by ROAD iD Staff January 21, 2021

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As a parent, finding out your child has an allergy can feel devastating. But allergies in children are more common than you might think. Parents looking to protect their children can do it with some forethought. 

The major approach involves preventing allergic reactions before they ever happen. But in instances where your kid has a reaction, you can take measures to protect them – whether it’s having them wear allergy bracelets for kids or properly informing school officials. 

Food Allergies

Food allergies are one of the most common allergies among children and most people. The most common reactions to food allergies include itchy skin, eczema, swollen tonsils and reddened eyes – and possibly life-threatening physical reactions. Food allergy triggers tend to include:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Cow’s milk

Preventing allergic reactions in your children is as simple as limiting their exposure to the foods they are allergic to. This means maintaining a strict diet that does not have any cross-contamination. This can be done by keeping a watchful eye on food outside of the home and not introducing the food into your home (or segmenting it from whatever they come into contact with). 

How can you protect against it? If you’re expecting a newborn, many studies show that food allergies can be reduced by what the mother eats during pregnancy. Otherwise, it’s recommended that new mothers breastfeed their newborns, as it’s shown to protect against food-borne allergies.   

Environmental Allergies 

Tobacco and Smoke 

It’s well-known that a pregnant woman shouldn't smoke during their pregnancy. Similarly, they should not expose themselves to (tobacco) smoke before and after birth. Exposure to tobacco smoke and other types of carcinogenic smoke can lead to your child having breathing issues in their early developmental years, as it can lead to conditions like asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases. 

girl holding cat sneezing

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Dust Mites

Airborne particles, like dust mites, have been shown to cause allergic reactions in people, especially children. The best way to protect against these types of allergic reactions is to limit the exposure of dust mites. 

The best rule of thumb is to regularly wash bedding, vacuum carpets, clean furniture and maintain indoor humidity, especially within your child’s bedroom. If they are having any reactions in their room, consider removing any unnecessary furniture. 

Animals and Pets

There’s still little understanding of how children become allergic to pets and animals. Some studies show that early exposure to animals causes allergies, while others have shown that exposure could protect against developing diseases. It’s difficult to know what’s right. Consider talking to your child’s pediatrician to get their opinion. Their expert advice will be helpful in making a decision, beyond your instinct. 

Protecting Your Children at School

Inform School Officials

One of the first things you should do is inform your children’s principal, teachers, nurses, cafeteria staff and other officials about your child’s allergies. This will help officials be mindful of what they do and what food they serve around your children. 

Have Allergies Posted in Your Child’s Classroom

It’s a good idea to ask the school to post your child’s allergy information in their classroom and the lunchroom. It’s a simple gesture that can help school officials and adults remain aware of your child’s allergies so they can act accordingly, whether handing out food or thinking of bringing in a pet for fun.  

Ask for Safe Snacks 

You should consider packing safe snacks for your child every day. It’s a great way to keep them safe and it makes sure they have a snack in case the teacher or a student brings in some food of which they can’t partake. 

 girl wearing back to school mask

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Wearing Medical Alert Bracelets

A useful last line of defense is medical bracelets for kids. In the event your child has an allergic reaction, they might enter a state where they become unable to speak, unresponsive or unconscious. A medical alert bracelet can protect your child when they have an allergic reaction, as their allergy can be engraved on their bracelet. This way, any bystander can call emergency services and inform them how your child is reacting and what allergy they are listed as having. It could save their life in the moment of an allergic attack. 

Take measured efforts to protect your child against allergic reactions. Limit their interaction with allergens, inform other adults in their life and have them wear an allergy bracelet. 

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