For many families food allergies are nothing out of the ordinary. Food allergy occurs in 1 in 20 children and is caused by a variety of foods. It is fundamental that children are aware of the symptoms that can be caused by a reaction to certain foods and what to do if they should find themselves or a friend suffering from a reaction or an anaphylactic attack. Here’s some tips to help grandparents caring for children with allergies feel comfortable when looking after their loved ones.
Food allergies range in nature – there’s no common symptom for each food allergy, it’s often as unique as we all are.
Firstly, educate yourself on the types of foods your grandchild can and cannot eat. Safeguarding yourself will make catering for play-dates, parties and family gatherings a lot easier and take the embarrassment away for everyone involved.
Next, find out the different types of symptoms your grandchild may experience and how to identify these – such as hives, a rash to the skin, difficulty breathing or swelling to the tongue. It’s important to make sure you don’t scare those looking after your child, but empower them with knowledge and tools so they’re prepared if your child starts to feel ill. Detail medical response tactics and medicines to be used.
It is vital that carers AND children are also aware of the importance of Epipens and how they are used, ensuring they are not shocked if they are faced with one.
Education of carers to be able to recognise an Epipen and how they differ from a typical needle, is essential. This will ensure that grandparents and carers are aware of what an Epipen is being used for so that they are prepared if they are required to use one.
Finally, if a child has an allergic reaction while in your care don’t hesitate to contact 000 or Healthcare Direct – 1800 022 222, remember to remain calm and follow the instructions of the operator.
Tell us, what allergies does your grandchild have?