Here I was, sitting in the blazing sun in Hyde park, with my two nephews, sister, brother-in-law and Mother. We sat on the grass, relaxing over a glass of pimm’s when my older nephew, still a little baby, now a tender age of 6 said ‘aunty, I know you have eczema’. I’m not too sure what triggered this innocent comment but it must have been due to my clothing on that day, which was more revealing than normal, given the high temperature.
I asked him if he knows what eczema actually is and he replied saying that it is when the skin bleeds and it makes you want to pick it! I went on to explaining what eczema is in the most simplest of terms.
Children are so innocent and observant. They make comments that could potentially hurt other children or even adults. This wasn’t the first time he had spoken about this. He is at the age of learning and intrigued by everything around him, keen to learn anything and everything you’ll teach him. As eczema can be hereditary, he has had infantile eczema himself, in a mild form. He may have forgotten about this when talking about mine.
Common conditions such as these affect so many thousands of children and adults. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the condition, you can see it! This could potentially trigger bullying at school. If my nephew is so curious about it, other children probably are too, on top of which they probably see it around them all the time. That day, I wondered if children should be taught about these types of conditions at school. It would eliminate prejudice and perhaps reduce the risk of bullying and prevent young children feeling left out.
My sweet nephew is so naturally caring and I know that he asks these questions out of innocent curiosity. Once the actual meaning was explained to him, we moved on to a different topic altogether. I was impressed by his eagerness to learn and found his own interpretation of the condition endearing.