Taking care of your kids’ dry winter skin

Here in Michigan, I think Spring has finally sprung!  I’m so grateful.  I’m not a winter-hater, but these last few months have been positively brutal.

Our kids notice it too.  My eight-year-old already wants to wear shorts.  Perhaps your kiddos do as well, and maybe you’ve noticed those legs looking a little on the dry side as the months of winter air have taken their toll.  They don’t only appear dry, but they can also be itchy.  We can see this especially easily on our little ones with brown legs.  So how do we get them moisturized and ready for the welcome heat of summer?  Here are a few thoughts:

  • Water: Start from the inside out and get those sweeties drinking. You, too, Dad and Mom. It’s good for all of us. In Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, MD’s book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, half your weight in ounces is recommended daily. In other words, take your weight, divide by 2, and that’s the number of ounces you need. For a 50lb child, that’s 25oz, or just a bit over three cups throughout the course of the day. If you can get them to drink a cup before school, you have a great start.
  • Healthy Fats: Again, from the inside out, also add healthy fats. Avocado is a great option. Kid skeptical about green things? Hide ‘em, clever Mamas. Blend an avocado with a banana, a little cocao powder, and a bit of maple syrup and you have a tasty “pudding”. Coconut oil is another good option; you can blend it into a fruit smoothie. Be creative.
  • Coconut Oil: Nothing absorbs into dry skin quite like coconut oil. It’s nourishing and immediately moisturizing. I stay away from lotions, as many of them have fragrances, alcohols, and other substances that can appear to moisturize immediately but contribute to dryness over the long haul. As a bonus, a coconut oil massage can relax your child and provide that healing human touch we all need. This can become a really wonderful time of bonding at bedtime a couple of times each week. Watch for sales; coconut oil can be pricey, but it’s very effective so once you’re moisturized you can use it to maintain.
  • Oatmeal: Make tub time do double duty. Put some rolled oats in a sock and fit that sock over the bathtub faucet as you run the bathwater for your little ones. The water will cloud up and become a little slippery with compounds from those oats, giving your child’s skin a nice bit of moisture. Hang the sock to dry and it’ll usually be good for one more bath the next day. When finished, turn the sock inside out and dump the oats into the trash.

Remember, parents, this is all good for you, too.  That winter air can be tough on everyone’s skin.  Take a minute here and there to care for yourself as you care for your babies.  It’ll teach them good bodily stewardship.  This summer, be sure to share these tips with others as they notice the gleaming skin your family has.  Enjoy!

For more on hair and skin, visit this article previously posted in Bethany’s Life Lines publication. http://viewer.epaperflip.com/Viewer.aspx?docid=01e8e7c9-f67e-4927-89ab-a1fd0124ece9#?page=22

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