Coping with allergies as an adult is not difficult, but handling allergies in children, particularly small ones is quite a daunting task. Children are often prone to food allergies and it is also difficult to expect them to resist foods that other children in school or siblings at home are eating.
Handling the problem of food allergy in a child will require the child’s participation as well because as he grows older, he is increasingly away from parental supervision and vigil.
Therefore it becomes important to explain everything to the child, that is, the types of food he is allergic to, the result of eating those foods, how they react inside his body, and to make it easier, give examples of others with food allergies.
1. Teach your child
The child has to be told never to eat those foods, even while sharing snacks and goodies with friends at school. The early pre-school and elementary years in school are difficult, as children of that age tend to forget.
The younger the child, the more often he must be reminded about his allergy, as he grows older, his repeatedly hearing the same warning would make him naturally cautious.
Once he is old enough he will even be able to read food labels and identify the foods he is allergic to. Eventually it becomes a habit to ask if the food contains nuts or wheat or whatever the child is allergic to.
2. Alert the school or daycare
Food allergies in children cannot just be handled by parents and the child alone. It is important to inform his school about it, all his teachers need to know, along with the school nurse, daycare provider, relatives and parents of the child’s peer group.
Most mistakes leading to allergic reactions take place outside the home in the absence of the parent. Therefore it is preferable to give the child food packed from home even when he goes to visit friends.
3. Make sure to read all labels
Utmost care has to be given in feeding an allergy-prone child even at home. Labels of all ready to eat foods must be read and those that can be potentially hazardous must be kept away.
Nowadays labels carry warnings about nuts and wheat, as many children are found to be allergic to them. Labels must be checked repetitively as recipes and ingredients of ready foods are modified all the time.
4. Be alert when dining out.
Being alert at all times while serving and cooking is crucial for the child’s health. Food allergies in children can be harsh and the reaction difficult to control.
Even while eating out with the child the parents have to be on guard. First they have to ask about the ingredients of various preparations in the restaurant, bakery, deli or fast food joint. Children sensitive to milk and milk products cannot even have meat cut with the same knife as cheese.
So it is for the parent to check if all the food is made in one place, if different knives and chopping boards are used, the ingredient of various preparations and so on. If the child is allergic to peanuts, the parent has to check that peanut oil should not be the cooking medium.
5. Caution and prevention
Caution and prevention are the best options to preempt any chance of an allergic reaction. But should an allergic reaction set in despite all precautions, medication has to be kept handy.
The child must always carry his medication for reactions at all times, in his school bag, in his play-kit and so on. One set of medicines must be left in school and with the school nurse, along with instructions about how the medicines must be given.
The child must also know what to do in case of a reaction.
Author Bio: Karl Scott writes fun and informational health articles for TechieFriday. His main expertise is nutrition, fitness, and massage. He believes that Information should be free and if something can benefit the public it needs to be shared