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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.

    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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