Home » Uncategorized » Kids' Corner » Eczema & Allergies » National Eczema Week – 13 to 21 September 2014

National Eczema Week – 13 to 21 September 2014

National Eczema Week - Applying Cream

Two of my girls suffer from atopic eczema, a skin condition that affects one in five children in the UK. Life can be tough for them. They start feeling the itch. They scratch.  Their skin breaks. It gets more and more itchy. They scratch some more. Patches of skin become inflamed. Clothes stick to the affected areas. Their skin gets infected. Their behaviour changes. They regress. It is a vicious circle.

“Tell them not to scratch,” I hear you say.

How about you try to stop breathing for five minutes?

“Impossible,” you reply, puzzled.

When eczema gets out of control, scratching becomes as vital to them as breathing is to all of us.

So far, we have dealt with it in the comfort of our home, but when they start school full-time and the central heating is turned on, they will be vulnerable. How will it affect them? How will other children react to their constant scratching, to the appearance of their skin?

Eczema is a visible condition, which at best will attract attention and at worst, mockery and bullying. Children are blunt. They are not always cruel intentionally, but they say things the way they see them. When they spot another child scratching, their first reaction will probably be that they have something catching.

I am not the kind of mum who wants to overprotect her children forever, but I am worried about the fact my daughters’ self-confidence might be tested when they start school. They are strong, determined little girls with fiery personalities now, but they are only human.

Today sees the launch of National Eczema Week. A brand new free resource, ‘All about eczema – an information pack for schools’ can be downloaded here. The pack is aimed at parents and teachers. It focuses on the challenges children with eczema face in the school environment and how to overcome them.

It “provides an overview of the condition with advice on how teachers can help a child with eczema to integrate into both their class and the school routine through a series of activities and lesson plan resources in different formats and for different suggested age groups, equips teachers with tools to teach their class about eczema in order to encourage understanding and compassion amongst a child’s peers.” (National Eczema Society’s website).

If you are a parent or a teacher, can you please help by ensuring schools in your area know about this free resource?

Here is a list of Helpline Live events taking place over the next few days:
Saturday 13th September – Union Square, Torquay
Sunday 14th September – Ashford County Shopping Centre, Ashford
Monday 15th September – Trafford Centre , Manchester
Tuesday 16th September – Touchwood Shopping Centre, Solihull
Wednesday 17th September – Fishergate Shopping Centre, Preston
Thursday 18th September – Kirkgate Shopping Centre, Bradford
Friday 19th September – Kingsgate Shopping Centre, Dunfermline
Saturday 20th September – Oxford Westgate Shopping Centre, Castle Street, Oxford
Sunday 21st September – Intu Watford, 201 The Harlequin, Watford

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  1. 19/09/2014 / 1:37 pm

    This is a great post, Mel, you’re doing a fab job raising awareness. That brand new pack for schools sounds like a really good idea, as I know my daughter hasn’t seen eczema before, but if the teacher simply explained it, she’d accept it and not question it further – that can be sometimes all little ones need, I think. I hope they are OK when they start school, and it sounds like you’re doing all they can to prepare, too x Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    • Mel
      20/09/2014 / 11:08 pm

      Thanks Jocelyn. The pack is pretty good. It is free and teachers can select activities they want to focus on and print them.

  2. Kim Carberry
    19/09/2014 / 7:13 pm

    Fab post!! You’re doing a great job of raising awareness!

    • Mel
      20/09/2014 / 11:02 pm

      Thanks Kim! I hope the pack helps their teachers explain what eczema is so they feel comfortable at school.

  3. Victoria Welton
    23/09/2014 / 10:16 pm

    Eczema really is such a major issue – and this coupled with asthma has affected my Mum’s side of the family for years. I used to get eczema so badly so I really feel for your little ones Mel. A great post and a great way to share. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

    • Mel
      24/09/2014 / 7:58 am

      So many people have to live with eczema… I wish there was a cure for it. It is not easy seeing people you love having to scratch constantly to relieve the awful tingling sensation & dryness they are getting on their skin.

  4. Faded Seaside Mama
    25/09/2014 / 6:06 pm

    I get mild eczema too and agree that there’s no stopping the itching so I really feel for your girls. I hope that raising awareness, both with them and among their peers will minimise the emotional hurt they may be exposed to and I hope you can find ways to make things better when they have flare ups.

    • Mel
      28/09/2014 / 11:31 pm

      It is starting to come back already… One of my girls is refusing to have ointment on at the moment (hates the greasiness), which is really frustrating as I can see her scratch but have to fight to apply what will help relieve it.

  5. AutismMumma
    30/09/2014 / 9:13 pm

    Great post and its so important to raise awareness of things that others may not see as the norm. T, D and I all have really sensitive skin so have to be aware of what we use and wear. Stress doesnt help either. Thanks for linking up with #wellbeingwednesday

    • Mel
      30/09/2014 / 9:27 pm

      Thanks a lot! I cannot even begin to imagine what it will be like when stress comes into their lives…

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