It’s National Allergy Week, and to follow up on our recent Pick of the Week on allergies with our Senior Paediatric Dietitian Bianca Parau, charity Allergy UK release new findings of recent research.  

Allergy UK is the operational name of the British Allergy Foundation; the leading national medical charity providing advice, information and support to people with allergies and food intolerance. Allergy UK acts as the ‘voice’ of allergy sufferers, representing the views and needs of those affected by this multi organ disease.

 With allergies affecting 50 per cent of children in the UK, it is likely you will come across a situation where you will need some knowledge on different types of allergic conditions.

For example, it could be your child’s birthday but how can a child with a food allergy be able to enjoy food at a party or disco, and still be safe? How can a child with house dust mite allergy enjoy games in a dusty local sports hall without bringing on an asthma attack or triggering their eczema?

How does a child with severe hay fever manage when visiting the local park or outdoor play area?

Helping children with allergy to become as involved and accepted alongside other children in activities and at social events can take more planning and communication, but this will reap rewards for the child, in terms of their social development.

Here are some tips on how to help if your child or your child’s friend has an allergy:

  • At parties or discos, make sure there are snack alternatives for children with food allergies or suggest to their parents that they can bring their own
  • If the child is allergic to house dust mites, keep them away from games on a dusty floor.
  • Children with hay fever will benefit from wearing wraparound sunglasses and a cap while out in the playground or the park. Putting a smear of nasal balm or petroleum jelly around the nostrils will stop pollen from going up the nose. Check with their parents that they have had their medications beforehand to reduce the likelihood of symptoms
  • Children with eczema may have difficulties using certain craft products such as glues and paints, also, old food cartons used for crafts or models may have traces of food allergens on them that could trigger a reaction.

Finally, if a child has an asthma inhaler or an auto-injector adrenaline pen, ensure these are taken to every event and that someone knows where they will be kept if the child doesn’t keep them on their person. It is vitally important these can be accessed quickly if needed.

CHARITY FIGHTS ALLERGY EPIDEMIC

This Allergy Awareness Week, Allergy UK is encouraging everyone to join in leading the fight against allergies. To get involved and receive a fundraising pack, visit: www.allergyuk.org or call 01322 619898. However large or small, your support really will make a difference.

Allergy UK makes a difference by:

  • Promoting wellbeing for people with allergy and food intolerance by providing information and support through our dedicated helpline
  • Empowering people with allergy and food intolerance  to manage their symptoms
  • Enabling people with allergy and food intolerance to receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment through education of healthcare professionals and the provision of dedicated services
  • Educating corporate bodies in the need for products suitable for allergy and food intolerance sufferers
  • Conducting ongoing medical and social research into the causes and impact of allergy and food intolerance, and producing reports enabling us to lobby for better allergy services for sufferers.