Food allergies have become commonplace. In the 1970s, you never heard of anyone being allergic to nuts. However, schools must be so careful these days because the number of students with a nut allergy is staggering. Gone are the days when peanut butter sandwiches and chili were on the menu. If you have a child that struggles with food sensitivities, then you must always be on guard.
Watch for Signs and Symptoms
Many people think that an anaphylactic shock is the only sign of a food allergy. However, it's not always such a dramatic display. Your child may break out in a rash if they encounter something that upsets their system. Another common sign of a food allergy is diarrhea and an upset stomach, and the biggest cause of this display is dairy products. Giving a child a glass of milk when they are allergic to it can cause severe stomach cramping and make them run to the bathroom. Airway constriction is the most significant problem, and it's the scariest of all symptoms. When your child's airway is cut off, then you must act quickly. A closed airway means little to no air is getting through. Time is of the essence in these situations.
Be Prepared for an Emergency
Going out to eat or to a party is just a couple of the little pleasures in life. However, when your child has food allergies, you can't be too careful. Even if there's no dairy or nuts in the food, preparing the food on a surface where those products are made can be dangerous. You should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. There's nothing worse than seeing your child struggle to breathe. When going out, it’s a good idea to carry more than one EpiPen just to be safe.
Avoid Allergic Reactions
The best way to avoid an allergic reaction is to read the labels. If you are going out, then make sure to ask the staff if any of the allergens are in the foods or if there is a risk for preparation contamination. If you have a child that seems to be allergic to everything, then it's probably best to have food allergy tests conducted by a doctor. They can easily distinguish what foods might be troubling to your little one's system.
Parents must be proactive about their child's food allergies. One of the best things you can do is to educate your child about the things that can cause their system harm, and teach them to snack safely. The school should also know of any allergies should they need to react quickly. Most importantly, always carry the Epi-pen with you. These little gadgets save thousands of lives each year.
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