Parenting: Dry skin in the winter blues
February 8, 2012 (WPVI) -- If your young children are like mine, they love to go outside even when it's cold.They barely leave their gloves and knit caps on for 5 minutes, so it's a challenge to keep them warm, much less protect their skin from winter's cold dry air.
What can you do to prevent dry, itchy skin or more serious cracks and bleeding from skin that is so tender?
The American Academy of Pediatrics has some practical ideas that may help.You can check their website at AAP.org for many articles on children's skin problems, preventions and treatments.
Here's the gist of their Winter Weather Skin Survival Tips:
1. Bathe your children less in the winter, 2 or 3 times a week is generally fine as long as you're cleaning their diaper area regularly (I use wipes or a washcloth after each diaper change).
2. Don't' use bubble bath or regular soap in the bathtub or shower. Use a mild or "sensitive skin" type of soap.
3. Don't' rub them dry with the towel. Pat their skin gently and leave it a little moist.
4. Put on moisturizer while their skin is still wet. Preferably a baby lotion, or "sensitive skin" type of moisturizer. Children with really dry skin might need lotion put on twice a day. And give their hands and feet extra lotion and an extra treatment later too.
5. Use petroleum jelly or chap stick on their lips and sometimes on the end of their noses if they have had a cold and it's a little raw from tissues. I even put Vaseline on my twins' cheeks before we go out for a wintry walk because their skin gets so red from the cold otherwise (they're aged 1 ½ yrs. now).
6. Try to have your child drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids in the winter to keep their bodies and skin hydrated.
7. I still have my young twins wear the footie-style pajamas, not only to keep them warm, but to keep them from rubbing off the lotion I just put on their legs and feet before bed.
Call your pediatrician if your child's skin begins to look white and crusty or if it starts to bleed.
A little prevention goes a long way toward keeping your child's skin smooth and moist.
monica malpass parenting reports, parenting, monica malpass
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