Responsibility For A Food Allergy Child

Responsibility For A Food Allergy Child

Throughout childhood, the main burden of responsibility for the safety of an Allergy child falls on the parents.  The parents are a child’s main focus. Children rely on their parents to guide them thru the deep waters of childhood and into adulthood. A severe Allergic reaction can sink a person in minutes with dire physical, emotional, and financial consequences. The parents have to teach the child about their condition as soon as possible.  Have frequent and in-depth talks about foods.  Some foods are nutritious such as fruit and vegetables.  Some foods are not nutritious such as junk foods.  Some foods will harm some people, such as your child, and the same foods will be fine for other people. 

 

The medical assessment comes from the Allergist, who provides a prescription and a set of instructions to follow in case of emergency.  The parents need to teach everyone involved in the child’s life about the complications that can arise from eating the wrong food.  This includes the other parents, teachers, caregivers, school moms, soccer coaches, principals, lunchroom supervisors, etc.  Parents might seek and get better understanding from non-Allergy people with a special awareness of Food Sensitivities.  These types of people may be Diabetics, Vegetarians, Lactose Intolerant, sufferers of Celiac Disease and Gluten sensitivities, among a wide variety of other food-induced ailments. 

 

Here is a very short list of parental responsibilities. We will cover these subjects in greater depth throughout the later posts in this blog.  Be sure to keep checking back for lots of useful information.

  1. Learn everything you can about your child’s Allergy.
  2. Teach your child about the Allergy.
  3. Find able, responsible, and attentive adults to care for your child when you are not there.
  4. Teach other adults about the Allergy.
  5. Teach other kids about the Allergy.
  6. Read Ingredient Labels over and over and ….
  7. Trust Issues.
  8. Be a BIG part of your child’s life.

 

You need to learn everything you can about your child’s Allergy.  Ask your pediatrician or Allergist, talk to other parents, find support groups, write a blog and let me know about it.  Learn the symptoms of an Allergic reaction.  Learn how to use an epinephrine shot.  Is there a nurse at your child’s school?  Does the school need a prescription for the epinephrine shot?  Does the school need multiple pens for different locations?  Look for answers on the internet, like you are doing now.  (Great work, by the way!)  The internet is a huge wealth of knowledge.  You can contact almost anyone thru the internet and find an answer to a specific question.  I would recommend asking different people the same question.  You might get a variety of answers.

 

Unless you have seen a severe Allergic reaction or had one yourself, it is difficult to grasp the extent of the damage that a small Allergen can inflict on a human body. And yes, it’s very bad.

 

You are your child’s primary resource of information on how to handle the Allergy.  You need to keep yourself up to date on any developments.  Your child’s life is in our hands.

 

If you know of anyone who would be interested in reading this blog, please copy the URL address and send it to them.

Thanks!

 

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4 Responses to Responsibility For A Food Allergy Child

  1. ahem_mayispeak says:

    I’m so torn about bans in schools, etc. I think it’s a better long term solution to empower the child to manage the allergy rather than live under the illusion that a safe space will be created. Your thoughts?

    • linagonzo says:

      Excellent comment! This topic deserves its own post. You asked the question, and I will answer it, if only briefly. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve volunteered for my oldest daughter’s second grade after school activities and I have seen how those Moms try to handle the Allergies. They confused me so much that, in essence, I am writing this blog just to clear my head of their complete irresponsibilities. A second grade Peanut Allergy child does not know to how to read an Ingredient Label? and does not know the significance of the word “Peanut” on a food package? This is outrageous. Her parents clobbered the teachers (and me) to create an artificial environment for their child. I will have a lot of posts regarding this topic. I am taking a different approach with my son. As a kindergardener, he can read the words “Sunflower” and “Safflower”. He will soon learn to read “Helianthus Annus”. He knows Ingredient Labels, and he reads them as best he can. He knows that goldfish crackers contain Sunflower Oil, and he avoids those and others. The other Moms know about his extreme condition. However hard they try, I still see projects made with Sunflower Oil containing products, ie gingerbread cookies for the gingerbread house making project. I sincerely appreciate their consideration. Realistically, I can’t expect everyone to be extremely diligent to try to accommmodate my son’s condition. My son has standing instructions to run out of a room if he sees a Sunflower Seed. He can answer questions later. Having said that, if my son takes a trip to the hospital due to an anaphylactic reaction, I know what I would do, but I don’t want to write it. Let’s just say that I will be extremely vocal. The school doesn’t like to see the students leave in ambulances, no one does. However, the Allergy children need to be fully aware of their condition and engaged in keeping themselves safe. As you can probably tell, I haven’t made up my mind either way, but am searching for a middle ground that requires responsibility from both sides. I’ll think more about it and create a post. Thanks for asking!

  2. linagonzo says:

    Ahem, What do you do when one of your Allergens is in the room? Do you leave the room? But then do you explain yourself as to why you are leaving? Do you ask that the Allergen be removed? Or do you just cope wth it, keeping an eye on the Allergen as you circle the room? When you are invited to a dinner party do you name your Allergens and ask the host to avoid using them? What do you do if the host still uses them? Sorry about all the questions, you seem to have the right experience.

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