With the Christmas season fast approaching , for parents of children with severe food allergy it is a time of red alert. We need to be extra aware of the many extra dangers surrounding our children at this time of year. Unfortunately for us, food and drink are a major focus of Christmas.
Whether it be a lollie scramble at the end of school year party, Santa giving out chocolates during the annual Santa photos or attending the many social parties and gatherings, the dangers are real and can be life threatening. There are however, some preventative measures that parents can put into place to help keep allergic children safe from accidental exposure.
Firstly, for some unknown reason we have been entrusted with these amazing intelligent little people who have severe allergic reactions to some foods. It is our job to do everything to keep them safe. Majority of people do not understand so dont expect them to. Nobody really understands what someone elses life is like unless the same is walked. It's a reflection of how much more education and awareness is needed. Especially, as the latest research shows there are a lot more allergic kids coming through the system.
In the early days, I expected other people to know what I was going through and understand. I soon realised that many do not. So now, I have lowered my expectations and when someone does make an effort than I am really grateful. There are of course a few ratbags such as a father I came up against a few weeks ago, but I wont go there today.
For the first Christmas in 5 years I am the most confident. I know that my 5 year old knows what he can and can't eat. I watched him at his sisters school disco refuse the same lollies that were given to the kids from Santa. I've seen him knock back icecreams, chips, biscuits and cakes knowing they weren't safe for him. He has such a good attitude about it and accepts it all. He is aware of the consequences.
From a baby, I have always explained to him about what was going on. Throughout his skin prick tests, blood tests, many bouts of eczema and even when adrenaline was being administered to him at the most frightening of times, I have always explained to him what was happening. I can honestly tell you he seemed to understand and just take it in his stride.
The reason I say all that is that ultimately it is the child's allergy and while of course it is our job to keep them safe, it is ultimately our job to educate them how to keep themselves safe.
Below is an article that has some great tips on staying safe during this holiday season