LITTLE KNOWN CHILDREN'S AILMENTS
S Hartwell, 2003
Most parents will be familiar with childhood ailments such as sticky eye, glue ear, nappy rash, teething discomfort and sniffles, even if only from reading a text book. But what about all those common ailments never found in textbooks, but commonly found in homes and kindergartens?
TOXIC NAPPY SYNDROME (TOXIC DIAPER)
Even under normal conditions, the contents of the nappy (diaper) should be banned under various international weapons limitations treaties. An infant suffering from Toxic Nappy Syndrome is capable of producing astonishing amounts of slurry, combined with nerve agents and corrosive fumes. Upon encountering this, your eyes will water, your nose will refuse to function, you may choke and gag. Yet through it all, the infant itself will gurgle or bawl in normal fashion, quite unaffected by the chemical and biological weapons it has manufactured. Upon fitting a clean nappy, the infant will adopt a faraway expression and produce a further batch of toxic substance. Even through a secured nappy, the fumes are capable of felling a grown man at 30 paces although the mother, and some other female relatives, appear to have varying amounts of natural or acquired immunity.
The filled nappy should be handled in a Biohazard room and by trained personnel wearing full protective clothing. After removing the Toxic Nappy, dispose of it as biohazardous material. Wash and re-nappy infant. The Toxic Nappy phase is short-lived and you can soon look forward to Toxic Potty Disorder. If the infant is on solids, a change of diet may be required in order to reduce the frequency, quantity and noxiousness of output.
The infant's face is covered with red, black, blue, green and mauve markings (other colours may be present). The rash extends to all exposed areas of skin in a random pattern. Closer investigation will find a link to wax crayon exposure (such rashes can appear within 30 seconds of exposing the child to wax crayons).
The rash washes away with soap, leaving no ill-effects. However, it will reappear almost immediately the child is exposed to wax crayons. Fitting the child with a scaled down "nuke-suit" (haz-mat suit), complete with helmet will prevent Crayon Face, but may not be feasible in a domestic situation. Related conditions include the frighteningly named Poster Paint Hand and Mouth.
STRAWBERRY JAM HAND
Appears to be an adverse reaction to bread and strawberry jam (jelly). The jam transfers itself to the infant's hand and becomes extremely contagious. It spreads immediately to everything and everyone the child comes into contact with.
The only known treatment is to place child under surveillance while it is experimentally exposed to strawberry jam. When the child has finished eating/wiping jam on its body, immediately take the child to a suitable decontamination facility (bathroom, kitchen sink) and decontaminate thoroughly. This should prevent the child from infecting others.
Chocolate Spread Finger, Orange Marmalade Mitts, Peanut Butter Fingers, Mud-Pie Hand
QUICK DRYING GLOSS PAINT HAIR
Although named after Quick Drying Gloss Paint, this condition is a reaction to all types of paint and most commonly found in association with child-safe varieties. Following contact with the paint, the paint mysteriously migrates from the painted surface to the child's hair where it dries into a solid mass which resists all known child-safe detergents.
The only known treatment is to surgically remove the affected hair. If you are not confident enough to perform this simply first aid procedure at home, a qualified hairdresser will do it for you for a moderate sum. Alternatively, the child itself, or an older sibling will do it for free and usually without being asked. Prevention is preferable, but not always possibly when using kiddies paints. These migrate hair-wards seemingly of their own accord.
CHOCOLATE MOUTH (CANDY BAR MOUTH)
Usually a seasonal disorder seen at times of year when the child is exposed to larger than normal quantities of chocolate. It can, however, strike at any time and is triggered by any form of chocolate and by a variety of other types of candy or sweetie. The chocolate spreads liberally around the lower face, spreading outwards from the mouth. It may reach as far as the eyebrows and is normally transferred to the hands when they come into contact with the mouth. Soft furnishings and items of clothing may also be affected.
As for Strawberry Jam Hand. Place the child under surveillance while it is experimentally exposed to chocolate. When the chocolate has ceased to exist in candy-bar form and the child is thoroughly infected, immediately take the child to a suitable decontamination facility (bathroom, kitchen sink) and decontaminate thoroughly. This should prevent the child from infecting others. The causal agent seems to be a hand-to-mouth co-ordination deficiency which self-rectifies over a period of time.
Ice Cream Mouth, Blackcurrant Drink Moustache, Jaffa Cake Chin.