Getting the Most From Your Appointment
When seeing a new doctor, they may be unfamiliar with all the important information about your child, so do make sure that you mention any pre-existing conditions/ allergies (such as latex), treatments and medications etc., which your child may be already receiving.
It may also be useful to note down any information the doctor gives you, and if your child is not usually relaxed when visiting a doctor, it can be a good idea to ask someone else to accompany you so you can give your full attention to the consultation. In particular, when you have young children it can be helpful to have someone to help while you listen to the information given.
Ask for any leaflets a doctor may have to help you with your child’s condition, as written information can also be useful to enable you to recall information later, or pass on information to someone else who may be caring for your child.
Try to book your appointment when it is a good time for you and your child, and you are not having to rush off somewhere, or may have other things on your mind (e.g. picking up other children or getting back to work).
All of this information can be very important to remember when you have a consultation with your allergist or other treating health care professional.
Essential information needs about food allergy
Research has shown that parents frequently leave a doctor’s appointment without the information they wish they had asked for. The list below has been found to cover most questions you might have, and it can be helpful to take this with you to the appointment. However, remember that you may not be able to discuss all the questions at a single appointment, and so the doctor may suggest a follow-up consultation.
- What is anaphylaxis? What is not anaphylaxis?
- Recognising symptoms of allergic reactions; the timescale of reactions.
- How accidental exposures occur and how to manage risky situations.
- What to feed your child (rather than what to avoid), while ensuring they eat a healthy diet which meets their nutritional needs.
- Practical allergen avoidance: label reading, shopping, cooking, social events, eating out and travel. How to find allergen-free products.
- When and how to use the adrenaline auto-injector device, if prescribed. Revision of technique at each follow-up appointment.
- How to educate other family members, and other adults who may give the child food.
- Risks and benefits of allergy testing and oral challenges. Interpretation of results.
- When follow-up is required, and why.
- Where to find more information.
- How to teach your child about allergy.
Last updated: March 2012