This post continues to explore childcare alternatives for your child and in greater details, how pre-schooling has turned out for my baby.
For a mom with eczema child, sending your child to a preschool may be fraught with anxiety and questions such as ‘Will the teachers be able to manage the eczema?’ or ‘Will my child catch viruses and end up suffering from asthma (Allergic March)?’ I’m very glad that my baby is blessed and after over a year of childcare, she’s happy and thriving.
Marcie’s Pre-School Journey
My baby, Marcie, started pre-schooling when she could crawl, almost walk and her eczema was much improved after a one-time oral steroid course. I visited a few preschools and selected one which was close to my (and my parents’) home. The preschool, PCF Little Wings, is clean and the infant care teachers are vigilant and love Marcie. The school is also very open to learning more about eczema and I contributed an article to their newsletter here. The first week was difficult as Marcie wasn’t used to being taken care by others, often resorting to scratching when stressed. She did come back with a pretty bad scratch on her scalp but by the second week, she was eating well, putting on weight and made friends.
By 2 year old, Marcie transitioned to another toddler school and it’s another anxious time for me because the teacher-student ratio was lower and I was afraid that she couldn’t get the additional skincare attention. However, Marcie coped remarkably well and the additional dancing, gym, language and painting classe have distracted her from scratching on most days.
Does Pre-School Make Your Child Fall Sick?
It’s inevitable that in a class of ten, there would be days that a child is ill and not detected. Moreover, for a child whose eczema is triggered by heat, one of the key considerations would be a preschool that is air-conditioned. However, with that, it will be a higher chance of viruses spreading within an enclosed environment and worse, if it’s within an office building that windows cannot be opened. Marcie did fall sick for the first time when she attended school but her immune system held up most of the time. I’ve read that the best time for a child to start preschool is around one year old, where statistics show they fall sick less often and less likelihood of allergic march.
As for whether preschool’s have a protective impact on child’s immunity given the exposure to more children (and more virus), research is not conclusive as you can read in this post.
Final Note – Good Practice for Parents
Naturally as a parent of an eczema child, you would be reading up much more about eczema; don’t expect the school to be equally informed and be patient to explain what eczema is and what triggers your child’s eczema. On the first day, explain clearly to the teachers how you shower your child, change her diaper, when and how much you moisturize and have it all written on paper for teachers’ easy reference. Once you’re comfortable that the teachers and you are on the same page with regards to skincare, trust them. Don’t assume that they are not doing as you instructed and don’t get worked up over any occasional eczema flare your child may have after-school. Remember, eczema comes and goes and pre-school teachers have a stressful job. Show appreciation, I buy chocolates and cakes whenever there’s an occasion to do so!
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