For some reason, it seems like more and more kids are allergic to different things. I can’t remember being so allergy conscious when I was younger. Regardless of why it’s happening, we have to be careful because even the most common foods can be dangerous. With some good planning, you’ll be able to keep your kids away from allergens with these tips.
1. Meet the school nurse.
Make an appointment with the school’s nurse before the school year begins. Find out about emergency protocols, how medication is stored/consumed, and the school’s other health policies. You’ll want someone to know exactly how to respond in case of an incident.
2. Alternative tests don’t work.
The skin prick test is the only valid test to determine the existence and intensity of an allergy. Some tests look at your hair fiber or your muscle weakness, but these are unreliable; there’s little evidence they work. You’ll have to endure the old-fashioned skin prick to know anything for sure.
3. Accept that mistakes will happen.
As hard as you work to eliminate an allergen from your life, a mistake is bound to happen. Your egg-allergic toddler will swallow a muffin bite before you can stop it, or that harmless potato chip will turn out to be fried in peanut oil. Know what to do when an episode happens so you can respond quickly and everything will be fine.
4. Get a letter from your doctor.
You’ll want a signed letter from your child’s pediatrician or allergist that outlines the exact allergies, precautions and treatments. Give this to your child’s teacher, caregiver, or school nurse. You might want a new copy signed every couple years so it’s up to date.
5. Learn everything you can about the allergy.
Don’t settle for simple explanations. If you believe your child is allergic to something, don’t decide for yourself. Visit an allergist for proper testing and get a diagnosis. Then, learn as much as you can about the allergy. If your daughter is allergic to strawberries, can she drink strawberry-flavored drinks, or is everything off limits? Does she break out in irritating hives, or does she require an EpiPen shot?
6. The science of allergies is changing.
Conventional wisdom shows that the best way to deal with allergens are to avoid them entirely. If they make you sick, stay away. That’s reasonable advice, but new research shows that by regularly exposing infants to allergens, you can desensitize them over time. Obviously, do not try this yourself. Leave it for medical experts for now, but it’s interesting to know.
7. You can grow out of (and into) allergies.
It’s not quite understood why, but children can age out of their allergies. One day you’ll wait nearby with an EpiPen because your son accidentally swallowed some watermelon… but nothing happens and he’s fine. That bad news, however, is that kids can develop allergies later on as well, but usually not after twelve or thirteen years old.
8. Most importantly: talk to your child.
Be completely upfront and honest about your child’s allergy. Don’t keep the information from him or her for any reason, but avoid advanced technical lingo. Your child will be the last line of defense when it comes to avoiding that bee or staying away from peanuts. Encourage your child to speak up immediately if they feel an allergic attack coming on.
Guest Blog By Lisa Paul Heydet of ZizzyBee Bags
At ZizzyBee, we believe children bring fun and whimsy to our lives…along with the need for organization of hundreds of teeny, tiny little toy parts. And like most moms, we believe it is important to keep organized while using products for our children that are safe, washable, well designed, and practical. With this in mind, full-time single mom and entrepreneur Lisa Paul Heydet, saw a need and created ZizzyBee Bags.™
ZizzyBee Bags eliminate the need for baskets and bins and makes toys portable and travel a snap. The attractive see-through, reusable storage bags look good hanging from a hook or stacked in a diaper bag or suitcase. Keep children’s rooms organized by storing toys and clothes in ZizzyBee Bags. With two different sizes to choose from, you can use ZizzyBee Bags to keep items organized in desks, closets and more. They are easily packable and transportable for vacations, gym and work, road trips, school, grandparent’s house, playdates, strollers and so much more.
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