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Allergies are more than just a nuisance. For some kids, they can be life threatening, and as a mom that means even more worrying about how to keep your kid reaction-free when you’re not with them. Guest poster, Kelsey Bohannan, gives us some tips on ways to do that so you can be free from panic attacks.
If your child has any type of food allergies, is diabetic, or has any condition that could be triggered by day-to-day activities, you know how well prepared you have to be on any outing. Between worrying about what they eat in the food cafeteria to what would happen if they have a reaction and can’t speak, just sending your child to school is enough to cause a panic attack. Even so, it’s important that your kids lead as normal life as possible, and here are some tips so you don’t pop a blood vessel while doing so.
Tell the right people
Awareness will always be your best medicine. In fact, “The mistakes that we see when there are reactions in school often have to do with dropping the guard because of lack of education,” said Dr. Scott Sicherer, a professor at pediatrics at Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center in a March CNN interview.
Inform your child’s teacher(s) and coaches of their allergies or condition, so they can keep a close eye on your child during activities that involve food, supplies or other products that may stimulate a reaction. It’s also helpful for the school nurse to be knowledgeable of your child’s condition to help them to accurately diagnose whether your child is having an allergic reaction or is actually ill.
Although it is already November, it is not too late to go in before or after school or setup a meeting to discuss your concerns. Claritin provides some additional helpful hints on how to handle your child’s allergies.
On the same note, make sure your child is educated, too. They should know what foods are unsafe for them, how to avoid those foods, how to read food labels, and how to tell someone — immediately — if they feel like they’re starting to have a reaction.
Don’t chance it on food
The school cafeteria is a breeding ground for allergic or diabetic reactions to occur, so cut off its supply by packing their lunch. Even if the school’s lunch program provide meals for specific dietary needs, when you’re preparing meals for thousands, mistakes happen much easier than preparing meals for one.
Speak with your child’s doctor about good food choices to pack for school, and then take your child with you to grocery shop for their lunches. They’re more inclined to eat what you pack than trade with a friend when they having a say in what special treat they get in their lunchboxes. The lunch-program-kids eating questionable meatloaf will totally be jealous of your child’s tasty, yet fit lunches. Allergen-Free Cuisine has some great options for allergy-free recipes.
Bust out the bling
If they don’t have one yet, consider purchasing a medical ID bracelet. You might now be thinking, “Yeah right…my 5-year-old son would wear a bracelet for 2 minutes, tops, before he rips it off and buries it in the sand box.” Tricking a young boy into wearing a bracelet would be like getting him to enjoy eating vegetables.
There is no trickery needed here, though. Medical ID bracelets have become a fashion accessory in and of themselves, and there are tons of styles suitable for both boys and girls. Hope Paige has a great selection of fashion friendly (and gender appropriate) medical bracelets, and their rubber bracelets are probably best for kids. Just think: He could start the new cool trend amongst his friends — kind of like the kid that brought the first pack of Pokémon cards to school except this trend wouldn’t get banned from classrooms.
If you follow these steps for ensuring your child’s safety away from home, you’ll begin to think of their allergy just as another daily step to getting ready for school in the morning. Then, maybe you can rest a little easier knowing they’re more equipped to take care of themselves.
What are some other things that you do to make sure your child is safe from reactions when on their own?
Written by guest contributor Kelsey Bohannan, a freelance writer who writes for 352 Media Group, a web development and digital marketing company.
Lunch time photo from 123RF Stock Photos.
Medical ID bracelet photo from erinever on Flickr.
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