Sarah just turned 8 years old in August. She is a cheerful child with a sunny disposition. This summer has been especially enjoyable for her; she had a blast hanging out with her cousins down the Jersey Shore. As the first day of school rapidly approaches, Sarah is becoming more stressed about returning back to school this year. One night, prompted by her parents’ tactful inquiry, Sarah shared her source of concerns.
“I am worried that my rash will come back again this fall,” said Sarah with a sorrowful look. “Last year, that itchy, red rash on my arms and neck was really ugly looking. My friends, and even Olympia (her best friend), kept on asking me what it was. It made me feel weird.”
Many children with eczema feel the same way as Sarah. Eczema affects nearly 8 to 10% of children in the United States. Many kids with eczema already struggle with self-esteem issues. They may feel embarrassed of flare-ups, and experience physical and emotional discomfort.
Unfortunately, it is common for kids with eczema to experience unwelcomed attention, ranging from innocent questions about their rash to overt bullying. Rejection and isolation by their peers can impact negatively on eczema suffers, even as they grow into adults. Studies have shown that kids with eczema have a higher risk to develop depression and behavioral problems.
As a parent, it is be painful to know and watch your child dealing with these problems. Fortunately, there are a number of actions you can take to boost their confidence.
Be aware of your child’s mood. Young children are more open and willing to share their problems. However, teenagers can be more challenging. Patience is often needed. Your children may not verbally express their feelings, but you can perhaps correlate their mood with the severity and flare of their eczema disease.
Educate the Teachers
Knowledge is power. Explain to your child’s teachers and nurses about eczema. Make sure they understand that the rash is not contagious to other kids. Also, make everyone aware of how common this skin condition is; there are more than 35 million Americans who have it. With this knowledge, teachers can properly educate kids when the occasion arises.
Building an accepting environment at school is crucial. To do this effectively, you can join the PTA, help with school activities, and know your child’s friends well. These actions not only help your child to do well in school, it also allows you to spot the first signs of stress and bullying your child may experience.
Confidence is built from the inside out. Your child may feel like eczema is the only thing people will notice and that there is something wrong with him or her. Remind your child of the many positive skills and talents that make him or her unique. Accurate and well deserved praising goes a long way to boost self-esteem!
Teach Your Child
Learning more about eczema can help your child feel in control. Read pamphlets and educational blogs about eczema or consult your dermatologist with any other questions. Explain to your child that eczema can often go away when they grow up. Also, there are effective treatments and natural remedies that can help to soothe the skin and prevent flare-ups. This empowers him or her to be more proactive.
Exercise can help your child feel good physically and mentally. He or she can participate in team sports, yoga, or dance, depending on preference. The endorphins from exercise combined with socializing with kids who share similar interests can help give your child’s confidence a jumpstart!
As you prepare for the upcoming school year, utilize these tips along with our itch relieving eczema ointment your supplies to keep your child confident and overcome the battle with eczema.
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