For young children with food allergies, everyday life can sometimes be difficult toÂ navigate. After all, kids rely on the provision and protection of adults when it comes toÂ their mealsâ€”so if the grownups in their life arenâ€™t prepared to deal with a food allergy, itÂ can be a bad situation for everyone involved.
Approximately one in every 25 American children suffers from a food allergy, soÂ chances are you know a child who is allergic. Whether you have a child with allergies atÂ home, or youâ€™re dealing with allergic friends or classmates, we wanted to offer a few tipsÂ for coping with food allergies in children.
Educate Yourself and Your Little One(s)
When children have allergies, you need to be able to recognize the symptoms of aÂ reactionâ€”and so do they. Quick thinking and fast action are key if a child is having anÂ attack, so recognizing the symptoms is just as important as knowing what do do when itÂ occurs. Itâ€™s also crucial that children learn how to quickly and clearly communicate whenÂ theyâ€™re having a reaction, so they can get the help they need.
Keep Their Medicine Handy
In case of a reaction, kids should always have ready access to their allergyÂ prescriptions. Parents should provide schools and day cares with no less than two up-to-date EpiPensÂ® or Auvi-QÂ® devices, while making sure the medicine will be unlockedÂ and easily accessible to all education personnel during and after school hours. Any timeÂ a child spends the night away from home, parents should take steps to ensure theirÂ child and any chaperones have access to these crucial devices.
Itâ€™s More Than Just â€śDonâ€™t Eat That.â€ť
For the most part, if children know theyâ€™re allergic, you wonâ€™t catch them stuffing theirÂ face with that particular foodâ€”but thatâ€™s not the only way for a reaction to occur. AsÂ early as possible, children should understand how to read food labels for any allergenicÂ ingredients. You should also stress the importance of regular hand washing, particularlyÂ before and after eating.
Decide Whatâ€™s Right For Your Family
Is this a comprehensive guide to managing food allergies in children? Absolutely not. AsÂ always, we encourage you to do more research for yourself and decide whatÂ precautions are necessary for your family. For example: some people suggest aÂ wholesale ban of â€śproblem foodsâ€ť in your house, whereas others would rather take extraÂ precautions to protect an allergic child without denying the whole family certain foods.Â Some parents rely on educating their child about what foods to avoid at school, whileÂ others prefer to pack their childâ€™s lunch and implement a strict, across-the-board â€śNoÂ Food Sharingâ€ť rule.
Thereâ€™s no getting around it: life is different for children with food allergies. But itâ€™s up to the adults in their life to decide how to best deal with these issues. Weâ€™re onlyÂ scratching the surface here, so always be sure and do your own research too. AndÂ please feel free to share your own tips with us for dealing with children and foodÂ allergies!
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