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November 28, 2006

Communication During a Food Allergy Reaction

As you may already know, one of our daughters has a pretty severe egg allergy. She had a skin reaction this week that came on pretty sudden and strong (she's not experienced anaphylatic shock from a food allergy reaction). We gave her Benadryl and an oatmeal bath and the reaction subsided. Going through this experience highlighted for us the need to communicate with our child during the reaction.

This turned out to be a pretty mild reaction that we got under control relatively quickly (not as quick as the food allergy reaction kicked in, of course!). Our daughter is 6 years old. She's old enough to tell us exactly how she is feeling and be clear about her symptoms. A few years ago, she would have simply started crying and we would have discovered her condition at a pace in accordance with her volume level. I find we move pretty quickly if the volume level is high and the cause is unclear.

This time, we were able to tell her what was going on and talk her through the meds and the bath treatment. Now, if it were peanut exposure, the situation may have been a bit different - although, I'd like to think our level of communication with her would be similar - especially during an ambulance ride.

It's something to think about. I believe we owe it to evolve our communication style as our kids grow older. Don't they deserve to hear more than just "it's going to be okay, honey"? They deserve to hear more information with regard to what's happening to them and how we are taking care of the situation.

And don't forget the hugs... I believe the size of our hugs need to grow right along with our kids.

Posted by David at November 28, 2006 9:14 PM


i totally agree. not only does talking help us parents keep calm through the episode, it also arms our kids with information to help them better understand what's happening to them, and help make them a bit more pro-active in preventing a recurrence, one step at a time.

Posted by: ruth at November 29, 2006 4:41 AM