It’s hard to believe that summer is ending and kids across the country are heading back to school. While its hard to say goodbye to summer, many kids are excited to go back to school to see their friends and teachers and return to a daily routine.
Returning to school presents unique challenges for children who suffer from psoriasis and other skin conditions. Psoriasis can be uncomfortable, painful and embarrassing for children. Furthermore, other students and teachers may not be familiar with psoriasis, its symptoms or the daily difficulties it can cause, which can lead to misunderstanding, indifference and in some cases, teasing and bullying. It is important to educate children and adults alike about psoriasis and its symptoms.
Here are a few helpful tips from the National Psoriasis Foundation for parents to help their children transition back to school:
- Educate yourself and, if appropriate, the child’s classmates and other teachers about psoriasis.
- Be attuned to both the physical and emotional challenges psoriasis can cause, and how it can affect a child’s performance inside and outside the classroom.
- Encourage the child to communicate his or her feelings about psoriasis to both teachers and parents, so appropriate action can be taken.
- Understand that some adults expose their psoriasis to the public, while others try to keep it hidden. Children are no different, and the child’s decision in this regard should be respected.
- Note that children with psoriasis should particularly avoid strep infections and sun burn, which can cause psoriasis to worsen.
- Encourage optimism in the child. New treatments continue to be developed for psoriasis, and the future is bright.
NPF has established a webpage specifically dedicated to children with psoriasis.PsoriasisKids.org features informative videos, interviews with dermatologists and stories of other young psoriasis sufferers.
NPF has also set up a Parents Help Center with a variety of features and information for parents and children. The page features a printable Back to School Fact Sheet for Schools that can be handed out to help educate teachers, coaches, school nurses and students about the disease.