Living with food allergies – Tips for coping with the first two years

Once your child’s food allergy has been diagnosed the initial adjustment to your family’s lifestyle can be a challenging time and a source of concern. Adjusting to living with food allergies can take some time and based on our conversations with parents it seems the first two years after diagnosis can be the most challenging.

With help from other parents we have compiled a list of helpful tips to hopefully assist you with this transition.

The first thing you need to know is that food allergies are manageable. Initially it may seem to be a daunting task to keep your child safe but food allergies can safely be managed with the proper education, preparation and support.

Always follow your doctor’s advice about ways to avoid trigger foods and remember- each child and each allergy is different.
“My two children react to egg, one has a mild reaction and can tolerate it in baked goods, whereas the other has severe allergies and has to avoid all traces of it.”- Clare

Always remember to take your child’s medication with you. This may include antihistamine medicine, adrenaline / epinephrine autoinjectors (it is recommended that you carry more than one autoinjector).
*The first two years I kept the medicine bag in my handbag, I trained myself to check that I had it and it became second nature like picking up the car keys.” – Susan

Research, Research, Research. Knowledge is KEY.
“Allergists are great but they are over stretched and don’t always have time to sit with you and tell you all about managing this, that would take hours. Most diagnose, prescribe and send you on your way. You’ll leave the office dazed and confused wondering what on earth to do now.  Your learning curve has just begun.” – Alex

Have a family action plan should an emergency occur.
“We use the one to ten pain test – I know if she says it’s a 9 we’re on our way to the emergency room, but having a plan gives us the confidence that we are ready.” – Jenny.

Read labels, Read Ingredients; Shopping for a special diet can be a challenge at first and reading food labels will become a part of every-day life.
“We make reading the labels an adventure, like a spy game to see if we can catch out the ‘allergen’ it makes it fun and makes him feel less alienated.” – Court Family

Talk to others who are dealing with the same challenges. A number of social sites and nonprofit organizations offer information and forums for discussing food allergies.
“Just knowing that we aren’t alone and being able to discuss my concerns with others is a great help.” – Phillip

Plan ahead – Holidays, birthday parties, family gatherings, eating out and days out need more planning.  Make sure you have the right food and drink for your child and advise others of their allergy and how they can keep them safe.
“When we go out, I will always pack food for them just in case it’s needed it’s more effort but can save a lot of hassle.”  – Julia

Thank you to all who assisted with the creation of this article, if you would like to share your tips please contact us at info@triggerallergy.com or join the conversation on www.facebook.com/triggerallergy

 

INFORMATION on triggerallergy.com  IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE and any information or materials posted are intended for general informational purposes only. Any information posted on the web site is NOT a substitute for medical attention. Please see your health-care professional for medical advice and treatment.

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INFORMATION on triggerallergy.com IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE and any information or materials posted are intended for general informational purposes only. Any information posted on the web site is NOT a substitute for medical attention. Please see your health-care professional for medical advice and treatment.