Posted on: 17 March 2015Share
Everyone loves to see their kids enjoying the great outdoors, running barefoot in the sunshine, wearing nothing but T-shirts and shorts. Their feet are unconstrained by shoes, stretching and growing straight and strong. As a bonus, there are no muddy trainers to clean! However, summer can bring hazards for tender young soles, both in the bush and at the beach. If your child's foot needs care after being out and about, why not turn to nature for the remedies too?
At a sandy surf beach, the greatest threat to young toes is crossing the hot sand back to the car at the end of the day. However, harbour beaches or rocky beaches can have other dangers. Broken glass can be present or there might be oyster shells on the rocks. An oyster shell cut is notoriously hard to clean, but to prevent infection you'll need to remove any shell and then treat with an antiseptic. If you have no betadine or similar to hand, honey can be used on this type of wound. Honey is a traditional antiseptic and as well as having antibacterial properties, it is excellent at keeping a wound moist and sealed.
Mosquito bites and ant stings are regular outdoor injuries. The mosquitoes seem to love ankles and standing on an a bull ant or fire ant is a sure route to a very painful experience. If you don't have any over-the-counter treatment for bites and stings handy, don't panic. Applying heat will also relieve the sting – try pressing a hot (not too hot) cup of water against the sting for as long as your child can bear.
The tops of feet are often forgotten when applying sun screen. Even if you do put plenty on your child's feet, the sand and sea will soon remove it. To relieve burnt feet or sunburn on any other part of the body, you can apply gel from an aloe vera leaf directly. Snap a thick leaf from the main plant and squeeze the broken end to release the gel-like sap.
To remove ingrained dirt and soften tough skin, sit your child in the shallows at the beach and use a handful of sand to scrub their feet. A natural exfoliant, sand used like this is also more fun than a nail brush in the bath at home!
With a bit of natural care, your child's outdoor feet can have an active and healthy adventure. For more information, check out companies such as Quinns Podiatry.