Alopecia Areata can occur at any age. Did you know that it most often first presents during childhood?
Alopecia Areata is a complex condition. A lot of resources about it are very medical and difficult to understand. For very young kids and families supporting them, this can be a challenge. We’ve collected some of our best resources for helping young kids to understand alopecia. These resources can be helpful if a child has alopecia themselves, or if they have family or friends living with the condition.
Alopecia For Kids Infographic
This graphic is designed as a poster that can be downloaded for printing via the link below. We welcome our community to share this resource with schools or youth groups to help spread understanding and awareness.
Ideas for explaining the condition
If it seems right for your child, a simple explanation is often all they need.
Alopecia Areata is where your hair falls out. It usually starts in little round patches. Sometimes it spreads and loose all the hair on your head. Sometimes it just stays patches. Sometimes it grows back.
Kids are great at taking in new information. They’re always learning about the world around them. While it can take more time to explain the mechanics of the hair loss in an age-appropriate way, it’s definitely possible.
In everyone’s body, there is something called an “immune system”. This system normally helps keep us healthy. It is like little soldiers who fight against germs or sickness.
For people with Alopecia Areata, our immune system (those little soldiers) get confused. They think that our hair is a germ and start to fight it. That causes the hair to fall out.
For more ideas on how kids can answer questions about alopecia, check out our previous blog article on that topic.
Expanding your own knowledge is a great way to help inform young kids. Our YouTube channel has some great resources for learning more about Alopecia Areata. Our interview with AAAF President Chel is a great place to start.
“Why does my hair fall out?” Video
AAAF produced this video to help kids understand Alopecia Areata. It’s been used to great effect at school presentations, but is also very helpful at home.
AAAF has a great range of books about alopecia suitable for young kids. All are available through our e-store with free shipping. The “My First Day” series from our friends at Alopecia UK is a great book for any kids with alopecia. There are different versions for patchy and total hair loss and for different genders. The “My Mum” book is a great resource for kids with a parent with alopecia.
The Parents Pack and School Pack
These two resources are a great place for more information about the condition and tips for families and schools. These packs were created by people with Alopecia Areata and family members and contributed to by medical professionals, psychologists and child educators who are familiar with the condition. Both can be found on the AAAF website here.
Support Groups and Events
Meeting other kids with Alopecia Areata is one of the best ways young people learn more about the condition. Attending events and engaging with your local Alopecia Support Group can help kids feel connected and less isolated. AAAF run events all around Australia. You can find out more about how to connect with your local Alopecia Support Group here.
Bonus Round – This super cute video from HiHo
This is a super cute video introducing alopecia to kids who were previously unfamiliar with it. If you’re wondering what kind of questions kids might have, it is a great resource.
What tools, resources and tips have worked for you? Let us know in the comments if there is anything you would add to this list.