So your child has had an anaphylactic reaction. Maybe it was minor or maybe it was something more serious and scary. Either way, here you are. What to do?!? If you’re anything like me, you are freaking out right now. Like seriously bugging out. And that’s normal.
Here are my suggestions for coming to terms with your child’s food allergy.
Step 1: Wallow in your misery for a few days
This is a life changer for sure. Worry about birthday parties and playdates. Wonder how will he ever go away to sleepaway camp or go away to college or study abroad. Mourn the loss of your favorite foods like PB&Js or spicy cold peanut noodles. Like really let it all out here… for a limited time.
Step 2: Snap out of it
You’re a strong person and you’re going to figure this out. Realize there are much worse things in the world and in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t so bad. Find a fellow allergy mom to give you the lowdown.
Step 3: Educate yourself and your partner
Start with your child’s allergist and get all of the details for his allergy. Check out FARE for some great getting started resources including tipsheets and videos. Read this blog! Find something that speaks to you.
Step 4: Educate your child
Last week, I wrote about great resources to explain allergies to children. Role play is also helpful. What should your child do when he is offered food? Act it out until you both feel comfortable. Consider purchasing a medical identification bracelet.
Step 5: Educate everyone in your child’s world
Everyone your child comes into contact with needs to understand and be prepared for a reaction. Grandparents, extended family, friends, teachers, after school care providers, camp counselors, etc.
These are my ideas, but I’d love to hear your tips for dealing with your child’s food allergy.