San Diego Moms: Help Your Kids Cope with Food Allergies – Times of San Diego | Directory Mayhem

A child eating. Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately six million children in the US have food allergies, while 75% experience anxiety and anxiety related to their allergies.

These amazing statistics are why Dr. Rania Nasis founded Super Awesome Care, a comprehensive healthcare platform focused on providing children and families with the best food allergy support by providing counselors, care and specialist teams.

“Food allergies impact every aspect of a family’s life,” Nasis said. “Unfortunately, many feel left alone. And they need more than just a doctor — they need support with nutrition, education, tools and even mental health.”

According to Nasis, food allergies in children have increased in recent years, with experts estimating that peanut and tree nut allergies have increased three times since 1997 and 2008, and all other allergens have also increased.

dr Rania Nasis from Super Awesome Care. Courtesy photo

Today, the top nine allergens in children are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy and sesame, she said.

“Almost any food can cause an allergy — over 170 have been identified as causing a reaction,” Nasis said.

Some children may even have allergies to toys, such as B. Crafts.

“Doh, for example, can be a problem for kids with a wheat allergy,” Nasis said. “Everything from chalk to crayons to finger paint can contain hidden allergens. The younger the child, the more difficult it can be to put objects, including hands, in their mouths throughout the day.”

So how can parents and other caregivers help their children cope with food allergies?

“The best way parents can help is to make sure their kids are safe to participate in all the kid stuff,” Nasis said. “Rather than discouraging your children from attending things like birthday parties or school activities, find ways to work with the school and other parents to create a safe environment. It can be daunting work — it helps find allies in your community who can advocate for your child even when you’re not there.”

Nasis also recommended that adults teach children to be advocates for themselves.

“For example, a young child may not understand what an allergy is, but you can teach them to only accept foods from certain approved adults,” she said. “You can teach them never to leave the house without their auto-injector, even if they don’t fully understand what it is.”

When it comes to bullying, adults can help children deal with negative comments by encouraging open communication.

“Making sure a child knows what bullying is and what to do about it,” Nasis said. “And making sure they’re comfortable telling an adult if it’s happening. You can even role-play “what if” scenarios to practice different reactions. Or ask them what they would do if a friend was bullied.”

Nasis also encouraged parents to look out for signs of bullying such as physical changes such as bruises, torn clothing or damaged property. Behavior changes caused by bullying can include sadness, loss of interest in things they used to like, and emotional outbursts.

“Frequent headaches or stomachaches, lower grades, or any excuse not to go to school can also be signs,” Nasis said. “Bullying is often the result of the bully’s ignorance. Talk to school administrators and teachers about providing food allergy education programs.”

However, the best way to tackle food allergy-related bullying is through awareness, she said.

“We need more general awareness of food allergies and their consequences, which can be life-threatening,” Nasis said. “Let’s teach kids how to be allies to their friends and classmates with food allergies. And let us help parents model welcoming, caring and inclusive behaviors for their children.”

For more information on Super Awesome Care, visit superawesomecare.com.

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San Diego Moms comes out every Saturday. Do you have an idea for a story? Email hoaq@timesofsandiego.com and follow her on Instagram at @hoawritessd.

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