Once you get a handle on your child’s allergies, you can share your knowledge and experience with others. In some cases, the people who care for your child may know very little about how to manage this condition, so we’ve put together a list of tips and resources to help you guide them.
Top communication tips
- Be patient. For some people, food allergies may be a whole new concept. Start with the most important information and keep it in simple language.
- Speak calmly. Explain that although food allergies are serious, they can be managed. Avoid scare tactics or high emotion to convince others to take it seriously. Such tactics may have a negative effect and people may think you are overreacting or feel uncomfortable taking care of your child.
- Involve your child with food allergies. Include them in conversations, and have them speak for themselves whenever possible. This will instill confidence in your child as it helps to get your message across.
- If you’re having trouble getting someone to understand or take your child’s allergies seriously, try a different approach. It often helps to give information from trusted sources, such as your child’s doctor or an educational handout. Sometimes, asking someone else to speak with the person can help, too.
- Print out key information. This may include your or your child’s Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan and our reaction signs and symptoms page and our treating reactions page. Our common food allergens pages provide allergen-specific info.
- Be there. Let family and friends know that they are partners in your allergy management, and that you are open to their questions.
- Find a quiet time to talk to new caregivers, when you’ll have their full attention.
- Use simple and direct language, and keep the tone friendly.
- Bring an auto-injector training device and practice using it together.
- If a potential caregiver seems unsure about whether they can care for your child, find someone else. Your child should be in the care of someone who feels confident.
- Discuss your child’s Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan, and give the caregiver a copy of the plan. Make sure that they understand how to recognize anaphylaxis and how to respond.
- We have a free online course, Anaphylaxis in the Community, for parents and others. This interactive course covers the basics of anaphylaxis, ways to reduce risks, and the recommended emergency treatment. It’s won awards for interactivity and innovation. Check it out!
Anaphylaxis in the Community