. Sleeping when you are hot can be really difficult. For an eczema baby, who already finds sleeping tough, the hot summer nights can result in a lack of sleep for the whole family. Drawing bedroom curtains during the heat of the day, opening the windows to let the evening breeze in before bedtime and investing in a fan to keep the air moving can make a huge difference. See our article on helping eczema babies sleep on hot summer nights for more ideas.

And don’t forget that sunshine is good for you. It is our main source of vitamin D and about a quarter of UK children are thought to be vitamin D deficient. Around 15-20 minutes in the morning or evening sun without sun protection is a very good thing.

These tricks work for our family. What works for your family?


Here at ScratchSleeves, we don’t just share our experiences of bringing up an eczema child and favourite allergy-friendly recipes, we also manufacture and sell our unique stay-on scratch mitts and PJs for itchy babies, toddlers and children of all ages. We now stock sizes from 0-adult years in a range of colours. Visit our webshop for more information.

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Écrit par :

Issue d'une famille de personnes souffrant d'eczéma, Jae s'appuie sur des années d'expérience pratique et directe de la vie avec l'eczéma.

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