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Strategies For Children With Food Allergies

1725 words - 7 pages

Caring for a child with food allergies is arduous for parents; from label reading, cross contamination, to stress of family and friends who are not understanding, and the stress of when the allergen is ingested. The immediate response is the most important, but parents and children of food allergic families generally also deal with emotional issues. Although it may seem like a big task, all caregivers, teachers, and health professionals should know how to take care of children with food allergies, watch for signs of anaphylaxis, and know how to treat it for the safety of all children with food allergies.

Parents have to read labels, talk with other allergy parents, as well as call food companies to know what is or is not safe for their child to consume. Cross contamination is when small food particles are left behind from either not cleaning, or mixing lines of food mainly for factories. It causes just as much problems, since usually it is unsuspecting and catches the parents and child off guard. Sadly, state laws are all different for these labels from food companies and the government only forces companies to state ingredients, not necessarily possible contamination of nuts.

To help protect such people from inadvertent exposure to nuts, labels on packaged foods often voluntarily state whether they were prepared in a facility that also processes nuts. Some cities have nut-free bakeries that now sell products safe for allergic children, who can bring their own special, albeit expensive, cake or cupcake to a party. While experts doubt the necessity of some extreme measures taken to prevent indirect exposure to peanuts, the danger to someone with a peanut allergy who eats them is unquestioned. (Brody 4-6 par.)

Emotions generally run high when a parents are confronted by “well meaning” family or friends who do not support the fight in keeping their child safe from food allergies. Some of the family and friends seem to know what food allergies are, but are not willing to change their ways to assist families dealing with this. It is not abnormal for family members to disagree on care for the food allergy child. Many people assume that food allergy parents are over exaggerating and confusing a food allergy with food sensitivities, which are not deadly but bothersome. Occasionally, they will be more than willing and food allergy parents relish in these friends who decide to put their child before themselves.

Some people do not realize that when people say or post links on social media about there being a cure that there is only a small amount of kids who are prequalified to do these immunotherapy studies for food allergies. Many children who have asthma, had anaphylaxis, many food allergies, or other health reasons cannot even be used for the study. These immunotherapy studies are just that, studies. They are not to be used in actual clinics yet, but they are becoming closer and closer to finding a cure, or treatment for food allergies....

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