Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Parent Handout: Oatmeal Bath

Winter is here in full force and you've probably noticed some of the children in your care are experiencing this in the form of dry, red or itchy skin. I always like to put together newsletters and handouts for my parents where I include not just information about what's up in the classroom, but also helpful tips on saving money and caring for their children at home.

This letter can be incorporated into your own newsletter or sent out individually as you notice specific children who might need some skin soothing. For instance, every time you send a child home with chicken pox, just slip one of these notes into their backpack, folder or cubby. I also like to keep a little packet of bulk "Get Well Soon" cards around for these illnesses where I know the student is going to be gone for a while and missing buddies. Depending on the age of the children in your care, children can sign their names, draw a picture in the card or you can take dictation of a message.

Dear Parent:

I hope that this information about a colloidal oatmeal bath can help you with your child's recent skin irritation. This bath can be used to soothe general itchiness and that caused by dry skin, chicken pox, poison ivy, diaper rash, bug bites, eczema and sunburn. You can also buy a commercially-prepared product like the little Aveeno packets, but this recipe will save you money and you probably already have oatmeal at home.

First, take 2 cups of oatmeal (any type - including instant) and blend in a food processor, blender or coffee grinder until you have a fine powder. To test if you've ground the oats enough, stir a tablespoon into some warm water. It should dissolve easily and the water should look milky.

Store this powder in an air-tight container. For each bath, use about 1/3 to 1/2 cup oats sprinkled into the bath and then stirred with your hand. Some parents use a knee-high panty-hose filled with the powder and stretched over the water nozzle while the water is running to strain out any larger bits and avoid clumping.

I hope that your child's skin heals quickly. If you need any other information, I hope you'll let me know. I'd be happy to help you with any other resources you might need.