A child deserves all the attention, love and care in the world and most parents give their children as much as possible. Usually health issues of children receive greatest of care and attention from the parents. But, the burden of responsibility becomes even heavier when it comes to dealing with food allergy in one’s child because in early childhood and even in teenage, children themselves are not able to understand the fact that how come certain snacks, which they see people having around them every day can be fatal for them. Here the parents have a very important role to play. They should lay down the child’s diet schedule in such a way that the child doesn’t feel deprived or restricted in any way.
Talking is the key, when it comes to dealing with child’s food allergy. In early childhood the parents should have a regular conversation with the child about the food allergy he or she might be suffering from. Some parent don’t really understand the importance of this early age discussion and think it a waste of time but it’s a recognized fact now that talking to children in pre-school and elementary school age about their allergy really helps in preventing the child from having allergy reaction just because of his innocence and ignorance. For example, it’s a common practice in schools that children exchange their snacks. If the child knows what he can accept and what not and what will be the after effects if he does, a possibility of allergic reaction is avoided here just because of those few minutes which were spent by parents telling their child about his food allergy. Later on, as the child heads towards teenage, he should be taught to develop a habit of reading food labels to know the exact ingredients.
A child is after all a child and he can’t take care of himself all by himself and its equally important that people who come into his contact in day to day life like school nurses, daycare providers, relatives and parents of friends all are well aware about the food allergy he or she is suffering because most of the times an allergic reaction occurs when children are out and parents are not there. So parents should communicate with all the people who come into contact with the child in his routine life about the food allergy the child has, its symptoms, precautions and medications so that any adverse situation can be avoided when the child is out. And it won’t be a bad idea either to send the child with his own bag of approved snacks when he is going out.
Parents are the protecting shield for a child and it should be so. Whether dining at home or having a meal at a restaurant, its important for the parents to know what are the ingredients of the food there child is going to have. At home parents should read the food labels every time the child is going to have it though it may be regular brand because food manufacturers often tend to change recipes and same kind of food may have a slightly different recipe at different points of time. When at a restaurant, the parents should inquire in detail about ingredients and cooking methods of the food items being offered by the restaurant because sometimes a minor negligence on the part of parents causes a serious problem for the allergy affected child.
Medication should always be present. Parents should pay special attention to this aspect that in case of an allergic reaction, whether at home or at school or a day care center, the child receives proper medication in time. So wherever the child goes whether it is school, daycare center, a friend’s or a relative’s house, his medications should always be sent with him and an adult in the house should be given complete information about how and when to use the medication.
Small steps make big difference. Small precautionary steps from parents starting from early childhood help their child a great deal in living a life which is as normal and as beautiful as it can be. A child with food allergy can live a happy and healthy life but it’s up to the parents that how well they go about it.