Thursday 20 August 2020

5 tips for parents that are worried about their children’s scars.

As parents we know that young skin is sensitive and precious and it is natural for parents to worry that any damage will leave a visible scar.

From babies exploring their new world to school children in the playground accidents happen. More than two million children under the age of 15 experience accidents in and around the home every year and sadly some children will also suffer from significant trauma caused by surgery, burns or serious accidents.

Both of my girls have been left with scars down the middle of their chest and the top of their stomachs from the drains when they had their open heart surgery to repair the holes in their hearts.  

5 tips for parents worried about their children’s scars:

Acceptance - If your child is injured or needs surgery you are obviously going to be worried about what sort of scar it might leave. The reality is that if you have a burn or graze and it hasn’t healed in 10 to 14 days or a surgical or traumatic wound that cuts through the deep layers of the skin then a scar will form. The sooner that you can accept this the more able you are to move on to protecting and treating the scar.

Encourage body confidence -  The children who cope well with scars are those who are encouraged to talk about it. Whether it’s a small scar or a larger area it can have a psychological impact on children. So giving young people and yourself the confidence to talk about their scar and to answer other people’s questions is vital.

For years Becky has been really self conscious about the scar on her chest. She is still not 100% confident but over the summer she wore lower cut tops and you could see the top of it. Being a teenager is hard when all you see in the media is all those pretty, air brushed people with not a mark on them. I think with age she will gain confidence.

Stay sun safe - Scar tissue has poorly functioning melanocytes, the body’s natural protection against UV so it very important that you protect a scar from the sun’s rays at home or abroad. 

TLC - For the first 12 or18 months a scar is still in the maturation phase but there are steps you can take to help your child’s scar to heal well. For example, regularly apply moisturiser to help hydrate the tissue and massage the area. 

Don’t let it hold you back - It’s so important for children of any age to be outside and active so a scar shouldn’t stop them from enjoying life. While you will naturally feel cautious of any further injury you need to encourage your child to return to their normal routines. If you’re on holiday as long as you follow sun protection guidelines and protect the scar from over exposure to UV, children can play on the beach, swim in the sea and enjoy outdoor activities.

Have you had to manage any scars your children have gained or do you have any on yourself?

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