How to Simplify Allergy Management

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This is a guest post from Amanda Rodriguez. We love sharing other people’s stories because it’s a great way for us (by us, we mean parents of kids with allergies, asthma, and eczema) to grow as a community, for others to learn about what we experience, and for awareness to increase so our kids are met with more support. As always, please check with your doctor before implementing ideas you see on Scratch or Sniff as we are not doctors, just your friends on the internet. :)

Dude #3 is the first allergy sufferer in our family.

We discovered that he had a peanut allergy when he was 10 months old thanks to 17 straight days of mud butt.  Not as frightening as anaphylaxis, but super uncomfortable for all parties.  And, if you could see the scars from the open wounds it caused that remain on his tush some 5 years later, you’d sorta understand how tough those 17 days were.

But, that was only the beginning.  He has since been diagnosed with asthma, and allergies to dust mites, wheat, and eggs.  Thankfully, his food allergies don’t linger in the you-could-die arena and remain strongly in the you’ll-be-itchy-and-probably-poop-yourself-for-days area.  His asthma (triggered by everything from dust in his bedroom to a change in the weather) has been dramatically more worrisome, requiring multiple daily nebulizer treatments and additional medication to manage it.

But all of it requires management.  Added to the daily tasks of lunch-packing-kid-washing-music-lessoning-soccer-practicing-husband-minding-work-completing that must be done round these parts, micromanaging what goes in his mouth and lungs is hard work.

I launched Happy Human Hacks because it is my goal to make life less high maintenance, for everyone.  Here’s how we put it down, allergy management style.

How to Simplify Allergy Management

5 Ways to Make Life With Allergies Easier

1. Label your stuff.  We are a house that doesn’t eliminate allergens entirely.  I know many people can’t live this way (for a time we couldn’t either), but at this point we keep peanuts and wheat and eggs in the house for the other four, non allergic members.  To help Dude #3 get what he wants without me having to get up and do it for him, we put stickers on his snacks.  Sticker on board=eat it; no sticker=step off homeboy.

2. Resist change.  I know, snore.  Variety is more exciting.  But, guess what, your kids probably don’t care about variety all that much (I ate the same thing for lunch from 1985-1987, no questions asked), and finding things they like that also fit into their allergy restrictions can be hard and time consuming.  If you find something they enjoy that is ok for them to eat, do the running man in the aisle of Whole Foods just buy it, in bulk if possible, and let them eat it until they shun it.

3.  Get your school on board sans problem.  Start off being nice about it.  No need to go into the school, guns blazing.  Just pick a reasonable time to stop by (open house is NOT reasonable), well before your desired compliance date, with an organized, specific list of your needs and concerns.  Allow them to address those in a timely fashion.  If they act ignorant about it or fail due to lack of effort, go ahead and get buck, they’re asking for it.

4.  Go simple.  The fewer items we keep in the Dude’s room, the fewer places that can harbor evil dust mites (and the fewer things waiting around for me to clean them).  Same in your fridge and pantry; eat as many simple, from the earth foods as possible.  Avoid additives you don’t really need.  The fewer labels you have to read, the better.  Things like apples don’t need an ingredient list; they’re just apples!

5.  Teach your kid to just say no.  My son, even at age 3, was amazing about managing his allergy.  He never accepted food from people without first warning them that he has a food allergy and inquiring about the contents of the food. He’d say, “Thanks but I’m allergic to peanuts.  Can we ask my mom first if I can eat that?”  I loved that he was so proactive about his own safety, especially on days dad was in charge!

Amanda Rodriguez, aka the best mom in the world, writes DudeMom.com, a humor, lifestyle blog where she shares how she loses weight easily, and raises three sons without ever yelling anything at anyone.  She keeps her unicorn in the garage and may also be slightly delusional.

Guest Post

1 Comment to How to Simplify Allergy Management

  1. Haha! These are awesome tips, Amanda, and I love your writing style. Glad to know I’m not the only one with a unicorn and the odd delusional thought :)

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