My daughter came home from preschool with puffy eyes in early October. She just looked tired, but by evening her eyelids were noticeably swollen. A three-and-a-half-year old can’t tell you what they had for lunch, so I researched the school’s menu and found nothing uncommon to her diet on the day in question. I wondered if she was getting sick, if she was having an allergic reaction to the pollution, if she had been bitten by an insect (and yes, I searched her whole body), but the answers were not forthcoming.
We kept her at home from preschool the next day, intermittently putting cold teabags on her eyes (much to her delight) and collectively willing the swelling to go down, which it did – eventually.
What are these random ailments that afflict our babies? I have friends who have watched their wee ones endure unexplained rashes, swellings or mysterious bumps that simply find their way to disappearing eventually without giving away any additional clues to their source.
Some argue that little ailments like these are indeed environmentally caused, noting the compromising air and water environment in which we are all stationed here in Beijing. These conversations make me uneasy. We, the parents, are filtering both air and water at home, paying more for filtered school environments, and certainly doing the best we can. The blanket blame doesn’t do it for me. It must be something more specific than that.
I am happy to report that my daughter’s eyes were back to normal within forty-eight hours and she hasn’t had a relapse since.
Another unsolved mini medical mystery.
Photos: Ember Swift