There are two types of kids: those who love gym class and those who don't.
For athletic children, gym just… rocks. They get to exert themselves, getting rid of their excess energy, and just have a great time playing whatever game or physical activity is taught in class that day. For children who are not so athletic, gym class can be a different story. It can be genuinely embarrassing for many children not to be good at sports, and there is nothing like a gym class to draw attention to that fact.
If you have an older eczema child (well, an eczema kid technically), they might need to face the locker room to put on gym shorts and t-shirts. If they suffer from eczema on the body or wear Eczema Wraps under their clothes, they will be seen by the other children. This can inspire questions, self-consciousness, and possibly even bullying.
Similarly to how you would keep your eczema child’s regular teacher informed about their eczema, it might be a good idea to talk to their gym teacher about it as well. Inform them about the details of your eczema child’s condition, along with things to look out for during gym class. If your eczema child needs to leave class because of a flare up, make sure that their gym teacher knows to allow it right away.
Equip your eczema child with lightweight and loose fitting cotton workout clothes, so their skin can breathe while they are exercising. Eczema Wraps, such as our Eczema Sleeves, Eczema Socks, and Eczema Gloves, can also be very useful during gym class to keep their skin soothed. Just make sure that they have some clean, spare eczema wraps in their backpack to put on after all their exercise.
Although exercise by itself is rarely an eczema trigger, heat and sweat can be. Some people experience eczema flare ups when they are overheated, and there is nothing like vigorous exercise to really warm you up. Make sure your eczema child knows to take it easy if they start to feel overheated, and always have cold water at hand to cool them down. Although sweat isn’t an eczema trigger, the salt that is left on the skin when it evaporates can irritate already existing eczema flare ups, as well as pull moisture from the skin. Thankfully, gym class is usually followed by showers, so the sodium should be washed away almost immediately. Make sure that your eczema kid knows to keep the temperature of their shower lukewarm and not to spend too much time under the water. Likewise, make sure they have an Eczema-Safe Cleanser with them so they can avoid the harsh soaps that are probably available to the other students.
If your eczema child feels self-conscious about underdressing in front of other kids because of their eczema, talk to their teacher about possibly letting them change in one of the bathrooms instead. If they experience any bullying in the locker room, make sure they know to immediately tell their teacher, and inform you when they return home that day. You and their gym teacher, plus the school administration, can take action from there.
If your eczema child frequently experiences debilitating eczema, you can talk to the school to exempt them from gym class entirely. Some schools might be reluctant to allow this, so you may need to talk to a dermatologist to get official documentation about their condition.
Gym class should be fun for kids. By taking some of these precautions, you can maximize your eczema child’s enjoyment or, if they HATE gym class, at the very least minimize their dislike!
Please remember information on our blog is not meant to be medical advice or designed to replace a physician’s judgement for treatment. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.