‘I give my baby bleach baths, people think it’s cruel but it helps his skin’

By | June 23, 2021

If there were ever two words you wouldn’t want to hear in the same sentence, it’s baby and bleach.

So many horrible thoughts probably just ran through your head, but according to an expert, bathing your baby in bleach could actually be really good for them.

In a post on the Instagram account @tinyheartseducation, a parent named Nikki discussed how her young son has mild eczema and often suffers flare-ups that leave his skin red, dry and itchy.

Nikki has found a treatment that works for her son, but says many people previously recommended she try giving him bleach baths – so she decided to find out more about them and got some advice from a paediatric nurse.

The nurse said: “As a mama, I know your little one and ‘bleach bath’ in the same sentence probably sounds real counterintuitive! Believe it or not, though bleach baths are a common and very effective treatment for eczema. Hear me out guys…

A baby being given a bath (stock photo)

The bleach is diluted and only a small amount is added to bathwater (stock photo)

“Done safely, the use of a measured amount of diluted bleach added to a lukewarm bath is common practice in our paeds wards across the country.

“This is because bleach helps kill the bacteria that causes eczema to become infected and reduces the severity of the condition. It’s helpful to note that the final bleach concentration is much lower than what you’ll find in your average swimming pool.”

She went on to stress that bleach baths should only be carried out after having a discussion with your child’s doctor about their eczema and if you give them a go, only straight bleach (4.2% sodium hypochlorite) should be used – nothing that has a fragrance such as lemon or lavender.

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“Make sure you measure as per hospital guidelines. You’ll need a measuring cup and a standard household bucket [usually 10L],” the nurse explained.

“The Royal Children’s Hospital guidelines advise 12ml of liquid bleach for every 10L of bathwater.

“Don’t rinse off your little one after the bath – unless unlikely stinging or irritation occurs.

“Repeat the baths as often as your little one’s doc or nurse recommends.

“You can add your usual bath oil to the same bath.

“Use an old white towel for the dry off!”

Nikki added that she’d never actually given her son a bleach bath and some people in the comments were firmly against the idea, thinking it cruel despite what the nurse said, but a number of parents admitted they’d tried it to help their little ones with eczema and it worked a treat.

One person said: “Bleach baths definitely helped our little one in the first year. We’d tried multiple creams and ointments, but the baths were the only thing to reduce the flare-ups!”

Another wrote: “My son had horrible infected eczema when he was a baby. After advice from the hospital and MCHN, we did bleach baths, wet dressings, steroid ointments – it helped so much. Now he just has the odd breakout.”

A third replied: “This 100% works. And for us it stayed away for a year and now just small flare-ups. Our GP explained that it helps remove bacteria from the skin that irritates eczema. It’s no different to a swimming pool really if that helps you get your head around it!”

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Someone else claimed bleach baths had been a ‘game-changer’ in their household.

“Game changer for both my kids. Wish we trialled them earlier in our attempts to manage eczema in my eldest.”

For more baby first aid tips, follow https://www.instagram.com/tinyheartseducation/

Would you try this on your children? Let us know in the comments below.

Mirror – Health