They’re seeing everything for the first time, so watching them marvel at the birds above, or stop to notice the flowers they walk past – honestly, there are few things lovelier.
That’s why it can feel like a real kick in the teeth if nature decides not to play ball, and actually gives your little one a nasty-looking rash!
But while rashes can worry even the most level-headed parent, most of the time these nature-related ones are nothing to worry about, and with the right preventative methods, you and your little one can keep on frolicking with the best of them! However, if you are concerned, always consult your doctor.
Common outdoor rashes
“Me and my son, Elijah, were having the most fun day earlier in the summer, being silly and rolling around in the grass, but when I got home his skin was covered in a rash,” says mum, Julie. “I was freaked out as you could actually see where the blades of grass had touched his skin and I kind of thought that was it - no playing outside, ever! But it wasn’t that drastic, we just have to try and make sure he wears long sleeves or trousers if playing in grass from now on, plus change and rinse him off when he comes home, so it’s not the end of the world.”
When Ollie first came out in hives when he was around three, I actually took him straight to the hospital as I was so worried,” says Dad, Mark. It turns out he is allergic to certain insect bites – I didn’t even know that was a thing! We take a lot of precautions like long sleeves and using repellant, particularly if we’re on holiday, plus keep antihistamines with us at all times.
Hives appear as red bumps on the skin and can appear from outdoor elements such as insect stings. According to the NHS, they generally disappear on their own, but if they appear alongside other symptoms such as swelling of the face or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention as your child might be having a more extreme allergic reaction.
Years ago I was camping in Yosemite Park and stopped to change my son’s nappy, and later noticed a rash on his arms and hands where he must have crawled around and come into contact with poison ivy,” says Jenny. “I’m a doctor so I didn’t panic too much and kind of realised quickly what had happened but still felt a little guilty that I’d let it happen!
While the risk of severe poisoning or allergic reaction from UK plants is low, The Royal Horticultural Society advises teaching children not to eat or play with growing plants as some can irritate the skin (including buttercups), while others, such as sunflowers and tulips, contain allergens that also affect the skin.
Go and explore
It’s easy to feel like it’s your fault for taking your eye off the ball, but skin rashes such as these are common and usually nothing to worry about, although do consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns.
So pack up your picnic, take your WaterWipes to keep their hands and face clean, and go and have some fun in the great outdoors.