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What All Parents Should Know About Babies with Food Allergies
My son had a bad case of eczema when he was a baby. That lead to many visits to the doctor’s office, and when he was 9 months old he was tested for food allergies. The tests revealed that he had five – yes, five food allergies. I am not allergic to any foods and neither is my husband. Of course, like so many parents are, we were puzzled. Why would I give birth to a child with multiple food allergies?
The first couple of years of his life were a bit of a challenge. We are fortunate because he is actually outgrowing some of his food allergies and he can now eat things he could not eat two years ago. Our daughter, Jada, doesn’t have a single food allergy that we know of. Why is that? We don’t know. She just wasn’t born with them. We are grateful, but still wonder why she escaped all the allergies, while her brother has so many.
The blessing in my son’s allergies has been the knowledge we’ve gained about food allergies over the years. It’s amazing what we know that most parents don’t. And the thing is, I think a lot of this information should be shared with all parents. Even if your child is allergy free, they will inevitably spend time with kids who do have allergies either at home, at school, or just hanging out in your neighborhood. The more you know, the more they know, and the more they know, the better off everyone is.
When you have a birthday party for your baby, it’s nice to ask the other families you invite if their kids have any allergies. Sure, the parent should tell you, but it really is nice to know that another parent cares. When your kid has a birthday party at their preschool, ask the teachers if any of the kids in the class have allergies. You don’t have to go out of your way to accommodate kids with allergies, but at least the teacher can give those parents a heads up so they can bring a special treat to school for their kids.
I would also recommend knowing if any children who come to your home for a play dates have allergies, and if so, how severe those allergies are. If a child at your house has an EpiPen, are your comfortable using it? Do you know how? Who should you call if something happens? Are their other medicines they need to take?
Some kids have allergies and never go into anaphylaxis shock. For my son, he reacted to allergens with hives, stomach distress, and vomiting. Also, his reaction was not always immediate. At times he would react after days of an allergen building in his system. But, despite all of this, we still carry an EpiPen around, and he has one at preschool.
Now I am just a mom who has experienced some of this stuff first hand. I am not a doctor. If you suspect your baby may have allergies, you should call your pediatrician for further information. But even if you don’t suspect that your baby has any allergies, I hope you consider what I have mentioned and realize that with so many kids being born with food allergies, it makes their world a much safer place if all the adults in their life have just a bit of knowledge about allergies. To learn more about food allergies, click here.