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So to all you allergy mums out there dreading Christmas – try and find the courage to be strong and don’t feel you
have to go with the flow to keep other people happy…. Here’s hoping 2016 brings much-needed positivity to all of us and our little allergy warriors.
Here are 10 top tips from gut allergy mummy’s to share with your friends and relatives for a stress free Christmas:
1. Please do not take offence if an offer is declined to attend a social event you are hosting. It’s nothing personal and of course, we would love to go – but the risk factors are too high. Maybe instead, offer to send some goodies or party leftovers so they can be enjoyed in peace and as a treat when the children are in bed.
2. Please refrain from saying how healthy our children look and how you would never think there is anything wrong with them. And whatever you do – don’t mention the word “thriving.” We know you mean well but this is like a red rag to a bull! Only 20% of children with food allergies fail to thrive and looks can be very deceiving.
3. If you happen to be in our company when our children are eating – please refrain from telling them to stop messing with their food, eat up, sit down etc. many of our children have developed feeding aversions due to the pain they associate with eating food. So for us to even see them sitting at a table with a bowl in front of them is huge steps for us and for them.
4. Please be aware that under no circumstances should you feed our children anything without asking our permission at any time. Please do not make comments like; “ah sure one bite won’t do them any harm.” It can and it will do them quite a lot of harm. In fact in some cases, it could be fatal.
5. Please do not be too offended that we find it difficult to visit your home. Again it’s nothing personal. We just prefer not to take the risks of going into unknown teritory. But we would love to have you come spend some time with us in our home where we know it is safe.
6. Please be mindful of what your children are eating or drinking if they are in the company of our children. All it takes is trace protein or a crumb to trigger a reaction.
7. It’s ok that you don’t fully understand what our children’s condition is. But please feel free to ask and we will gladly point you in the direction of websites such as www.refluxallergyireland.com and www.fpiesuk.org where you can get more info. We know your children are too young to understand what is going on, but a simple chat with them to explain that they need to be very careful with food and drink around our children because they can become very ill from food, should suffice.
8. Please don’t question our actions when it comes to our children or make us feel like we are exaggerating about what happens. We do not cut out any foods unnecessarily and we do not stop food trials unless we see ongoing symptoms. Everything we do is in the very best interests of our children. We are also under the strict instruction and guidance of highly skilled and qualified medical practitioners who give us advise. We know you might mean well but it’s best to keep your comments to yourself when you don’t fully understand what goes on.
9. Please be mindful that our children are on lots of medication for their condition and some of it can make them very drowsy. They need regular naps throughout the day and early bedtime routines. We are not being regimental or stuck in our ways – sleep and rest are vital for our children.
10. Last but not least, please remember that we are still human and we still have feelings. We are still the same people we were before all this happened. It’s not always suitable to catch up with friends and loved ones when our children are around as they need our full-time attention. But we would love if you organised an evening catch up or adult get together that doesn’t involve the children!
Thanks for reading – I hope you gained some valuable knowledge and awareness from this blog.
Wishing you and all yours a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year!