Sometimes having a child with multiple allergies can seem overwhelming and daunting task.
It may seem that food is everywhere and can’t be avoided and it feels that constant danger is around every corner. Which is totally understandable and pretty normal response to having previously seen your child react to a food.
When your child is small, under five, it is not just the three meals a day, but snacks that are needed for little bodies to grow, and organising this is a non stop risk assessment over the day.
As children grow older and the social aspects of life arrive, birthday parties, day trips and holidays can feel an extra burden to add to the constant forward planning.
There are times when the birthday party invitations come thick and fast, the sleep over invites, the day outings with friends and then as they grow older the school trips abroad and of course your family holidays.
Remember to ask your child if they really want to go, if they are close friends with the birthday child. I was never a fan of inviting a whole class to a birthday party, or the idea of my children choosing to attend because of the party theme or activity rather than being a good friend of the birthday child. So say no, esp if you have more than one child and your evenings and weekends are a constant juggling act.
When faced with travel your first knee jerk reaction may be totally negative. After all you are dealing with a lot day to day, and the concept of travel abroad can seem impossibly daunting.
This is the area when you must pause and think carefully, as a parent if you say no every time to a day trip/ school trip away / or family travelling for holidays how will it impact your child’s view of their future?
Confidence is born in taking risks. For both parent and child. Not going out socially to restaurants or traveling, means a missed opportunity. The chance for you to role model the steps to ask for safe meal. Or the chance for them to hand over the translation cards in a restaurant, and then gain the confidence to ask for what they want on a menu.
Or provide the chance for them to be involved in the risk assessment for meals / travel. It takes confidence to walk out a restaurant if you don’t get the feeling they can give you a safe meal. All this can give them a glimpse of the future, which is living a full and confident life as an allergic adult.
Going on a family holiday will give you and your family a huge confidence boost, as well as lots of happy memories. If you are the main caregiver the one who reads every label on everything in your house, a holiday can mean sharing that burden with another adult. Including the planning ahead for the trip. Our batteries as parents needs recharging, so take that step.
Take baby steps, book a holiday with a mix of self catering and restaurants, see new places, dip your toes in the sea ( or lake, which can be better for sensitive skin) and have a wonderful time.