Premier Allergy knows that having a child with allergies can be challenging. Whether your child’s allergies are, the constant worry and threat of illness can put a damper on everyday family fun, and even have an effect on your relationship with your child, or your entire family. We’ve put together a few tips for helping you and your family
1. Be prepared
Be prepared is not just a Boy Scout slogan; it can save a life! Being prepared can mean different things to different families. If your child has a severe allergy, always keep an EpiPen on hand. If your child has only mild seasonal allergies, this can simply mean having some allergy medication and extra tissues on hand. Whatever it means for your family, make sure that you are always ready for an allergy event. Be sure to discuss what “being prepared” means for your family and child with the experts at Premier Allergy!
2. Train those around you
Having a child with allergies can be frightening, especially when they start to go out into the world on their own. School, friend’s homes, sports events, and club meetings can all go terribly wrong in an instant, so it is important that you make sure to discuss your child’s medical needs with anyone who might be in a caregiver position for your child. Teachers, daycare providers, coaches, babysitters, friend’s parents, even neighborhood families, should all know what to do if your child has an allergic reaction.
Coaches and teachers should be trained in how to use your child’s EpiPen (or other allergy medications) and everyone should always know how to contact you. You should also make sure that the child’s siblings, cousins, grandparents, and other occasional caregivers know what to do in an emergency.
3. Empower your child
As your child grows up it is important to help them learn how to manage their allergies on their own. This means learning how and when to use their allergy medication. It can also mean learning to read labels, ask questions, learning to cook for themselves, and learning to advocate for themselves in all kinds of settings. Teaching your child these skills early can help them live a long and happy life, even with a life-threatening allergy. Make sure they aren’t afraid to speak up and advocate for themselves in the face of a new situation.
4. Always be aware in a medical environment
Parents and caregivers often assume that if a child is in a medical environment such as a dentist office, an emergency room, a school nurse’s office, a pediatrician’s office or a medical specialist’s office that these offices always have access to all the medical information about your child. This is true many times, but always make sure to be redundant when it comes to your child’s allergies! Many mundane medical items can cause serious allergic reactions and it’s important to ensure that all medical professionals that are interacting with your child know about the allergies in play. No medical professional should ever begrudge a parent a quick reminder regarding their child’s allergies. Continue to be diligent when a new staff member enters the room, when your child transfers doctors or any time your child is in a medical environment.
5. Live life!
The most important thing about having a child with allergies is letting your child continue to be a child! Help them deal with the burden of having an allergy in a positive way, but also allow them to have fun. Make sure that there are allergy-safe “treats” for your kid at a party or a celebration. Don’t let your child become a burden to the rest of your family. If one child can’t tolerate gluten or another ingredient, don’t let your other family members flaunt their ability to eat it around your child with allergies! Be safe, but also make sure to include your child in regular activities so they don’t feel left out. Building a strong family foundation can help your child gain the emotional resilience they need to cope with an allergy for their whole lives.
Being prepared and educated on allergies, especially when it comes to your children is highly important in dealing with them. Hopefully this will help is coping and teaching others what your child reacts to and how they can help them.