What can parents do about child food allergies?
Moms and dads should always be aware of any child food allergies. Knowing what types of food your little one is allergic to can even save their life.
If your child gets a tummy ache, or perhaps itchy skin after eating certain types of food, then they might have child food allergies.
It's crucial for moms and dads to know what to do if their child has allergies. Knowing how to manage your child's allergies can improve their quality of life, and helps them avoid getting sick.
Here's what you need to know.
What are child food allergies?
Food allergies are a common occurrence. For some breastfeeding moms who have sensitive babies, even the food they eat can cause an allergic reaction in their babies.
For older kids, the more common types of food allergies would be to peanuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, and wheat.
Some allergies can be very severe, such as those related to nuts and shellfish. In some cases, these can even become life-threatening, if not dealt with early on.
However, some allergies can cause only mild reactions in children. Some kids even outgrow their child food allergies, usually with milk, eggs, soy, and wheat.
Regardless of the type of allergy your child has, it's always a good idea to know what you can do as a parent.
What can parents do?
Here are some important things to keep in mind:
1. Avoid the food entirely
What's the best way to manage food allergies? Simply avoid giving your child food that they're allergic to. This means knowing what ingredients are in the food you buy, as well as asking restaurants about how they prepare their food.
The best way of dealing with an allergic reaction is to avoid the allergen, so you need to be wary of what types of food your child is eating/
2. Inform the school of your child's allergies
Make sure to inform your child's school about their allergies, specifically their teachers. That way, they can take care of your child and watch out for them so that they can avoid accidentally eating something that they're allergic to.
3. Antihistamines can help
For some allergies, taking an antihistamine can relieve the symptoms. This is usually the case for mild allergies, as well as for some seafood or shellfish allergies.
However, antihistamines shouldn't always be used, as it's always best for your child to avoid food that they're allergic to, instead of taking an antihistamine and then risk having an allergic reaction.
4. Teach your child to be careful with what they eat
Make sure to teach your child to be careful of what types of food they eat. Teach them to ask what ingredients are in the food they're eating, and teach them to read labels of the food they buy, especially in school.
That way, they can take care of themselves and avoid having allergy-related problems.
5. Make sure you know what to do in case of a severe reaction
Lastly, if your child suffers from sever food allergies, it's a good idea to know what steps you can take.
Most doctors recommend keeping an EpiPen or epinephrine injector handy in case of severe reactions. However, these are not readily available ain the Philippines and are very expensive.
What parents can do instead is to keep their doctor's phone number handy, and make sure to take their child to a hospital ASAP if they eat something that they're allergic to. It's also a good idea to inform the school about it, so that they can prepare an emergency procotol to take your child to the hospital in case your little one suffers a severe allergic reaction.