Health and Well-being, Social Media and Bullying

Information and advice for a parent or carer of a child living with allergy

Bullying/mental health

These teenage years are notoriously hard for children and parents. Battling hormones, along with managing their condition, can impact their mental health.

Make sure you continue to talk to your child about their feelings and their condition, giving them a safe space to open up if something is troubling them. Encourage your child to talk, often as they are trying to navigate their new independence, they need a listening ear in order to make sense of the world.

The organisations and resources below can offer support and advice on dealing with mental health.

Social Media and Cyberbullying

It’s likely that between these ages, your child will join one or more social media platforms and will have their own mobile device. Whilst a lot of good comes from having this technology, sadly, they also open up the possibility of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation.

Things to look out for:

  • Noticeable increases or decreases in device use, including texting.
  • A child exhibits emotional responses (laughter, anger, upset) to what is happening on their device.
  • A child hides their screen or device when others are near, and avoids discussion about what they are doing on their device.
  • Social media accounts are shut down or new ones appear.
  • A child starts to avoid social situations, even those that were enjoyed in the past.
  • A child displays new behaviours such as becomes withdrawn, depressed, has sudden uncharacteristic outbursts of anger or loses interest in people and activities.

The organisations below can offer support and advice on dealing with cyberbullying.

Bullying and Anxiety Resources

Bullying Advice

Bullying Advice

Being online can be a really positive experience as you can connect with friends, watch enjoyable clips and much more. However, it does have dangers and it is important to stay safe online.

Anti-Bullying Alliance

Anti-Bullying Alliance

The Anti-Bullying Alliance are a unique coalition of organisations and individuals, working together to achieve their vision to: stop bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.

Anxiety in Children and Young Adults

Anxiety in Children and Young Adults

This Factsheet explores the vicious cycle of anxiety, how to manage the physical sensations of anxiety and the link between our thoughts, behaviours and feelings when coping with allergy.

Bully Busters

Bully Busters

The website contains information and practical advice on bullying, as well as contact details for the free helpline or you can email us via the contact us form.

Drinking, smoking and drugs

It’s best to prepare and inform your child about how these substances can affect their allergies before the age of 18, so that they’re equipped to make the right choices and stay safe. Here are some of the things we recommend educating your child on about allergies with drinking, smoking and drugs:

  • Alcohol and drugs can affect how you think, so your child may not initially recognise an allergic reaction.
  • Being under the influence of alcohol and drugs can also impair their decision making and often make them more vulnerable to unnecessary risk taking.
  • Alcohol can sometimes cause flushing (redness of skin).
  • Some wines are processed with egg, milk or fish, spirits can contain nuts and fruit beers may contain wheat/barley, fish or fruit products. Most alcohol contains sulphites.
  • Studies show low risk of anaphylaxis, but if your child is very sensitive to low amounts of these allergens, it might trigger a reaction.
  • Sharing cigarettes or e-cigarettes can pose a cross contamination risk with food allergens.
  • Allergic reactions to vaping have occasionally been reported to the ingredient propylene glycol, but it’s uncommon.
  • Long term smoking affects lung function and asthma control. The research on vaping is currently not well understood.
  • There are a few case reports that have shown the illegal drug cannabis may cause reactions for people who have lipid transfer protein allergy (often linked to severe reactions to fruit and vegetables).

Additional Resources

Reactions to Alcohol

Reactions to Alcohol

Young people will look to emulate adults and experimenting with alcohol before the legal age can often be seen as a ‘rite of passage’ by their peers which is why it is important to be aware of any hidden allergens.

Sanofi UK has provided a financial contribution to the production of this digital destination but has had no editorial input into the design, content or other outputs.

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