Parents of young children are always naturally concerned with their health and well-being, and one important area here for many children is allergies. In particular, food allergies are on a continuous rise in the United States for children and adults alike, increasing by around 50% over the last 20 years.
At Lit’l Scholars Learning Centers, all the staff in charge of our various childcare and daycare programs are well-versed in common food allergies and how to take the proper precautions to prevent any risks here. Let’s go over some basics on food allergy symptoms, plus some approaches to take both at home and when sending your child to a daycare facility.
Knowing the Symptoms of Food Allergies
Food allergies are essentially a physiological response from the body to a given food, caused by the immune system being fooled into thinking certain proteins are harmful when they are not in reality. In response, the immune system launches defense mechanisms, which come forth as the symptoms you might see from someone suffering an allergic reaction.
In many cases, even extremely small amounts of a given food can trigger food allergies. Symptoms may range from mild to severe depending on the individual, and they can include each of the following:
- Swelling of the mouth, tongue, face or any other area that came into contact with the food item
- Sudden drop in blood pressure
- Anaphylaxis (a sudden inability to breathe, generally considered one of the most extreme and concerning allergy symptoms)
If your child ever experiences these symptoms while eating, take them to a doctor for immediate care plus a diagnosis of a potential allergy.
If your child has already been diagnosed with a food allergy, and particularly if it’s a severe one, reading the labels of the foods you buy becomes extremely important. You have to ensure that even small traces of allergens are not present in their food, which means fully reading labels, especially for any processed foods that may contain trace amounts of certain allergens.
Daycare and Lists
When sending a child with food allergies to a daycare, preschool or any other childcare center, help out the staff – and your child – by providing them with a detailed list of any allergens your child has and foods they cannot come into contact with as a result. If your child cannot eat certain highly common foods, it’s good to suggest alternatives that staff can provide. At Lit’ Scholars, our staff is well-trained on food handling, separation and other areas that ensure all children in our facility remain safe despite even severe allergies to foods.
For more on being careful with child food allergies, or to learn about any of our after school or daycare services, speak to the staff at Lit’l Scholars Learning Centers today.