A recent study found that one in every thirteen children suffers from a food allergy. This same study also found that the number of children diagnosed with allergies is increasing. If we compare it to just ten years ago, the number of children diagnosed with an allergy has increased by a whopping 50%.
If your child has recently been diagnosed with an allergy, and you feel out of your depth, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve made a list of some top tips for keeping kids with food allergies safe:
- Understand the Signs of an Allergic Reaction
Any food can cause an allergic reaction, but the top allergenic foods are tree nuts, peanuts, cow’s milk, shellfish, fish, soy, wheat, egg, and sesame. No matter whether your child is allergic to one of these or a different food entirely, it’s important to understand the signs of an allergic reaction. Some of the common signs of an allergic reaction include:
- Skin reactions – your child may experience swelling in the tongue, lips, or mouth. They may also complain of itchiness, have hives, or skin redness.
- Respiratory reactions – struggling to breathe and choking are common signs of an allergic reaction. This reaction can be deadly, so it’s important to spot it early.
- Digestive issues – diarrhea or vomiting may occur.
- Nervous system reactions – your child may faint, pass out, or act confused.
- Cardiovascular issues – if you notice your child go pale, have blueish lips, fingers, or mouth, and a rapid or weak pulse, they may be having an allergic reaction.
- Make Sure Others Are Aware
It’s not just parents who need to know about a child’s allergy; others must also be made aware. This includes anyone who cares for your child when you are absent, such as other family members.
It’s also essential to inform your child’s school of the allergy. You should contact the school as soon as you receive the diagnosis and arrange a meeting with them. During the meeting, you must explain to them what type of foods they are allergic to, what reactions to look out for, and how they should treat them if a reaction occurs.
- Ensure You Have a Good Stock of Medicines
Children with allergies are often prescribed medication to prevent severe reactions from occurring. To ensure your child remains safe at all times, it’s vital to ensure you have a good stock of this medication. This medication should always be carried with you because you never know when a reaction may occur. You must also check the medication regularly to ensure it is in date. Medication that has passed its sell-by date may not work as it should.
- Check Packaging Carefully
When your child is first diagnosed with an allergy, checking food labels can seem like a mammoth task. However, it’s not as tricky as you’d expect. Most people get the hang of it after a few months.
- Purchase Free From Items
Over the last few years, many allergen-free products have been introduced to grocery store shelves. This includes essential items like bread and milk and more luxurious items like chocolate chip cookies. This is great news for allergy sufferers, as it allows them to enjoy treats like everyone else.
- Cook from Scratch
The final tip we can give you is to cook from scratch. Cooking from scratch allows you to see exactly what ingredients are being added to a meal, meaning you can be confident that your prepared meals are safe for your child to eat.
Everyone with food allergies needs to be careful about what they eat. However, those suffering from life-threatening allergic reactions must be even more careful. If your child has been diagnosed with a food allergy, follow the tips above to keep them safe.