How to Plan for a Summer Vacation with an Eczema Child
Summer vacations are in full swing, but at AD RescueWear we understand that traveling with a child with eczema can be a daunting venture. If you’re considering a trip with an eczema child, you might be wondering if it’s even a good idea to try to travel at all. But yes, it is possible to travel safely. It’s just important to plan your trip carefully in advance.
Below are some tips to keep your child’s eczema under control. Whether it’s trains, planes, or automobiles, the less eczema you experience, the more you will enjoy your vacation.
Tips for an Eczema-Free Vacation
Bring your child’s normal eczema creams/medications with you.
This is the #1 item you must plan for. Eczema is miserable if you don’t have your eczema medication, or favorite eczema cream or eczema emollient. Eczema can easily flare up when you don’t follow your daily skin maintenance schedule.
Also, eczema will flare up if you or your child comes in contact with irritants or allergens. Those irritants are out of your control while traveling so it’s imperative that you bring all of your creams and medications with you. Even if your child is not currently suffering with eczema, it’s worth taking “just in case”.
Packing eczema creams and medications
Be sure to pack eczema creams and medications in your carry-on, not in your checked luggage. Airlines lose bags all the time and you do not want to lose your medication. Keep in mind that if your flight is cancelled you may not be able to get your bag or if you miss your connecting flight your bag may make it and you may end up in a hotel that night with no medication. Putting your child’s necessary medication and creams in your carry-on will ensure it’s there when you need it.
If you’re concerned about space, or about the volume of cream allowed, you can pack liquids, creams, and gels in travel bottles. Make sure to pack your proper size bottles in a quart sized ziplock bag in your carry-on for airplane voyages. Check your airline’s website for the latest requirements before packing and always plan for the worse.
You may also ask your doctor for eczema creams in sample sizes. However, don’t skimp! If you’re going on a longer trip and the travel size is too small to last the entire time, pack some in your carry-on and then the full sized or larger bottles in your luggage. Otherwise, it’s Murphy’s Law that just when you’ll end up needing it the most, you will run out.
If you are set against taking medication with you, at least write down the name of the creams and strength that you need so that you can discuss it with a pharmacist or doctor if necessary.
Try to keep daily skin maintenance routines the same while traveling. It’s best to bathe or rinse off your child before bed to remove any allergens or irritants from the day and to apply the prescribed creams and emollients.
Dealing with dietary triggers for eczema
Just as new environments can cause eczema to flare up, so can dietary changes while travelling. Eczema can be triggered by a change in diet from eating out; either from eating unusual foods or from ingesting hidden ingredients at restaurants. When traveling, you need to decide whether or not you want to risk flare ups from dietary triggers by restricting food consumption to your usual foods, or if you want to try to experiment with new foods. You may find that some adventurous eating will not result in an eczema flare up, or that it’s worth the risk. This is a personal choice, but be aware of the possible consequences and make the choice consciously.
If your child known has food allergies, pack some allergy friendly snacks. Eczema can flare from ingesting allergens such as dairy, gluten, soy, etc. Airport food is notoriously terrible; healthy, allergy friendly snacks are virtually non-existent. The same can be said for road trips; truck stops and gas stations rarely have allergy friendly foods so stock-up in advance and pack your own. It's no fun having a hungry child with a food allergy who is surrounded by food but can’t eat any of it.
If possible, bring your own set of sheets and a towel for your child. Hotels can use harsh detergents and perfumes when they launder sheets and towels. These harsh detergents can irritate your child’s skin and cause an eczema flare.
Bring your child’s shampoo and body wash and don’t try those provided by the hotel. It’s not worth the risk. There’s a very good chance that your ezema-prone child will be sensitive to chemicals. It’s best to keep the same routine including use of the same products.
Research in advance where you could take your child if eczema does flare up. Is there a convenient care or emergency room near your hotel? Is there a pharmacy close by where you would be able to pick-up a prescription, or an over the counter cream/emollient? It’s nice to know this information in advance in case your cell phone has spotty service or your hotel charges for Wi-Fi.
Try bleach baths as a form of prevention.
Bleach baths are a great way to stave off possible skin infection that could lead to an eczema break out. Bleach is easily accessible at most grocery stores and convenience stores. Always talk to your child’s doctor before administering a bleach bath and follow instructions carefully. (link to the bleach bath article)
Don’t wait for treatment.
If your child experiences an eczema flare up while traveling don’t wait to treat it. Eczema can become infected in humid climates so the faster you start treatment the better.
Traveling can be stressful and eczema loves stress. If you or your child has eczema, travel can certainly present a number of challenges but you can take the above steps to help minimize the likelihood of an eczema flare up.
From all of us at AD RescueWear, we wish you happy traveling and fun with your family. We also hope you have minimal eczema!