Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition affecting one in five of our children. For some the condition is just a mild discomfort but for others the rash and itchiness are quite severe causing disruptions to normal daily life. Eczema affects mainly young children and most will grow out of it by the age of 5.
Unfortunately not all children will outgrow their eczema by the time they go to school. It is estimated that the average classroom will contain between 1 and 5 children with eczema. Having eczema at school and feeling like you are different to the other children can be very stressful for a child.
To make this transition easier for the child it is important that your child’s teacher knows that your child has eczema and what she can do to help.
- Pack a special soap and soft towel for your child to use
- The teacher needs to be aware of how to cope if your child has an itching attack and that a flare up can make your child tired and lack concentration
- Ensure the teacher understands the dangers of your child coming in contact with infectious diseases such as impetigo or cold sores.
- Ensure your child has emollients in his bag that can be applied during the day especially after activities that will dry the skin
- Ask for your child to be sat away from open windows and radiators as overheating can trigger a flare up.
- If swimming at school, ensure the teacher knows that your child will need extra time to shower and apply emollients afterwards. Applying a barrier ointment before swimming may also be beneficial.
- Sport is beneficial for your child, however it can prove embarrassing as overheating can provoke symptoms. Ensure your child’s sport teacher understands this and allows time after the lesson for your child to shower and apply emollients.
- Most importantly your child must understand the importance of caring for their skin and applying their emollients. If your child is co-operative with their skin care your battle is half won.