Today we were at Babies R US, and a 4 year old boy at the cash, turned to his mother and said "Look mom, she has no hair". The good thing is that he said "she" ;). The boy turned to his mother and asked why? The mother shrugged her shoulders and looked at me first to get my reaction and when I nodded ok, she then told him he could to ask me.

I have volunteered with older children before and they described it to each other as me being allergic to my hair. It seemed to work nicely for them, but obviously not with a 4 year old. So I am curious to know how do others explain their alopecia to very young children who are curious?

Tags: alopecia, awareness, children

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I would suggest a simple explanation along the following lines (at least for precocious children) ;-)
______________

CHILD: "What happened to your hair?"

YOU: "Something inside of me thinks my hair is bad for me, so it got rid of some (or all) of my hair on its own."

CHILD: "What's that called?"

YOU: "What's what called?"

CHILD: "The thing that got rid of your hair."

YOU: "Oh, that's called the immune system. You have one, too!"

CHILD: "What's the immune system?"

YOU: "It's what helps protect our bodies from certain things that are bad for it."

CHILD: "Is hair bad for your body?"

YOU: "No. Not at all. My immune system is just a bit confused at the moment."

CHILD: "Oh."

YOU: (Smile)

CHILD: "Well, I asked because you are a very beautiful, bald lady!"

YOU: "Why thank you, dear. I'll recommend to your parents that you receive an extra serving of dessert this evening!" ;-)
I like ;)

Seriously, I like it. The explanation of the immune system is easy and clear. Thanks babe (rj)!
Sue, don't be taken in by RJ and Cheryl's "cuteness" - it's all a front! Now the AA gene has been identified, they'll put their cunning plan into effect - they'll modify and reproduce the AA mutation so it always causes AU, then get their secret army (that's us AW members) to spread it around the world, by contaminating water supplies... within weeks, everyone will be totally bald, and in the chaos, as hairdressers everywhere throw themselves from tall buildings and split ends become a thing of the past, they'll take over.

And all so they don't have to explain alopecia to a kid. Amazing what lengths some people will go to ;)
Oh my goodness, Norm! Where did you get this classified information? Babe, call FEMA...now! LOL
Obviously I'm unable to compromise my sauces... sorry, sources.... by revealing their names, but I'll admit that some of the above is purely conjecture - the hairdressers might forego the tall building thing and throw themselves under buses and trains instead, taking the secrets of the Bad Perm and the Blue Rinse to the grave.

Either way, our course of action is clear.... sell those Gillette stocks NOW!!! :)
We must silence him ;)
mmmfbblllgghhhhh!!!
You all are making me laugh. RJ I love the simple explanation! Norm your explanation is so funny!
Hi Cheryl - I have 3 kids under 7 and in my opinion, a 4 year old would definitely get the "allergic to my hair" explanation. I just told my kids that Mummy's body has decided that it doesn't need hair anymore, so it is throwing it away. They love that and even more, they love choosing my hair/hat/scarf every morning.
xoxo

PS - RJ, I love your little 'script' ;-D
I have a dear friend who has a 5-year-old who used to be scared to approach me because I have no hair. Rather than ask me, when she got home she asked her mother why I didn't have any hair. This was the way her mother explained it: She asked Phoebee (the little girl) -- "do you know how your brain tells your eyes to open and close?" Phoebee said yes. She then said, "well, do you know how your brain tells your heart to beat and your lungs to breathe?" Phoebee said yes. Her mother said, "well YoKasta's brain tells her hair NOT to grow. We just have to pray for her that one day her brain will tell her hair to start growing again." I thought that was a great way to introduce alopecia, and as she gets older we will get more technical so that she fully understands what alopecia is and she can explain it to her friends.
I have a three year old daughter who has just started getting curious about why mommy "takes her hair off" before she gets in the shower... I joke with her that God thought mommy would look better without hair..." but i defintley agree thats its going to be a little tougher when she gets a bit older and starts asking more serious questions....
My son (almost 4) has noticed my hair loss (will be shaving soon) and I have told him I have Alopecia and that my hair just falls out but mommy is ok and nothing else is wrong with me I just lose my hair. He is completely ok with the answer. I was really trying to get him ready for when I do shave my head as he goes to school already and I drop him off and pick him up so i wanted him to be prepared for question for his friends. He loves to touch the skin where there isnt any hair he thinks it feels funny.

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