Children’s Allergies

Many parents have registered their children for camps and fun activities over Spring Break, and allergies are definitely atop the list of safety concerns during this time. Allergies are something to be aware and cautious of throughout the year, but sometimes can be overlooked for these special events and shorter stints with organizations.

Did you know that over 50 million Americans have some sort of allergy, and over 15 million of these have food allergies? Allergic reactions vary greatly, and can range from sneezing, puffy eyes, congestion, and an itchy or irritated throat, to more severe reactions including throat swelling, breaking out into hives and rashes, nausea, difficulty breathing, and even death. Allergies are nothing to take lightly, and can be serious even if the person with the allergy hasn’t consumed the food they’re allergic to! Some people are so severely allergic to things, that the smell or touch of those items can be lethal. In most of these cases, a person is known to be Anaphylactic, a severe, whole-body and life-threatening allergic reaction.

Children's allergies are an important throughout the year, but especially when kids are going away to camps and travelling during Spring Break!
Children’s allergies are an important throughout the year, but especially when kids are going away to camps and travelling during Spring Break!

Given the potential for serious allergic reactions, what can you do to be better prepare? Plenty!

Communicate: It’s absolutely crucial to communicate your child’s allergies, severity of allergies and treatment to anyone who is in a caretaker position. For those who go into anaphylactic shock, the only treatment option is epinephrine, which is most easily transmitted through an EpiPen. If your child is in anaphylactic shock, they might not be able to administer the treatment themselves, which is why it is crucial to share that information with caretakers as soon as possible. Sharing these details with other parents also ensures that the community is aware and working together to keep everyone safe!

Allergy Tests: Many children have an allergy test when they’re very young, but allergies can grow and change over time. It’s a good idea to go for allergy tests every few years to get the most accurate results. Nowadays with advanced technology, allergy tests are not as painful as they used to be!

Equipment: It’s important to carry any necessary equipment and medication to treat your child’s allergies wherever you are. Keep extra stock of these items in your family emergency kit, and if your child is going away to camp, ensure that they have everything they need to treat their allergies with them at all times. Some parents might find it useful to invest in an allergy bracelet which can be worn to indicate which allergies a child has, and might be especially helpful if the child will be spending time away from home.

Choose the Right Environment: Selecting the right camp or activity is just as important as sharing allergy information! A fantastic idea is food allergy-free camps, and you can find a list of those camps on the Food Allergy Research and Education website. For children who have dust allergies, it’s important to look for organizations that can attest to a high value of cleanliness. Don’t be afraid to take it upon yourself to find out those details, and keep up to date on the environments your child may be exposed to!

Access to Allergy Details: With an ePACT account, you can have all of your child’s important allergy and medical information stored in your single emergency record, so it is accessible anytime and anywhere. ePACT makes it easy to keep critical information on you at all times, and allows you to share that information with your trusted networks of loved ones and organizations, such as your child’s school and day camp. You can create your free family account in just a few minutes at www.epactnetwork.com!

Allergies may be a frustrating thing to deal with, especially for young children. However, these guidelines are a great way to be better prepared for any situation! Thanks for reading and enjoy your spring break!

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ePACT is the single emergency record and support network for families, and the emergency preparedness and response standard for organizations. By leveraging the power of online networking, ePACT brings organizations and families together to share critical information, plan collectively and communicate before, during and after any emergency. Sign up today to better connect and protect your family and organization through any crisis!

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