How to support a child with allergies.
How to support a child with allergies
First steps in how to support a child with allergies
It can be very difficult for children who have allergies to cope with the issues that allergies can bring.
If you suspect your child might have an allergy you have probably noticed constant sneezing, itchy or watery eyes and a congested nose or perhaps swelling or sickness?
Firstly though and most importantly you need to get a diagnosis and proper medical case management. You can either go to your doctor right off the bat with your suspicions or you can try an allergy testing home kit and take it from there.
Children under 12 are not to take home tests and blood tests must be performed by a doctor. For 12 – 18 years olds a parent or carer needs to supervise any at home testing.
Home tests can be incredibly comprehensive. The Klarify test tests for 294 different allergens – how incredible is that! These include:
- Pollen 59
- Pets 25
- Mites 19
- Insect stings 10
- Moulds & yeasts 13
- Foods 154
- Other 14
Next steps – Medical support
A simple allergy blood test can tell so much and it is well worth doing to stop your child suffering. You can find out what is involved and how an allergy blood test works here.
Once the specific problem has been identified you can take the required steps to minimise or eliminate it from your child’s life, this isn’t always as simple as it sounds though and may have a hard impact.
Your doctor will advise you what needs to be done from a medial perspective but it is you who will need to give your child the emotional support required day to day.
How to support a child with allergies – The emotional impact
Allergies can mean some tough decisions are required, these might perhaps include:
- Parting with a much loved pet or that new puppy
- Removing all your carpets and spending a lot of money on your home
- Having to inform all your child’s friends/school that they have to keep certain foods away from your child at all time thus making your child feel self conscious
- Having to eliminate favourite foods and certain treats your child loves
- Taking some independence away from your child and being extra vigilant around them
- Having to talk to your child about really serious, possible life threatening, issues whilst they are still young and life should feel safe and secure
Emotionally allergies can take the toll. Not only can they make your child feel rubbish but they bring with them all these other emotive issues too.
How to support a child with allergies emotionally
You can help your child by being clear and confident about how to treat their allergy so they understand.
You can make as little fuss as possible to reduce their fretting – a child will take their emotional cues from you.
Be a problem solver not a problem dweller and you will find your child will usually adopt the same attitude. Get creative with your solutions so they miss out as little as possible. Get used to packing their own food, for example and make it extra special to make up for the losses.
Do allow for the emotions though, sometimes your child will need to just have a good cry and moan and a big cuddle and a listening ear.
I hope you have found this article useful. Allergies are not just physical issues and it is so important to understand how they can impact kids emotionally.
How to support a child with allergies is a collaborative post – you might also like my post on growth mindset books for kids