Eczema is very common in young children and can cause them a great deal of discomfort, whilst you can't stop them from scratching, there are ways which will help both you and them cope with the condition.
Bathe your child in warm water — not hot. Choose a unscented soap that has an oil or fat base; a 'superfatted' soap is best. Avoid using washcloths, sponges, or loofahs as these can aggravate the skin. If your child is old enough, explain to them why they cannot use these things so that they understand you are trying to help them.
After the bath, gently pat the skin almost dry, and within 3 minutes apply an unscented moisturiser. Moisturising the skin is of the utmost importance and once you find a moisturiser that's right for your child use it at least once a day, paying special attention to knees, elbows and other areas that get rough or dry quickly.
And their clothing
For clothes, loose-fitting 100% cotton is best, because it reduces sweating, which can be an irritant. If clothes are new, wash them before putting them on your child to make them softer, and remove tags from clothing so they won't irritate the skin.
Remember if your child is young, you will no doubt pick them up to cuddle them etc and your clothes can be just as irritating to their skin so maybe it's time to take a look at your own wardrobe.
In their bedroom
Make sure your child's room is not too warm. In dry or heated rooms, use a humidifier to keep the air moist.
Make sure all bedding is 100% cotton and wash frequently in hot water. If your child is allergic to dust or dust mites, use protective coverings for pillows and mattresses,
Keep pets off beds and other furniture, or outside. Take pets to the vet regularly and ensure they wear a flea collar and are worm free.
If night-time itching is a problem, you may be able to soothe your child with a cold, damp washcloth, followed by moisturizer. Cotton mittens over children’s hands can be helpful in reducing damage to the skin occurring during sleep.
In the rest of the home
Allergens in the droppings of the house dust mite can cause flare-ups. This mite thrives in warm and moist environments and unfortunately likes to live in bedding, mattresses, curtains and carpets. It is believed that reducing the amount of house dust mites in the home may improve the condition of the skin. This can be achieved in a number of ways, from effective and regular vacuuming, to damp dusting and airing of bedding. Some people have found that switching to laminate flooring has helped. Wool carpets are not recommended.
It is also helpful to look around the house to see what other household items may contribute to flare-ups in your child's condition. The up hostelry of your sofa, scatter cushions and curtains. It will take some time but you will soon learn what aggravates your child's condition.
Talking to your child
Stress can make eczema worse so it is important that your child feels that you are calm about their eczema, this will lessen their stress levels which can aggravate their condition. Try to keep to a routine, this will help your child get into the habit of caring for their skin that will last them for the rest of their lives and help you to remember the bath/moisturiser schedule.
When your child is old enough to understand, talk to them about eczema, eczema triggers and how to avoid them. Make sure babysitters, childminders and other day care providers know about your child's special bathing and moisturising needs. Soaps at school can often be quite harsh and could cause your child a great deal of discomfort if used.
Help your child handle remarks from other kids and adults about eczema. Tell your child that eczema is not contagious, and will probably diminish as he/she gets older; they may even outgrow it. If your child has a good understanding of what eczema is they are less likely to be hurt by nasty comments from others.
Keep a record or diary of flare-ups and learn what triggers them. These will differ from child to child. Once you know what triggers your child's flare-ups both of you will be able to find ways to avoid them.