Should we wash our kids daily?
My experience with kids is bathing them is either a joy or just a total pain.
Some kids love the way the water feels and appreciate the feeling of clean hair, others simply don’t. Bathing in our house can sometimes be a literal battle of wills – especially if hair washing is involved.
Chances are after a long day sometimes you yourself just can’t face the act of bathing your kids. That is when you may wonder…do our kids really need a bath every day? Or is this just the way we ‘do things’ in our culture?
The expert advice worldwide on this subject is surprisingly comprehensive. Many countries have guidelines surrounding the recommendations for bathing children.
The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) for example, states for instance, that babies don’t need daily baths. In fact, studies have shown that bathing your baby more than three times a week can result in actually drying out their skin and inflaming any skin issues that already exist.
Keeping the nappy area clean and the use of intermittent sponge baths can help families keep their little ones skin feeling great, without causing painful skin flare ups.
Perhaps your kids are older, say between 6 and 11? You may be surprised that The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends bathing once or twice a week for this age group. The premise behind these recommendations is that if children are on the whole spending time indoors, they can live without the daily bath.
“Exposure to a little grime may protect kids,” Michael Welch, MD, chair of the American Academy of Paediatrics’ section on allergy and immunology, told Parenting magazine. “Because their immune systems are still maturing, they seem to benefit from being around viruses, bacteria, and dirt.”
Once the little darlings hit their tween years and beyond, the AAD increases its recommendation to daily baths or showers with face-washing twice each day to remove oil and dirt.
An overwhelming amount of research has shown world-wide that children’s skin is more delicate than adults’ and as such more vulnerable to irritants, allergens, rashes and general reactions.
The AAP states that the simple act of washing with soap and water can cause chronic Eczema, itching or other reactions in children, where in most adults in general this would not occur.
The skin condition Eczema, usually starts within the first five years of life, and the past few decades has seen an increase eczema among children living in industrialized nations.
If a child’s skin becomes too dry, which can occur from daily bathing, eczema and other skin conditions can flare up. The use of a dedicated bath oil and moisturiser is recommended to assist with managing children’s skin conditions.
So what do you think? Don’t leave it to the experts this time!
Give us your opinion based on your real life experience!
Do our kids really need baths every day?
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