Crusty, snotty noses, sticky hands, weepy eyes – I never knew kids got warts! If you can think of something gross and contagious, chances are it’s incubated by a small person. Just ask Disney: finding out the hard way kids are little disease bombs.
In my pre-parenting days, I used to fly home to see my precious nieces and nephews, and without fail, I’d bring back ten extra pounds (from Kopps) and bronchitis. Now that I am a parent, I will be the first to admit: they are biohazards.
The youngest member of the family is by far the most dangerous. First of all, everyone wants to hold them, squeeze them, and smell their heads. A baby who sneezes or throws up is an irresistible beacon, attracting the sympathy and delight of every adult in the area. It’s a TRAP! You have now been exposed to the most concentrated, debilitating strain of whatever they’re carrying. Rotavirus? Pink Eye? Scabies? Sure! They’ve got it ALL.
From birth, they lack basic hygiene. Most of them can’t even use a toilet, so there’s that waste-wearing issue. They HATE to blow their noses, much preferring to stem the deluge by sticking their sponge-like fingers up there. Just approach one with a tissue and watch what happens. You’d think you were trying to steal the crown jewels. And forget about them washing their hands. They’re just too short. (Until they’re about three, the sink is quite literally off their radar. – Don’t worry, once they grow, they will spend A LOT of time washing their hands, with WAY more soap than necessary for two miniscule meat hooks. If you visit my house, the hand towels will be damp. It’s just how we roll.)
Additionally, children put EVERYTHING in their mouths for YEARS longer than you’d think. You have an eight year old, and a thumb-drive filled with sensitive diplomatic information? She’s going to put it in her mouth, just because, you know, she feels like it. I’ve seen children push grocery carts with their lips, and rest their teeth on toilet seats to watch the water swirl. (Okay, that last one was me – but it was SEVERAL years ago.)
So nobody should be surprised when there’s an outbreak of disease involving children. There’s a reason the flu season lasts from Thanksgiving to Easter: your adorable little baby is a weapon of mass disgustion.