Tips for Caring for Kids with Food Allergies
Food allergies in children can be a great cause of worry for parents. Some of the most common allergens are cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish and tree nuts. Taking care of children with food allergy is definitely a difficult and challenging task. Here are a few tips that I hope will help parents deal with food allergies in children as well as help both children and parents to be more proactive about avoiding and handling allergic reactions!
Learn all you can about food allergy
Learn everything about your child’s food allergy and reactions. Arm yourself with knowledge so that you are not lost when your child ends up having an allergic reaction.
Prepare your child to deal with food allergy
Once you are well informed ensure that you impart your knowledge to your child. Explain his or her food allergy and reaction to them and also why and how he should manage a diet devoid of the allergen. Explain to the child what food to avoid and show them pictures of the food that causes the allergy so that child will know what to say no to. Explain the symptoms of food allergy reaction and also give the child steps that he should follow when he detects the symptoms. It could be something a simple as informing an elder or calling you up.
Buying food for them
Make sure that you read the labels and focus on foods that are safe for your child. Prepare a list and put down the food that shouldn’t be purchased or eaten by your child. Put this list up on the kitchen or on the fridge so that whoever is doing the grocery knows what and what not buy!
Design a balanced diet
Make sure you design a balanced diet by substituting the food and related nutrients that you avoid e.g you can use soy milk for milk for a child lactose intolerant child.
Prevent Cross contamination
Make sure that you have an organized uncluttered kitchen where different food doesn’t get mixed up nor does the utensils. Make sure that the child has a special place at the dining table and kitchen and that the food that he or she can eat is labeled clearly. In brief make sure that there is no way that a child can develop an allergy because he or she was exposed to the allergen indirectly! Cross contamination has known to be one of the reasons for allergic reactions so be careful and neat.
Selection of Schools and Day care centers
No matter what else you check out at the new school or day care center be certain to ensure that the school knows about the child’s food allergy and that they school is well equipped to protect and take care of him incase of a food allergy! Make sure that you make a personal visit and introduce the teachers to your child’s condition and the emergency plan to follow if there is a reaction
Protecting them outside home
Your child will inevitably have to mingle and go to pllaces out side home and youy supervision, for example birthday parties. In such situations, it is imperative that you explain to a responsible elder the child’s food allergy problems. Provide the concerned person with your personal number and a few other contact numbers as well as the medicine. Instruct your child never to accept food from strangers.