How to Complete Your Food and Symptoms Diary

A vital part of managing an allergy is avoiding triggers and knowing what starts allergic symptoms and what works in controlling them. Symptom and treatment diaries can be especially helpful when discussing your child’s condition with doctors. It can be difficult, when speaking with a doctor, to remember all the symptoms and exactly what occurred and when.

By recording times and dates of symptoms a diary can highlight what triggers an allergic reaction and help everyone understand when treatment works and what may need to be changed. These records can be kept up regularly so that you can decide if increasing symptoms are a ‘one off’ or if they are showing a pattern.

This can help you to act and, if necessary, call upon one of the many people who can help you to decide which steps to take to re-establish symptom control with different doses of medication or different treatments.

Below is an example of a symptom diary showing how it may be filled in. It shows how, by recording some information, a doctor may be able to understand more how an allergy is affecting a child over a period of time and what symptoms they are having. Remember to write both positive and negative changes in symptoms in a symptom / treatment diary.

Name of Child: Joe BrownAge: 5 yearsGP: Dr. Smith
Day and Time of DaySymptoms / DurationWas there a trigger: i.e. contact?Action and Response
1st March ‘21
2.30 pm
Itchy rash, red-looking
around face and swollen eyes and sneezing
Round friend’s house –
(they have a cat )
Anti-histamine syrup given, made appt with
GP, this seemed to get better after a couple of
hours when we were back at home.
16th April ‘14
3.00 pm
Sneezing and watery
eyes, itchy nose
Playing in garden after
grass had been cut
Washed face and hands and bathed eyes, felt
better but eyes still red and itchy a couple of
hours later therefore anti-histamine given.
Felt better later in evening, no further symptoms
27th April ‘14Itchy eczema like skin around wrists and kneesStarted to itch for a while at school, complained of after school – no obvious
trigger noted.
Moisturising cream applied and uncovered
areas and allowed to cool down. Less red areas and skin looked calmer and less dry. Will mention to GP as have follow up visit.