My daughter, as I have told you before has severe eczema, but she also suffers from severe allergies. Although eczema is hard to deal with, I find allergies a different level of scary. The thought of my daughter’s life being at risk by an ingredient in her food is terrifying. Not all of her allergies are life-threatening, but some are. I’ve learned to be extremely careful with her food and anything she might come in contact with.
A couple of weeks ago, we were at the supermarket and my daughter asked me to buy her some chips. It was a flavor that she had eaten before, the only difference was the presentation. She usually eats the one in a bag and these were on a small box. I did not take the precaution of reading the label because it was the brand she normally consumes. She opened them and ate two chips.
In that exact instant, when I saw her eating the chips, I remembered I did not read the label. I told her to stop eating and give them to me. I started reading the ingredients and found these chips contain 2% or less of milk. it was a really scary moment, as my daughter has anaphylactic reactions to dairy. Thank God, she only ate 2 chips. I told her to let me know if she was feeling bad and gave her antihistamine, just in case. This is why I decided to write this post. When you have a kid with severe allergies, you are never too overprotective.
These are some of the precautionary things that I do:
- I read the ingredient labels of everything I give to my daughter. I check both the ingredients in the food and the other types of food that are processed in the same place.
- If she does not have an allergy to a product, but I suspect it may trigger her eczema, I try it for a couple of days to see if there is any reaction – still carefully controlling the rest of her food. Then, I can lessen or stop the consumption of it if it does.
- I’m cautious about what else she may come in contact with. The food itself might be fine for her to eat, but if it has had close contact with something she is allergic to, she may have a reaction.
- Teach her what allergies she has, and how important and serious it is for her not to consume them.
- Trust my instincts. I know my daughter better than anyone, and I’ve learned to trust my mom-instincts when it comes to her allergies and eczema. It does not mean that I do not follow her doctor’s instructions and recommendations; I just follow my gut when I notice something is not sitting well with her, or when something causes more/fewer flare-ups or itchiness.
- At a restaurant, I make sure to tell the waiter that her food cannot have contact with certain ingredients and let them know she is really allergic. If I do not know the exact ingredients the food may have, I make sure to ask the waiter. If they have any doubt, I ask them to consult the chef to find out for sure what’s in it. Never hesitate to ask.
For school-aged kids, check out my recent post about keeping allergy kids safe at school.
Let’s keep all of our kids, your kids and my kids, loved, happy, healthy, and safe!