Children, especially toddlers are prone to a lot of illnesses that can give you scares. While you cannot prevent certain ailments, you can be cautious and ready to help them out when they break down.
Itchy skin is a common childhood complaint. Unfortunately, itching the skin usually only makes a rash worse and perpetuates the discomfort. Parents often wonder why their child is itching her skin and what they can do to help relieve the itching.
Here are some things that may cause your child to itch and what you can do to help out.
- Dry skin – A toddler’s skin is more likely to get dry than ours because it’s delicate. Air conditioning and central heating can cause it as they both rob the skin of its natural moisture. If your child goes swimming a lot, the chlorine in the water can also cause their skin to go dry. So does taking a bath: this is because bathing removes a child’s natural oils.
Solution – You can help soothe your child’s skin by applying natural gentle oils like coconut oil after a short bath. Do not allow them stay in water for too long, especially treated water.
- Allergies – food, plants, fabrics, all these can trigger allergies in your toddler’s immune system when they respond badly. An allergic reaction can cause your toddler to be itchy as well as sneeze, swell up, get a runny nose or wheeze.
Solution – take your child to the hospital immediately as allergies vary and it is NOT advisable to use over the counter medication when you are not certain what your child is reacting too. If you are aware of your child’s allergic reaction, offer medication immediately.
- Heat rash/prickly heat – Heat rash or prickly heat happens when your child sweats more than usual. The sweat glands become blocked and form itchy bumps. When a child is placed in an environment that is too humid for their skin, they may also break out in rashes.
Solution- Air the surroundings, and apply dusting powder or powders specifically for prickly heat.
- Eczema– There is no one cause of eczema, but it’s often hereditary.
Solution – See a pediatrician and keep the area oiled and clean.
- Dandruff – It is caused by an overproduction of the oil sebum and can cause your child to itch.
Solution – Keep the scalp oiled, clean and use dandruff specialized creams.
- Nappy rash – Nappy rash is not just a problem that appears in babies, toddlers who still wear nappies can get it, too. It happens because of the wetness from their wee or poo.
Solution – Keep diaper or pants dry. Clean up and dry them after they poop or wee to avoid the rash. If the rash is already there, apply a nappy rash cream prescribed by your child’s pediatrician.
- Fungal infection such as ringworm – Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection. “It is caused by the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot,” says Dr Tim Clayton, a consultant paediatric dermatologist. “Anyone who comes into contact with an infected person or animal can catch it.”
Solution – An antifungal cream would need to be administered depending on the size of the worm and stage of the infection. Of course, you would need to see a doctor for this.