Grass: Frenemy of My AD Baby
Grass! It's everywhere and is used for everything in the south! It's a fall zone for playgrounds; it's a place to sit for concerts, it's a picnic, it is a playground in and of itself for kids. It's fun! It's everything you need for a fun day of play. Add some hills and you've got a good time!
Grass and my daughter's eczema
My active toddler loves to run and play so, grass is ideal for her fun...until playtime is said and done and AD rears it's ugly, itchy head all over her little arms and legs. Then the playground friend of the south becomes frenemy number one. Grass is one of the hardest triggers for us to evade because, in the south, grass and trees are everywhere!
I have worked hard to teach my toddler to walk on the sidewalks, instead of the grass, where possible. Since she first learned to walk, I have been walking around the grass by taking the sidewalks, even though this is generally the longer route. In addition to having her intentionally walk the long way around, I explain it to her. I tell her as we are walking on the sidewalk, that we do that so the grass will not irritate her skin.
Learning her triggers
Now that she is older, she often will say the same to me. She will say, "Use the sidewalk momma! Not the grass momma!" So I model this in my walk as well. Seems so simple, yet such an important thing, teaching children at the earliest ages and stages to advocate for themselves and take preventive measures for their own health.
Cut, long, or wet grass
We completely avoid freshly cut grass intentionally. Cut grass seems to irritate her more as it is more likely to cling to clothes and skin. Grass that is long is also particularly irritating so we avoid that as well. Additionally, wet grass causes instant irritation and ironically dries the skin on her legs out, so we avoid this as well. I also prefer playgrounds and parks with tarp or wood chips or other methods of different fall zones rather than grass when possible.
Playing in the grass
That being said, I do allow her to play in short well-maintained grass. I allow some grass play because depriving my daughter of the sensation of grass completely is challenging, as I know she enjoys it. When I allow her to play in grass, even well-maintained grass that is not freshly cut, wet, or long, I try to take preventative measures. For example, when I know grass will be involved in our activities of the day, I pack long pants for her to wear in the grass so that her skin does not have to touch the grass as much.
After playtime care
As soon as she is out of the grass, I use shea moisture or sensitive skin wipes and wipe her down then use moisturizer to moisturize her skin immediately. I also change her clothes so that she is not wearing her grassy clothes longer than she has to. Then, I make sure to give her a bath as soon as we get home and moisturize again.
Have you shared your eczema story with us?