We were giving our daughter her first try of milk in baby porridge when her face became covered in hives. We rushed her to the Doctors, who advised this was an allergic reaction. As a family who had never had any allergies before we were surprised and uncertain about what was happening and what we could do to help our daughter. We later also discovered she was allergic to egg, having had a similar reaction, and she was tested by an allergy specialist at the local hospital, who found a peanut allergy.
Since discovering Alice had food allergies our life has changed in many ways. Eating out is rarely easy; every choice has to be thoroughly checked, usually with a selection of different documents which we have to match up with. We've walked away from some places where we didn't feel safe about the knowledge of the allergens, and sometimes there have been no items available. It can be quite distressing when you're made to feel like you're being difficult when all you want to do is keep your child safe.
Holidays are made much more complicated as we need to make sure there is sufficient ways to communicate the allergens which can be difficult with language barriers and we have to plan much more thoroughly, ensuring we have sufficient foods for the children to have.
I decided to raise money for Allergy UK to help provide others with access to help when faced with similar situations and to help raise awareness of what living with allergies of all kinds - but particularly food allergies - is like, and helping organisations help make things easier for the family.