Keeping to a skincare routine is SO important for children with eczema. But what happens when your child starts school and you have to hand over that care to the teachers? MyItchyBoy’s mum tells us about some of the challenges that this can bring.
Me: Why are you walking like that?
Are his shoes rubbing the eczema on his ankles again, I wonder anxiously?
Me: How long have your shoes been on the wrong feet?
MyItchyBoy: Ermm…we had dancing this morning…
Me: *despairing sigh*
Last week he came out at home time with his jumper on the wrong way around (there is an embroidered logo that’s supposed to be on the front – hard to miss).
This week he came out with his shirt on inside out.
I pulled it up to turn it back in the right way to go home and that’s when I noticed his trousers were on the wrong way around. He’d been in the classroom since PE class (10am) with his trousers on back to front and his shirt on inside out.
I wasn’t too worried that he’d been walking around all day inside out. In fact I thought it was quite funny.
Then, I realised that neither the teacher, nor the two TA’s in the classroom had noticed. Or, if they had, there were not allowed to do anything about it. Either possibility was not good.
A child with eczema needs two things at school at this age: Someone to notice when they are itchy and need cream on, and someone to put cream on.
If no one can tell if my son is walking around like he just fell out the laundry basket, how will they notice when he’s scratching his legs through his trouser pockets? Mind you, when they are on the wrong way round, he can’t get to the pockets, so they are maybe onto something….
And, if they are not allowed to help him turn his sweatshirt the right way around then how are they helping him put cream on when he is really scratchy?
This one I can answer: They don’t.
They have some cream in the classroom where they are allowed to squirt some on his hand for him to apply. This means he can put it on his hands and face only. My four year old is not yet able to pull his socks down or sleeves up with one hand and apply cream with the other. Nor is he able to hold his shirt up and put cream on his lower back.
MyItchyBoy certainly lacks practice in dressing himself – we usually do it for him to protect his clothes as he’s smothered in cream first. I know he’ll catch up on that in time. In the meantime, he’s taking a big step up by being made responsible for knowing when he needs cream and putting it on himself during school hours.
You can read more from MyItchyBoy here.