So we are all well & truly back to school right now, and no doubt for some of you, your child’s eczema has decided to go right off the deep end!
The first few weeks back to school can be a real test for kids with eczema, especially those with dust mite, mold or pollen allergies. Classrooms that have been locked up for the 6wk summer break can be a breading ground for all the things that can trigger eczema.
So, if your child is coming home from school, tearing themselves apart, what can you do to help your little one with eczema? We want them to settle into school so they can have fun with their peers. So, here are a few handy hints for dealing with eczema at school.
- The first thing I suggest is knowing your triggers. Do YOU actually know what triggers your child’s eczema? If not, this is a critical step in eczema management & I highly recommend taking the time to figure this out. (If you’re not sure where to start, come and talk to us at Allerchic & we can help you).
- Next, I highly recommend talking to your class teacher. Your child spends 6 or more hours with their class teacher 5days a week so, it’s important to get their information. Awesome teachers can give you amazing insights like; they are scratching from the moment they walk in the door; it only seems to be after sport, maybe its after recess or lunch. Is it after they have visited the library or sat on the floor for group activities? All of this valuable information can help you come up with a management plan.
- You also need to know the school’s medication policy. Topical steroids & even moisturising creams are classified as medications & if your child requires application at school its important to know the school’s policy. You may just need to sit down with your office staff & come up with a care plan or you may need an action plan from your GP or specialist. Either way its important to get this clarified.
- Next, you need to come up with a treatment plan. Again, this requires great communication with your school. And I can hear some of you saying now; “But Steph my school are hopeless there is no way they are going to take anything I suggest on board.” To this is I say; I know exactly where you are coming from, but you know what, for your child’s sake you have to try. And if you still can’t come up with a workable plan for eczema at school, then we move to managing the fallout.
I have had school years where communication has broken down at school, whether that be in the office or classroom & Dr prescribed treatment plans were not followed. If this happens then we ride with it & treat as soon as you get home. While its not fun, this might mean coming straight home from school for a water-soluble oil bath & wet wrapping before moving off to after school activities.
- Things you may like to include in your treatment plan include; sending a clean face washer to school daily (that can be used in a mini wet wrap). Cutting a Yoga Mat in half & leaving a square in the classroom to avoid sitting on the carpet & one for outside activities where sitting on the grass may be required. Sending your own soap or cleanser into class. Cotton gloves for crafting or playing in the sandpit.
As with managing any condition, communication is the key. Don’t assume that school are aware of your child’s medical history or that your previous school, preschool or daycare will have passed on their records & management plans.
Eczema awareness has slowly started filtering through our schools & I think now more than ever we understand that eczema is so much more than “just a rash.” Its life impacting. Kids can’t concentrate, they can’t sit still, become irritable & even “naughty” if the itch is so bad that they just can not focus on anything else. Its really important to make sure that your school understand the impact an eczema flare up has on their lives. And it all starts with good communication. And its never too late to start that conversation.
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