Introduction

Dear Parent,

We know that it can be overwhelming to be told that your child has a food allergy.  You might be wondering: Will my child have a normal life?  What can my child eat?  Can my child safely stay with a babysitter or go to a childcare centre or school?  Could I use an auto-injector if I had to?  Could my child die?  How will I be able to cope with all of this?  You may feel like you are alone, but you are not.  Many parents have these same worries.

Things change when your child has a food allergy.  You have to be careful all the time, when buying and preparing food and when eating away from home.  You need to teach others to care for your child at home, childcare centres, schools, and family or social events.  This can be very stressful at first.

Through our experiences as healthcare providers and parents of children with food allergy, we have learned that families do well when they know the facts about food allergy and what they can do to keep their children happy and safe.  That is why we created this handbook.

This handbook is meant to teach you important information about food allergy, suggest ways to educate your child and others, and offer helpful tips and support.  We suggest that you go through the “must-read” sections of the handbook first, from Frequently Asked Questions to Managing Food Allergy at Home.  Then read the other sections as you need information.  You can go at your own pace. To help you understand and build skills, we have put together a number of real-life exercises.  We have also created a list of trusted resources about food allergies that you may find helpful.  You can download activity sheets, exercises, and resource sheets from www.anaphylaxis.ca and www.AllergyHome.org.

Please keep in mind that this handbook is a resource to help you learn. It does NOT replace advice from your child’s doctor.  Speak with your doctor directly if you have questions or are worried about your child.

You will find that as you learn more, managing allergies will become part of your daily life.  You will begin to feel more in control and less anxious or worried about your child’s allergy.  Your child will feel better as they learn about their food allergy and become involved in daily routines.

We hope that the information in this handbook will help you and your child to feel confident about handling food allergies!

 

Warmly,

 

Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSc, Pediatric Allergist

Jennifer LeBovidge, PhD, Pediatric Psychologist

 

Anaphylaxis Canada –
Laura Bantock, Director, Western Region

Lauren James, Development Coordinator

Laurie Harada, Executive Director

 

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PLEASE READ THIS NOTE BEFORE READING THE HANDBOOK

The information in this handbook is for educational purposes only. It is meant to help people learn how to manage a child’s allergies. It is not meant to give specific medical advice, recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment.

Readers should not rely on any information contained in this handbook as a replacement or substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. Nor should they delay getting professional medical advice or treatment because of information contained in this handbook. Medical knowledge is constantly developing.

Please speak with your child’s doctor or other healthcare professional before making any medical decision that affects your child or if you have any questions or concerns about their food allergies.

The authors of this handbook – Michael Pistiner, Jennifer LeBovidge and Anaphylaxis Canada – as well as individual contributors and reviewers will not be held responsible for any action taken or not taken based on/or as a result of the reader’s interpretation (understanding) of the information contained herein.

Please note that AllergyHome is not affiliated with Boston Children’s Hospital

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