Everyone in the Wastes knows to be fearful of False Children. The Red-Eyes that now rule these lands and prey on human and beast alike may be huge and fearsome-looking, but in their immature state they have the capacity to emulate the look and behavior of human children. Though False Children are not more physically dangerous than real children, their danger lies in their capacity to warp the minds of those around them. Even quite limited contact with a False Child will implant in the mind of humans the conviction that they know this child, and have in fact known it for years. False memories will grow in the mind which, unless counteracted by some proof, usually remain unquestioned by those around the child. In this way, False Children make themselves part of human social groups and win the protection and care that comes with that status. They use this safety to feed and build up the energy reserves needed to metamorphize into a fully grown Red-Eye. The process of metamorphosis is rather quick and, unless caught in the very early stages when the maturing individual is still fairly easy to kill, usually ends with the community that had taken the False Child in devoured by its adult form.
For this reason, most survivor communities have developed complex rituals around the having and raising of children in attempts to prevent the accidental, and fateful, adoption of a False Child.
Behind the Scenes
False Children were originally inspired by the Changelings in the Supernatural episode "The Kids Are Alright".