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Eczema, Daycare, and Parenting

We all have our retrospective, reflective moments. One of my greatest moments of retrospect is how atopic dermatitis affected my daughter in December. My daughter missed so many days of school due to her atopic dermatitis and her teacher was concerned that perhaps it was something else.

Missing work because of eczema

As an educator, I understand the necessity of precaution, especially given the varying looks and locations of her breakouts and flare-ups. I understand that the safety of the class as a whole must be considered and that it is always better to be safe than sorry. But, as a parent, it devastates me that I lost so much time at work. Additionally, we took financial losses due to copays and missing days at work.

Missing school because of eczema

But what concerns me and dismays me the most is the amount of time my daughter missed at daycare. She missed time:

  • Time playing with her friends
  • Time learning through play every day she was gone
  • Time building relationships and making connections with peers
  • Opportunities for learning through watching her friends at school model and demonstrate life skills like using a fork or spoon, sitting at the table to eat and staying there, or using pencils and crayons
  • Opportunities to practice using her fine motor and gross motor skills
  • Multiple story times, songs, and fun

Disrupted routine

To an untrained eye, perhaps it seems insignificant; perhaps I am making a mountain out of a molehill. Perhaps I am overthinking and I will even concede that half of the aforementioned can be done at home. But, it’s not the same. It’s not her daily routine. She was robbed of days of her usual beloved routine and friends. Her ailment took away from her opportunities. And knowing that she missed out and sacrificed so much in December is no trivial thing for me.

Parenting a child with eczema

In each moment she missed school for what I knew was atopic dermatitis, and not anything contagious or anything that warranted her missing days, I was a supportive and understanding parent. Each time I empathized as a fellow educator and took precaution for other students.

But in doing that, I feel as though I neglected to be the best atopic dermatitis advocate I could have been for my daughter. I neglected to act with urgency in the moments she needed me most. I neglected to act in her best interest and insist. I neglected to be a teacher and supporter of atopic dermatitis by not educating her daycare provider.

Advocating for child eczema

For a toddler, my daughter knows quite a few phrases and words and uses them well in context, but she is not yet in a place where she can voice her feelings. So, as her advocate and caretaker, I have to be that voice. I should have spoken up and explained that atopic dermatitis comes in all different shapes, sizes, and colors sometimes.

I should have shown and told her teacher what to look for. I should have told her that my baby is fine! That her skin is beautiful and perfect and that her AD is a part of her beautiful unique skin and not anything contagious or that warrants her to be removed or secluded from her friends. I should have told her that my daughter has atopic dermatitis but atopic dermatitis will NOT have my daughter and my daughter will not miss opportunities or experiences because of her skin condition!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.