During the summer, it is quite difficult to take your kids home. They would love to play outdoors, swim, and enjoy the sun all day long. Unfortunately, playing around and exploring can leave children with more than just summertime memories. High humidity combined with the strong sun can lead to several skin problems in kids. As a parent, you should know how to identify and prevent common skin rashes.
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, appears as patches of dry, scaly, red skin. This condition usually flares up in the heat. It can also be triggered by chlorine exposure, a number of allergies, excessive sweating, polyester clothing, insect repellents, and overexposure to the sun. Obviously, you can’t keep your kids at home during the whole summer season. There are specific strategies that parents can apply in order to prevent eczema flare-ups in kids.
First of all, moisture your kids’ skin every time they go outside, even if they are going to play in the shadow. You should apply a thick layer of moisturizer twice a day. Make sure your children don’t overheat. Also, give them plenty of water to drink during the day. Keep in mind that fluids such as juices and soft drinks don’t help hydrate the skin as much as clean, cold water.
Secondly, it is necessary to have an eczema soap and creams in your first aid kit, especially if you are traveling with children to the seaside. In case your kids experience eczema symptoms, explain to them that scratching can damage their skin, and lead to infection.
In the case of toddlers, it is recommended to keep their fingernails short in order to avoid excessive scratching.
Also, dress your kids wisely for the outdoors. When it’s hot outside, choose clothes made of breathable fabrics – rayon, linen, cotton, and denim. It will help your kids to prevent sweating and overheating.
Swimming is an integral part of summer vacation. Kids can spend hours in the water. Parents should be aware of tiny parasites that can cause cercarial dermatitis or digger’s itch (mostly known as ‘swimmer’s itch’). The parasites are hiding in the oceans, lakes, and rivers. The symptoms of swimmer’s itch are:
- Red spots
- Blisters and welts
The first symptoms may appear within a couple of hours after swimming. Some kids are more sensitive to these skin problems than others are. To avoid swimmer’s itch, don’t allow your kids to swim in the marshy areas. There are a lot of snails that attract birds (e.g., gulls, duck, goose) which spread the parasites. Also, don’t feed the birds near swimming areas.
Parasites become active when water on the skin evaporates – that’s why you should dry children with a towel every time they come out of the water. Rinse your kids’ skin with clean water if possible. Also, it is recommended to wash the swimming suits every day. Apply waterproof sunscreen – it can protect skin from the parasites.
If your kids have swimmer’s itch, help them avoid scratching and apply a cold compress on exposed skin. You can also try some home remedies such as baking soda. If the symptoms don’t clear up on its own after three days, make an appointment with a dermatologist.
Parents try to do their best to prevent sunburn in children. However, it still happens. Sunburn is considered one of the most common skin problems in kids during the summertime. Here are the symptoms of sunburn:
- Red skin
Help your kids avoid getting sunburned by applying a water-resistant sunscreen before they go to play outside. Also, make sure your children spend more time in the shadow since no sunscreen can entirely block ultraviolet radiation. Your kids should always wear hats – it can help to prevent a heat stroke.
If your children get sunburned, here is what you should do:
- Keep them hydrated.
- Cool them down (take them to shower or apply a cold compress).
- Use gels or lotions with aloe vera.
- Use a painkiller (only in case of swelling). Contact your doctor to learn about the dosage for your children.
- Protect their skin by dressing them into a lightweight, woven clothing.
- Don’t pop blisters.
Call the doctor if your children have vomiting, cramping, or dizziness that doesn’t get better with time.
Help your kids avoid getting bitten by the insects in the parks and forests. Specific bugs (ants, bees, wasps, ticks, etc.) can cause an allergic reaction and blisters.
Before you go camping, apply repellents that contain soybean oil or citronella to your kids’ clothing. Make sure they wear light-colored shirts with long sleeves. Children should not wear the same clothing two days in a row in case you apply any insect repellent on it (it contains chemicals that can cause an allergic reaction).
Apply a cold compress (or ice pack) in case of redness or swelling. To relieve itching, mix baking soda with cold water and rub it into the skin. Contact a dermatologist if your children have been bitten or stung near the mouth.