To the #SkinishMom:
Help! My kid won’t stop scratching and it’s getting impossible to keep him from it. Any ideas?
One tired mom
I know! It does get impossible sometimes to stop scratching, many times I feel like I’ve run out of eyes to watch out for it, ears to listen for it and saliva to remind not to scratch. Here are the ‘crazy’, desperate distraction tips that I’ve come out with over the 5 years. Of course, the eczema ought to be controlled too, otherwise it’s kinda unfair to expect the kid not to scratch. So here goes my quirky anti-scratching tips!
Art – You can’t paint and scratch at the same time, that’s why my bag always has an activity book and my home is stock full of them.
Burst bubble – If you’re wary of the bubble (soap) on your kid, use a long straw to burst the bubble instead.
Cloud imagination – this works if you’re out in the park and your kid starts scratching, start spying shapes in the cloud.
Dance – It’s quite difficult to dance and scratch at the same time!
Eat – this is one fav technique of grandparents, not very ideal but to them, it’s better than scratching. I would choose physical activities to burn off the extra calories after.
Force it – If your child is still a baby, you may have to hold her hands whenever you’re able to limit the scratching. There are very few distraction techniques for baby since they can’t engage in as many activities (except scratching).
Go get it – Sometimes I get my kid to get something which works to stop the scratching for a while.
Hold on to it – Same thing – can’t scratch if you’re holding onto something.
Ice – Anything cold – ice cube (works to distract in a restaurant waiting for food) or ice pad work.
Jello – Making jello takes up time, likewise pizza. I like jello though – eating a chilled one distracts scratching too.
Kiss – Kissing is distracting too! Be careful of your saliva irritating her skin though.
Lie – this one is tricky! But sometimes I tell my kid to look at this or that when there’s nothing special, then think of something special about it.
Monopoly – A board game that requires to keep moving the token, getting title deeds, counting fake money and engages the brain.
Noodles with chopsticks – This one is challenging and maybe the fingers get too tired to scratch after!
Play dough – This is fabulous, not too dirty but be sure the child understands not to eat it.
Quit saying stop scratching – At different age, you may want to actually stop saying that and watch if your kid still scratches when you’re not paying attention to it. Read about reinforcing positives, instead of focusing on what not to do here.
Relax – Stress can be ‘caught’ by your kid, so relax and see if it helps.
Sing – Sing a funny noise, skin-related or not. Make up songs of My Little Pony, Frozen or about anything!
Tickle – this one always works!
Unite – whatever distraction tips (somewhat equal parenting style cos there’s so much time devoted to distracting an eczema kid), you and your spouse must be united and agree.
Vacation – many people have improved skin during vacation, we don’t really know why. But hey, with more new things to do, a vacay may just work to snap out of the routine scratching.
Waste some toilet paper – Maybe get lower quality ones for tearing! (Potty training an eczema kid is a whole different ball game.)
Xtreme measures – my own extreme is having to secure, swaddle, tie (is there a more politically correct word?) my baby’s hands for a minute, while I make her milk. It was a very difficult period of time.
You – don’t forget TLC for yourself.
Zzz – Only if prescribed by doctor, you can try antihistamines to help your kid sleep better (not knock him out!).