Does your child miss school due to allergies? If so, you're not alone.
Seasonal allergies are believed to affect as many as 40% of U.S. children. On any given day, about 10,000 of those children miss school because of their allergies. That's a total of more than 2 million lost school days every year.
Even if your child doesn't miss school, allergies can get in the way of a productive school day, so managing allergies at school is an important part of caring for your child's health.
Because your allergist has such an important role in your child's treatment, choose one you and your child feel comfortable with. A good doctor will give you information and support to help keep your child as safe as possible.
Pediatric allergist Anne Miranowski, MD, suggests you join a support group related to your child's allergies. "Support groups are a great way for families to meet people who are going through the same experience," she says.
When Eleanor Garrow-Holding learned that her son had severe allergies, she couldn't find a support group in her area. So she started one. "It's so important to have support, especially in the beginning, when your child has just been diagnosed," she says. "It was such a relief to find out I wasn't alone."
Garrow-Holding is now the president and CEO of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team.
Friends and Family
Ana Suarez, whose son has serious food allergies and asthma, says her large family is her main source of support.
Suarez wasn’t surprised when her son was diagnosed with food allergies, since they run in their family.
"Involve your family and good friends, if you can," Garrow-Holding says. "Explain your child's allergy triggers; show them how to use epinephrine [auto-injectors] and how to read food labels. The more information everyone has, the better."
The epinephrine auto-injectors should be used without hesitation if symptoms appear, even if you are not sure that the symptoms are allergy related. The medicine will not hurt your child and could save his life.