Common Triggers For Allergies In Children
We might think allergies amount to a bit of sneezing and a runny nose; get a handkerchief, move on. Sadly, for many kids, allergies are debilitating and even life-threatening.
In fact, something as innocent as a sandwich can trigger a major medical emergency; for some, it’s that severe, that tenuous.
So how do we as parents, teachers, and carers become not only aware but attuned to allergies lurking behind the smiles in our homes and classrooms?
It starts with understanding. The more we know about our child’s allergy, the better equipped we are to manage it.
What foods cause the most allergic reactions?
The list is endless, but the main offenders are milk, peanuts, eggs, wheat, soy fish, and shellfish. Some of the less common ones include meat, gelatin, corn, certain spices, like caraway, mustard and coriander and seeds, often poppy and sesame.
What does an allergic reaction look like?
In a lot of cases it’s not pretty and a nightmare for the little one. Allergic reactions can cause serious skin rashes or hives, asthma, stomach upsets, itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing and runny noses. While some of these don’t sound severe, it’s all a matter of degrees and none of us want to suffer from or witness a serious allergic situation.
So how can we avoid it? By minimising the risk.
Parents need to be transparent from the start
It’s not a sin to have allergies; the real sin is not giving teachers and carers full disclosure from day one. Yes, it might mean your child has to be treated a little differently, but that’s fine; we’re all unique in our own ways.
So spell it out. What foods, medicines, animals, materials, dust, moulds, pollens and whatever else is your child allergic to? What reactions do they have? What medications do they need?
Create an allergy card
An allergy card can be the difference between a panic and a controlled process. The card will contain all details about your child’s triggers – everything they’re allergic to – and reactions.
Give the card to everyone who may be at the heart of a potential allergy crisis – teachers, school nurses, carers, other parents at homes your child visits, even the school bus driver.
The card must detail:
- All your child’s allergies
- What causes the allergies
- Symptoms they tend to show
- Precise details on medications and doses
- Any brand or medication variant they react badly to
- Your contact details
- Backup details for emergencies if you can’t be reached
- Doctor contact details
- Preferred hospitals if admission becomes necessary
- Insurance details
Yes, it’s a lot of information, but it could well avert a crisis, possibly even save your child’s life.
Make sure your child is open to any ill effects
After all, they’ll be the first to know if something feels a bit off. Tell them that it’s nothing to be ashamed of and it doesn’t matter if people look busy; they want to know the moment your child feels ill so they can help.