A mysterious rash has struck mainly young girls at schools across the nation since September 11. A recent New York Times Sunday magazine story said that no medical cause has been found for any of these rashes and researchers now think they may due to post-911 hysteria and nervousness about possible future terrorist attacks. As to why the rash effects girls more than boys, the Times said that girls worry more about the future.

But the rash isn?t through spreading. About 80 students at Gateway Regional High School in New Jersey have come down with it. School authorities reject the ?hysteria? explanation and think the rash may be caused by school’s air ducts or its 20-year-old carpet. State and county health inspectors are testing the air ducts and the school will replace the carpets with tile over the summer.

“Currently, we just don’t know the cause, and we may never know,” says Wendy Carey, sanitary inspector for the Gloucester County Health Department. “They’re going to remove the carpet, but the tests aren’t conclusively pointing to that as the cause.”

The rash first appeared on May 30, causing raised red bumps and blotches. Like the other rashes, it mostly affected middle school girls. Similar rashes have been reported in several Pennsylvania schools, as well as in more than a dozen other states. Some schools closed temporarily, but no one has found a physical cause for the rashes. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found no common link between the rashes in the different schools.

Most of these rashes ended after summer vacation began. Could it be that teachers, while meaning well, are presenting more ?current events? than these young minds can take? Stress is one of the major causes of adult disease in the U.S.?let?s be careful not to lay this burden on our children.

Indigo children may be especially susceptible to rashes. Learn how to cope with these kids by reading ?The Indigo Children? and ?An Indigo Celebration? by Jan Tober and Lee Carroll,click here.

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