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What to Do If Your Baby Gets Into the Diaper Cream

by Sharon Perkins

Walking into the room and finding that your resourceful child has smeared diaper cream all over his face -- and possibly eaten a mouthful -- can lead to panic. Although the warnings on the tube sound dire, in most cases, smearing diaper cream on skin or ingesting a small amount doesn't cause serious side effects, although you should let your pediatrician know immediately. If it gets in your baby's eyes, it could cause eye irritation. Getting diaper cream out of hair, clothing or furniture can take some work.

Swallowing It

Ingesting a small amount of diaper cream could cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or loose stools, according to the National Capital Poison Center. In most cases, however, these side effects don't occur. If he's eaten more than a small amount, call your pediatrician and your local poison control center, especially if he vomits more than once or has continuous diarrhea. If he appears to be choking, call 911 immediately.

Getting It in Eyes

If your child smears diaper cream in his eyes, he could develop eye irritation, resulting in pain, redness and swelling. Wash his eyes thoroughly for 15 minutes with lukewarm, body-temperature water, the Illinois Poison Center recommends. He's not going to like this so restraining his arms with a large towel or other object will help keep him still. Lay him on his back and pour the water over (not into) his nose and into his eyes. Call your pediatrician and follow his advice on whether or not your child needs further medical attention.

Washing It Off

Diaper cream sticks to the skin -- after all, that's what it's meant to do. While sticking action is wonderful for protecting against urine and feces, it's not so easy to deal with when your child has coated his entire body with the stuff. Mineral oil or baby oil can remove excess amounts of diaper cream, the Short Gut Syndrome website states. Wipe off as much as you can with a paper towel or soft cloth before using the oil.

Cleaning Clothes and Furniture

Diaper creams are greasy, so they can create difficult-to-remove stains. For clothing, use a grease-cutting product designed to remove stains from clothing. Use stain-removal techniques before washing the clothes; once the stains set, it's very difficult to remove them. For carpets or furniture, scrape off as much as you can, then sprinkle an absorbent agent such as baking soda or cornstarch over the area. Let it work for 10 to 15 minutes, then vacuum the area. Next, apply a dry-cleaning solvent. If the stain persists, apply a mixture of 1 tablespoon of a grease-cutting dishwashing detergent with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water. Sponge the area with this mixture and blot to remove the liquid. Then blot with cold water. Attack stains as quickly as possible to allow them less time to set.

About the Author

A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.

Photo Credits

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