Chrysalis Care provide a varied learning and development programme, covering a range of topics, such as one delivered by Mandy and Chetali of ‘Apples and Pears health’ about food allergies in children and young people.
They dispelled common myths about what is and isn’t an allergy and acceptable ways of diagnosing allergies (avoid the fads!)…and the importance of referring to a specialist to make this diagnosis. It can be so tempting to ‘diagnose’ at home based upon trial and error and subsequent elimination; the range of signs and symptoms to watch out for are vast – perhaps far more than we realise. Crucially, they teach how to respond in an emergency situation, in the severe case of an Anaphylaxic reaction, which whilst inevitably scary, much surely be less so when informed with how to deal with it. What a wonderful accompaniment to the paediatric first aid training that Chrysalis Care provide.
Here are some useful nuggets about food allergies:
- Introduce foods individually to a child when weaning, so that reactions can be clearly identified.
- Asthma, hayfever and eczema are often linked to an allergy and can be hereditary.
- Allergic reactions are not always obvious and can present as an upset tum, can present as hives and can present as shortness of breath. The range of reaction is varied, from subtle to severe.
- Different foods can initiate a different reaction in the same child.
- If an allergy is suspected, consult GP and ask for a referral for an allergy test.
Finally, the health service can be a daunting one to approach sometimes and a session facilitated by people who work within this service, with useful signposting and a valuable handout to take away, can be an empowering experience. Chrysalis Care invests in empowering foster carers, so that they can provide the very best in foster care for children who are looked after.