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Diaper Rash - Prevention

The following simple steps can help prevent diaper rash.

  • Always wash your hands and your child's hands well before and after each diaper change.
  • Change diapers or incontinence briefs as soon as possible after they become soiled or wet. Check the diaper at least every 2 hours. Diapers or incontinence briefs need to be changed at least 8 times every 24 hours.
  • Leave the diaper or incontinence brief off and allow the area to air-dry for 5 to 10 minutes after each diaper change. Make sure a baby is in a safe place during this time.
  • Wash cloth diapers with mild detergent, and rinse them twice. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners.
  • If you use cloth diapers, do not use plastic pants, which hold moisture on the skin.
  • If diarrhea is present, protect the diaper area with a cream such as Desitin, Diaparene, A&D Ointment, or zinc oxide. This will protect the skin from bacteria that might cause infection. For more information, see the topic Diarrhea, Age 11 and Younger or Diarrhea, Age 12 and Older.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 21, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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