The diagnosis of a young child’s food allergy, with its ever-present risk of anaphylaxis, comes with a big learning curve for parents.
To help with the initiation into the lifestyle of label reading, cooking without allergies, and navigating play dates and school life, Anaphylaxis Canada has launched an online support website – the Newly Diagnosed Support Centre .
This comprehensive, allergist-reviewed resource contains a wealth of useful information for any parent whose child has been diagnosed with a severe food allergy. Split into logical and easy-to-follow categories, the information is organized so visitors can find what they are looking for quickly.
Virtually all major topics are covered, including how to avoid allergens and reduce the risk of reaction due to cross-contamination. Other important themes include how to be prepared for, identify and respond to a serious reaction, as well as how to manage the food-related concerns of daily life – everything from hiring a babysitter to dining out and traveling with food allergies.
In a section on “Challenges,” the site delves deeper into the parent’s relationship with the food-allergic child. It acknowledges the pyschological support that can be needed, with tips about listening to your child, supporting him or her, and being on alert for issues such as bullying. There is the important reminder that, while you must help to manage an at-risk child’s safety, “remember that there is more to your child than just their food allergy”.
In short, this newly diagnosed site is a trove of information for anyone new to parenting or caring for a child at risk of anaphylaxis.
Visitors can also download free and helpful resources, such as printable anaphylaxis action plans and menu planning sheets, to aid them in reducing reaction risks in daily life. The site also features instructional webinars – with more to be posted in the months ahead.
The online information is based on the handbook “Living Confidently with Food Allergy: A guide for parents and families”, which is available as a free download through the site.