Explaining your child’s food allergy to them can be a difficult task, especially if they are quite young. Let’s examine a few ways you can inform your child in a way they can comprehend and that will help keep them safe.
Keep it Simple
It’s important to let your child know certain foods are unsafe for them without overwhelming or frightening them.
When they are younger it might be helpful to designate foods into two groups. You can call them “Yes” foods and “No” foods or “Safe” and “Unsafe” foods. Whatever simple terms that your child will easily remember.
You can also set certain rules, such as only allowing them to eat foods that are given to them by you or another trusted adult who has knowledge of their food allergies.
Identifying Your Child’s Allergens
An allergy can develop to any food; however, studies have shown that the foods responsible for 90% of adverse reactions are cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, crustaceans and cephalopods.
It’s essential for your child to be able to know the names of the food they are allergic to as well as be able to identify them. As they get a little older, take them with you to grocery stores or Hub City Farmers Market and point out any unsafe foods so that they become familiar with them.
Make Sure They Know What to Do if They Experience Food Allergy Symptoms
It’s important your child knows what to do if they have an allergic reaction after eating. Let them know that if their stomach hurts or they feel weird after eating that they should let an adult know right away. If you aren’t there, make sure they know they can go to their teacher, babysitter or grandparent for help.
It can be hard to balance emphasizing the seriousness of food allergies without giving your child unnecessary anxiety. Reassure them that being careful to avoid unsafe foods should keep them from experiencing any symptoms. Also, emphasize and go over the safety plans that you have put in place in case an accidental exposure happens.
What to Do if You Suspect Your Child Has Food Allergies
Unidentified food allergies can negatively impact your child’s quality of life, and in some cases, even be life-threatening.
If you suspect your child might have a sensitivity toward a certain food or foods, schedule an allergy test as soon as possible. The sooner you know what they are allergic to, the sooner you know what foods to avoid in order to keep them safe.
If you would like additional information or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, call Spartanburg | Greer ENT & Allergy today.