Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

React? Act! April 25, 2012

Like a lot of people these days, my kids are sneezing up a storm from spring airborne allergies.  And, for my older son:  this often means an increase in his asthma.  As if the sniffling wasn’t bad enough!

 

After his first spring asthmatic reaction in school (a doozy – the kind that he hasn’t had in a long time!), we had a chat.  Knowing my son and his proclivity for following classroom rules,  I assumed correctly that my son was trying to wait until his lesson was over to let his teacher know he was wheezing.  That won’t do!  Not only is wheezing the first symptom of asthma, but can also be a symptom for a food allergy reaction.  We had to re-emphasize the importance of reporting to adults even if it means interrupting them or demanding their attention.

 

My husband and I told him that one of the FEW exceptions to following the school and classroom rules is when you don’t feel well. “If you are wheezing, you need to tell the teacher right away – even if she’s talking or teaching the class.  If you are at recess, find an adult in charge and tell THEM right away.”  We very calmly expanded the lesson to include food allergy symptoms, “If your belly feels sick, if you have hives or an itchy throat, you must also tell an adult right away.  Even if those feelings aren’t really bothering you yet. It’s important to let the nurse see what’s going on so you can get back to playing!”

 

Thankfully, my son digested this lesson very well.  Since this chat, he’s been speaking up and heading to the nurse to get a puff of his inhaler as needed.  Not only does it empower him, but it helps keep his wheezing from escalating to a full-blown asthma attack.

 

Our hope is that calmly and gently teaching kids to recognize signs of asthma and allergic reactions will make them feel in control and ultimately help protect them.

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Emergency On-the-Go Pack January 7, 2011

Like many of you, we carry two EpiPens wherever we go, just in case.  Upon buying my sixteenth spur-of-the-moment bottle of Children’s Benadryl, I also began carrying that with us all the time.  After that we added an inhaler to the portable pharmacy in my purse.  And, then…I couldn’t find ANYTHING!

 

Finally, I got smart.  I decided to put together an emergency pack for my son where all his medications could be easily retrieved.

 

Since the emergency medications might need to be used urgently, the container had to be easily opened and indestructible. I opted to use a 3″ x 6″ tupperware container.  All my essentials fit in perfectly and the pack isn’t so bulky that I can’t stick it in my purse easily.

 

My pack contains:

1.  My son’s two Epi-Pens,

2.  The instructions for their use,

3.   An asthma inhaler; and

4.  Children’s Benadryl Perfect Measure Single-Use spoons.

 

I’ve found that there are many benefits to having an On-the-Go pack like this.  First, it keeps all his meds in one place — there’s no need to roam around my bag and check all those side pockets.  Secondly, it’s easy to transfer.  For example, if I’m switching from my day bag to pool bag, I can transfer just one item rather than having to account for many.  Finally, it easily goes where my son does.  When my son heads off to a playdate or enjoys an afternoon with his grandparents, it’s simple to pass along those medications that should accompany him to another adult in charge and eliminates some of the questions about what to do if he has a reaction.