Eczema-prone skin, baby’s skin dryness: how can you talk about it at the nursery?

It is time to entrust the care of your child to a nursery or to school. We have a few advices for you

Written in partnership with Dr. Clarence De BELILOVSKY, dermatologist & member of the Mustela experts' circle.

Initiating a dialogue with the childcare worker about your child's eczema-prone skin's symptoms and signs
It is time to entrust the care of your child to a nursery or to school. Is it also time to talk about his or her eczema-prone skin? Why not! First of all, there is no shame in being affected. It is true that atopic dermatitis is a skin problem, but it is also common and, most important, non-contagious.

You will probably find that the childcare worker, teacher or someone else from the nursery is already well-informed on this topic. With nearly 15% of infants and 20% of children under age seven affected1, your child will not be an exception.

In any case, the choice to share information about it is yours: you will always be the one to decide, according to your child’s sensitivity, the context, the people you choose to talk to, and so on.

Eczema-prone skin: advice and best practices to make community life easier
If you hesitate to talk about it, don’t worry, you don’t have to linger over the details. Informing the teaching staff as of your first visits is only going to help them to welcome, take care of and understand your child throughout the year: 

- “He is tired and grumpy…He hasn’t slept well because of a flare-up.” You just have to say a few words in the morning so that the staff members aren’t surprised by his bad mood, drowsiness or lack of concentration. At the nursery or in the first year of preschool, they will even be able to let him catch up on his sleep, should the opportunity arise.

- “Does he occasionally have some red patches?” “Sometimes.” If his classmates or their parents look at him suspiciously or are worried, the staff will be able to explain and reassure them so that your child is not left out. You can also provide useful information for them to convey: eczema-prone skin is not due to a lack of hygiene, for example, and there is no risk of infecting the little boy or girl sitting next to your child!

- “If his skin is itchy, extra special care and attention would be great!” Once warned, the staff will pay particular attention when changing his nappies, dressing him, and so on.

- If there are assigned tables in the classroom, your child’s place should be far from any heat source like a radiator or a window with strong sunlight. Knowing about his eczema, and the environmental factors that contribute to it, will help his school teacher to choose a suitable nd so onplace. 

- Some foods could contribute to his eczema – only your doctor can give you the right diagnosis. If necessary, he might offer you an individualised support plan for feeding your child. If there is no risk identified, then the same menu goes for everyone!

If you still don’t know what to do, this simple question might help you decide: What is less stressful: to talk about it or to say nothing? Sometimes, you just have to follow your intuition.

1 Source : Fondation Dermatite Atopique

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