If there’s an infant or toddler in your house who isn’t potty trained, sooner or later he or she will need a diaper change.
This month in our Mind, Body, Spirit section, we’re taking a look at two health issues affecting children.
Diaper Rash Prevention
If there’s an infant or toddler in your house who isn’t potty trained, sooner or later he or she will need a diaper change. Diaper rash can develop if there’s too much time between changes, leaving a baby’s bottom red, sore and tender to the touch. It can also leave a baby in pain, fussy and crying.
Diaper rash happens most often in babies age 8 to 18 months, and it usually resolves within a few days with over-the-counter (OTC) treatment. If it does not get better after 2 to 3 days of home treatment, or if the rash gets worse (it spreads, develops pus-filled blisters, or he spikes a fever) then see a physician.
Here are some simple steps to help avoid diaper rash:
Try to keep the diaper area as clean and dry as possible
Smooth on an OTC diaper cream every time you change a diaper (A+D, Balmex, or zinc oxide paste) to prevent a rash — these creams can also be used on skin with a rash to soothe the irritated area
Air is your friend — every now and then let the diaper area catch a some air for a little while (heavy ointments impede air flow, so opt for a cream instead)
Avoid tight fitting plastic diaper pants
Avoid using talcum powders as inhaled talc can harm a baby’s lungs
Move up to a slightly larger size diaper while the baby’s bottom is still red to minimize irritation
Avoid washing the area with scented soaps or using scented baby wipes — opt for unscented products made for sensitive skin
Help Your Child Handle Worry
We think they should have nothing to worry about since, let’s face it, they don’t have bills to pay, or traffic to fight. In reality, kids worry about a lot of things. Some are under their control — like getting good grades; and some things are not — like their parents’ divorce. Excessive worry can even grow into a debilitating ailment like generalized anxiety disorder. Here are a few tips to help your child keep worry under control:
Help him figure out what’s bothering him. The first step in tackling a problem is defining it. Perhaps he’s worried a history teacher doesn’t like him, but what’s actually eating at him is a fear of doing poorly on a test. You can help make a plan to tackle the problem, with suggestions on study habits, or simply helping him put good grades in perspective.
Urge her to write it down — the problem and potential solutions. Sometimes seeing a problem in black and white can diffuse it; maybe even bring clarity and a solution. If your daughter is worried over a fight with a friend, encourage her to write down different ways she could remedy the situation. Brainstorming solutions with an objective party is a time-tested problem-solver.
Advise your child to seek help when he’s worried. Whether it’s a parent, older sibling, trusted adult, or school counselor, sharing your feelings can help, even if the solution is not within her control. Often, simply telling someone your worries has a way of easing anxiety.