Beyond Diagnosis and Treatment
After (a) diagnosis of an allergic condition, the professionals (people) who have helped you and your child – at your GP practice and at the hospital or clinic – will keep on helping you (central to all of this, though, is the child with allergy).
Suffering from symptoms, getting a diagnosis and then coping with new (and often tricky) treatments can be unsettling and upsetting for a child and family (this initial upset can be reduced and children can be taught to understand and cope with their condition on a long-term basis). The professionals in your GP or hospital clinic are there to help you and your child to understand and learn how to manage their allergic condition on a long term basis.
However, gaining a diagnosis and getting the right treatment is only part of what can be done to manage your child's allergic condition (control an allergy). Whilst prescribed treatments are central to effective allergy management, there are many things you and your children can do (we can do ourselves) to help to reduce children’s allergy symptoms. Understanding how allergens, or the triggers, affect our children, can lead us to make changes in our environments and lifestyles to reduce their impact (of allergens). Less contact with the allergens means fewer allergic reactions and reduced symptoms, and this can mean fewer treatments and medications.
Many places and activities can at first seem to be no-go areas when a child has allergy. However, difficult situations and environments can be navigated successfully when you plan ahead for both everyday activities, such as nursery or school, and special occasions, such as holidays and parties. Recognising risk of allergens in any given situation and then avoiding the allergen is key.
The allergic conditions can last throughout childhood. Teaching others about the condition can also help your child to manage daily life more successfully. Some children living with allergy face ignorance from others, such as suggesting a child with asthma cannot succeed in sport, or bullying from peers due to the appearance or feel of eczema. Educating other adult carers and children helps them to understand your child`s condition and may avoid the additional stress of excluding the allergic child from activities they enjoy.
(Other people can make a difference to how effectively a child with any chronic condition copes, and it is no different for children with allergy. Whether it is prejudice concerning what a child with asthma can achieve in sport, or bullying due to other people’s ignorance about eczema, children can suffer from these additional distressing aspects of allergy. This can be avoided and stopped, and with continued support from Allergy UK you can be updated on information that will help both you and your child to feel more in control).
Finally, some children may grow out of their allergies, some may grow out of one allergic condition but develop another, and some children may continue suffering from allergies into adulthood. When infants and children develop an allergic condition (As) parents (we) are initially in charge of (dealing with) managing the symptoms and treatments. Parents play an important part in educating our allergic children, helping children to understand their condition, how to avoid allergens and to manage their medication effectively. An allergic child who has been well prepared and educated about his allergy can grow into a young person and adult who feels confident in managing their own allergic condition. (If a young child can be educated to understand their condition and taught allergen avoidance and how to use their medication, they will be able to grow up to take charge of their allergies and take care of their health for life.)
The continued support and information updates offered by Allergy UK can help you and your child to understand their allergic condition, how to avoid the allergens and reduce symptoms. This will contribute to the child and family feeling in control and better able to manage daily life, including the special occasions.
We hope that the information about growing up with allergy on this website will help you to find ways which suit you and your family to live with allergy.