Kids with Eczema - Tips to Enjoy the Swimming Pool.
With summer around the corner, every kid in North America is chomping at the bit to enjoy the sunny weather and cool off in the pool. But what if your child has eczema? Are there any special precautions that you as a parent should take before letting them run into the sun and water?
First, let’s take a look at sunlight. Moderate exposure to the sun is something that everyone needs. It helps our body produce vitamin D and actually can give us a healthy mental boost throughout the day! There are also benefits for eczema suffers. Studies have shown that moderate amounts of sun can actually help the skin. The key word here is “moderate”. Anyone who suffers from eczema is much more at risk of getting a sunburn than others. When going into the sun, make sure that you are using an eczema friendly sunscreen to block the potentially damaging UV rays. Here is a great article on the best sunscreens for child eczema http://www.adrescuewear.com/blog/best-sunscreens-for-babychild-eczema/. Try to limit exposure to direct sunlight. For example, sunbathing on the beach might not be a great idea. Another consideration is the heat. A child running around in the sun is likely to sweat, which can cause drying of the skin that can trigger an eczema flare up. Sweating can also make you itchy, increasing the odds that your child will want to scratch. When they are at a very young age, make sure that you keep your eye on them and use your judgement when they have had enough. Teach them to pay attention to their own body so they can self-monitor if they still have eczema when they are a little older.
Now, the best way to cool off from the sun in the summer is obviously swimming! Many eczema parents have concerns about pools, as they use chemicals to keep the water clean and bacteria free. If you know for sure that your child has a sensitivity to any of the chemicals in the water, usually chlorine, then swimming in that pool is probably out. But if there are no known reactions, then there is no reason why your child can’t have some fun in the pool! It is a great form of exercise that won’t cause sweating. There are just a few things you have to keep in mind. First, moisturizing before heading into the pool can help protect the skin from the drying chemicals. If you are swimming outside, then using moisturizing sunscreen is an absolute must. Second, try to moderate the amount of time you spend in the water. If your fingers are wrinkly, it is probably well past time to get out. Third, make sure that you have a thorough shower immediately after swimming to wash away all of those chemicals that could dry on your skin. And lastly, replace any essential oils or moisture that you may have lost while swimming by using an ointment or cream immediately after the shower.
Keep in mind that all of these tips may not apply to all people. Everyone’s skin reacts differently, and what is totally fine for one person may cause an eczema flare up in another. Pay attention, keep the skin protected, and enjoy the summer fun!