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Tips: Scary allergies, careful parent

Bella not only suffers from eczema, but she also suffers from allergies. Although eczema is hard to deal with, I find allergies a different level of scary. The thought of my daughter’s life being at risk by an ingredient in her food is terrifying. Not all of her allergies are life threatening, but some are. I learned to be extremely careful with her food and anything she might come in contact with. These are some of the precautionary things that I do:

1. Reading the ingredient labels of everything I give to my daughter. I check both the ingredients in the food and what other types of food are processed in the same place.

2. If she does not have an allergy to a product, but I suspect it may trigger her eczema, I try it for a couple of days to see if there is any reaction – still carefully controlling the rest of her food. Then, I can lessen or stop the consumption of it if it does.

3. Be cautious to what else she may come in contact with. The food itself might be fine for her to eat, but if it has had close contact with something she is allergic to, she may have a reaction.

4. Teaching her what allergies she has, and how important and serious it is for her not to consume them.

5. Trusting my instincts. I know my daughter better than anyone, and I learned to trust my mom-instincts when it comes to her allergies and eczema. It does not mean that I do not follow her doctor’s instructions and recommendations; I just follow my gut when I notice something is not setting well with her, or when something causes more/less flare ups or itchiness.

6. When going to a restaurant, I make sure to tell the waiter that her food cannot have contact with certain ingredients and to let them know she is really allergic. Also, if I do not know the exact ingredients the food may have, I ask the waiter and if they have any doubt, I ask them to consult the chef to know for sure what it has. Never hesitate to ask.

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