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SOS: Your Baby's Got A Rash

Spotting a rash on your baby’s delicate skin can be a worry – here’s the checklist you need to work out the cause

Your baby has really delicate skin which can be easily irritated by products and ingredients. So if you spot a rash emerging then it could just be because something has aggravated it, but it’s still a good idea to run through this checklist to ease your mind that it’s nothing more serious. 

1. Does your baby have a temperature?

Take her temperature and see what it reveals. If her temperature is above 38.5°C, then it may indicate your baby has measles and it’s advisable to see a GP. Generally speaking, if your baby doesn’t have a temperature then her rash is unlikely to be serious.

2. Does your baby look unwell?

Trust your judgment and decide if you think your baby looks unwell (despite the rashes). If she looks pale and sweaty, then try making sure she’s not dehydrated by feeding her.

3. Have you tried the glass test?

Gently press the side of a glass to the patch of skin with a rash. If you can see the rash through the glass then your baby may be showing signs of meningitis, which requires medical attention.

4. Is she still feeding?

A good way to tell if a baby is unwell is by seeing if she’ll still feed normally. If she doesn’t want to feed, then give it a while and try again. If that doesn’t work, chances are she’s not feeling right and it’s best to consult your GP.

5. Is her urine and poo output normal?

Check what’s in your baby’s nappy every so often. If she’s feeding normally, your baby should have up to 10 wet nappies a day.

6. Is she too hot?

If your baby is sweating or her tummy feels hot, she may be overheating. Remove some layers and see if it makes a difference – the aim is to keep her from overheating.

7. Have you changed your baby’s nappy recently?

If the rash is surrounding your baby’s bottom, then chances are it's nappy rash, which can develop for a number of reasons. Try changing and top and tailing your baby, leave her to dry with no nappy on and apply some barrier cream – available from your pharmacy.

8. Have you used a new skincare product or washing powder?

Lots of things can irritate your baby’s delicate skin – including your own perfume. Gently clean your baby and gently pat her dry, without applying any products.


Expert information provided by Dr Tim Ubhi, consultant paediatrician for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (LINK).

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