As part of Allergy Awareness Week, we wanted to highlight some key issues faced by allergy sufferers.
Allergies are on the increase in industrialised countries ... particularly food allergies. Why is this happening? Allergy UK says that part of it is genetics. Although all of us run the risk of developing an allergy, your chances double if one of your parents has one. And your chances are much higher if both of them do.
Can you outgrow it? According to FARE, it depends on what type of allergy you have. Chances are, a nut or shellfish allergy will be with you for life, but many children that develop milk, soy or egg allergies have a chance of outgrowing it.
Staying safe at school should be easier if you prepare an allergy action plan, and discuss the severity of the food allergy with teachers and staff. Revised arrangements should be considered for catering, and teachers are often willing to help educate the entire class about the issues. For my own children, their school asked that no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches be included in packed lunches – to help protect a child that had a severe peanut allergy. They talked in class about the dangers of cross-contamination, and my children were happy to spread the word about food allergies and safety.
What about kissing? It’s true (and a little scary) that having a snog can bring on an allergic reaction. But it doesn’t mean the end of dating! Make sure your partner is aware of your allergy, and lets you know if they have eaten something that contains it. Allergic Living recommends waiting four hours until you enjoy a kiss, and teeth brushing and eating a non-allergic meal will help.
It’s so important to actively manage your food allergy, making sure that you understand the risks and communicate with the people around you. If you don’t wear a medical alert bracelet, now would be a great time to consider one. Check out the main reasons to wear one, and find a style that suits you. Stay safe!
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