Those of you who have children with allergies are aware of how difficult life can be when you constantly have to check the contents of things, having to inform people of the dangers all the time as well as manage medication sometimes. We look at some of the services out there which can help you if you have a child who suffers with allergies.
According to bsaci recent surveys show that 20% of children in the UK suffered with asthma in the previous year, 18% with hay fever and 16% with eczema. Peanut allergy has increased with 1 in 70 children in the UK now affected.
Dealing with allergies may be a new thing for you and your family or it may be something that you have been managing for a number of years. Allergies can vary from a slight rash to full on anaphylactic shock, but however severe, if it’s happening to your child then you’ll be worrying whatever the severity.
Common symptoms to look out for are:
- Red itchy, swollen, watery eyes
- Wheezy breathing
- Swollen lips/tongue/throat
- Vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pains
- Runny or blocked nose
- Rashes or red skin
There are lots of things that could trigger an allergic reaction in children but the 8 most common allergies are these:
- Tree nuts (walnuts, cashews)
To those who don’t have to worry about allergies they may think it’s easy to steer away from things that can cause an allergic reaction but many don’t realise the hidden ingredients in things that could cause a reaction e.g. tree nut oils in sunscreens, shampoos and conditioners, wheat in play-doh, egg in some flu vaccines and ‘may contain nuts’ is a common phrase on the back of all kinds of packaging.
If you’re worried about keeping up to date about allergies in food products then the Food Standards Agency offers a great service that you can subscribe to that sends allergy alerts to you by e-mail or text. Further information can be found here.
Babies and Young Children
Allergies to cows milk and milk intolerance can be quite common in children under 3. Read this piece by a consultant paediatric allergist who discusses the differences between both.
Cowsmilkallergy.co.uk talks you through the symptoms, what steps you can take and shares other parent’s stories.
Babycentre has an article that discusses the different allergies and intolerances in babies and how to manage it.
If you have a young person living with allergies who’s feeling different and does not have anyone to share their experiences then Outthere (run by the Anaphylaxis Campaign) is a place where young people can blog and share their experiences.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign also have a guide to eating out specifically aimed at young people with tips about how to prepare, what to do if something goes wrong, possible scenarios etc.
The Allergic Kid is another website that suggests lunchbox ideas and recipes for children with allergies.
Resources for Parents
Allergy UK has an interactive allergy house that you can click around and see what allergens could be in each room of the house.
They also have a great section about living with allergies and have plenty of information and tips about things such as living with allergies, starting school and travelling abroad.
Or you can head over to the forum section on their website which has hundreds of topics that have been discussed.
Anaphylaxis Campaign: 01252 542029 (open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) – discuss matters relating to those at risk from a severe allergic reaction.
Asthma UK: 0300 222 5800 (Open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) – speak to an asthma expert nurse.
NHS Direct: 0845 46 47 – if you’re worried about a rash or your child’s breathing or any other allergic reaction then contact NHS Direct to talk to a medical expert who will be able to give you further guidance. If your child is suffering from anaphylactic shock, a severe allergic reaction, then you need to seek medical help urgently or if you already have adrenaline injections these should be injected straight away before seeking medical help.
Want to find out about services available to you and your child in your area? Would you like to chat about family matters in general? Then get in touch with the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline.
- Phone: 0300 222 57 57
- Text: 07860 052 905
- Instant message (see top of page)
We are open 6pm – 10pm Monday to Thursday and 10am – 2pm Friday & Saturday.