Guest Post by Sonnet Parent and RN Jamie Straight
Winter is tough on our little ones’ skin. Here are a few tips to avoid unnecessary discomfort in the winter months.
- Stay hydrated. Have water readily available for your children to drink as needed. Encourage drinking water instead of fruity or carbonated beverages. Our body’s first line of defense is our skin. When the skin is dry, cracked, or open, it leaves us vulnerable to infection. Have a designated water bottle available for your child to grab on the go or when playing. Leave it in a spot where they can reach it anytime. Make sure there is a spill proof lid.
- Moisturize. Most children do not need to bathe as often in the winter. Use an unscented soap to clean your child. After a bath, pat their skin dry with a towel. Apply an unscented body lotion, cream or, as needed, a petroleum-based skin product. After bath time is best, as the skin is already moist. The creams or lotion will lock in the moisture that is already there and create a protective barrier that prevents moisture loss.
- Chapped Lips. Preventing chapped lips is best, but we all know this is nearly impossible during a Minnesota winter. Again, hydration is key. Encourage your child to drink water throughout the day. Avoid Chapstick or lip treatments that are flavored, as this may encourage lip-licking, which may further irritate the skin.
Have a routine to use Chapstick or lip treatments. Suggested times: before and after school, after playing outside, and before nap and bedtime. Send a Chapstick to school with your child’s full name on it to be used as needed. (Don’t forget to fill out the school medication form! Ask your child’s teacher for one today.)
Simple products with few ingredients, like Vaseline and Aquaphor, work great for chapped lips and dry skin. If your child doesn’t like using these products, you can put them on while they are sleeping to help lock in moisture overnight.