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Are allergies part of your family’s daily life?

A child with allergies may behave poorly, which affects family well-being.

A text of Eve Christian

This Food Allergy Awareness Month, here are some suggestions, in various formats, that will help children and parents understand why allergies happen and how to live relatively normally with them.

Books

For children aged 4 or 5 and over

Starting with a story of everyday life, these books address many of the elements present when a child discovers that his body does not have enough little soldiers to fight an allergen, the symptoms of an allergic reaction, the allergist and skin and blood tests, epinephrine auto-injector, tips for staying safe at school and at home, and the pourquoi moi?“,”text”:”pourquoi moi?”}}”> why me? because it often happens that the child wonders why he is allergic and not his siblings or his comrades.

Title : No nuts for Sara

Author: Sylvie Louis

Illustrator : Romi Caron

Editions : Dominique and Company

My opinion : Children will easily recognize themselves in this realistic story, told by Sara, 6, which subtly brings up the important points mentioned above.

The informative section To know more , at the end of the book, will reassure parents and educators. This book is part of the Une histoire sur… collection, which covers several areas (intellectual disability, anger, autism, etc.).

Title : Me, I know that, allergies!

Author: Dominic Lord

Illustrator : Jacques Laplante

Editions : Little man

My opinion : Thanks to Violette, 7, children with certain food allergies will know what to do to stay safe in their environment. Humor and comical illustrations de-dramatize this subject. Two recipes and a glossary of words encountered throughout the story complete the informative album, revised by Allergies Québec.

Title : Allergies told to children

Author: Sylvie Cyr

Illustrator : John Morin

Editions : From Mortagne

My opinion : Amy, 5, will soon be going to school for the first time. She and her parents are worried about managing her food allergies, and with good reason. Approved by Dr. Des Roches, allergist at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center, this book will answer their questions in several ways. We first read the scenario told with the words of Amy, which will interest the children. The analogy between the allergic reaction on the body and a dog guarding the house is very colorful and easy to understand. I loved!

As a bonus: tips and strategies with concrete actions to apply on a daily basis, the emotional aspect (anger, injustice or frustration), science to satisfy the curious and, finally, useful pages for parents.

And a guide for parents:

Title : Allergies: Strategies for Managing Food Allergies

Author: Sylvie Cyr

Editions : From Mortagne

My opinion : In addition to enjoying reading the previous book (with their child), parents will find in this one, written in collaboration with allergist Marie-Noël Primeau, detailed and in-depth explanations, embellished with boxes recounting real-life cases. and providing scientific details, which have taught me a lot. It provides answers to several questions, including: to what extent, depending on the age of the allergic child, should parents be involved? And at what times? In addition, twenty recipes without allergens, several resources and strategies. This previous book and several other titles make up the Toolbox collection.


Podcast

Episode 10 of the podcast Tell Me, Doctor.

Podcast Tell me, doctor Photo: Radio-Canada

Title :Where do food allergies come from, and how to treat them

animator : Dr. René Wittmer, family physician, Integrated University Health and Social Services Center of the Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal

Director : Philippe Marois, Radio-Canada

Summary : Having a severe food allergy means living with the fear of coming across a trace of a food that has the potential to kill us. Dr. René Wittmer talks with Dr. Jonathan Lacombe-Barrios, immunoallergologist, to demystify this disease that affects many people, young and adults alike, and which can occur at any age.

My opinion : I learned a lot from this convivial exchange between a family doctor and his expert colleague. The friendly tone and the level of popularization are perfect. Among other things, I discovered the pollen-food syndrome, which causes a cross-reaction in a person who bites into an apple. Tingling around and in the mouth occurs, as the body reacts by associating the apple with pollen. However, once the apple is cooked, the allergic reaction no longer occurs. And, for the first time, I realize that an allergy to shellfish has a link with that to house dust mites; magnify a mite thousands of times and you will see a strong resemblance to a large crab. The doc said so!

Do you know the difference between a food intolerance and an allergy? Did you know that it is possible to get rid of this health disorder and that oral immunotherapy gives excellent results for desensitization to certain allergens? The science is changing: in the past, it was recommended not to introduce allergens early in a baby’s diet, whereas now it is the opposite. Studies progress and medical recommendations change, sometimes from one extreme to another. Very interesting.


Website

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month. The Allergies Québec website offers a multitude of tools for adults who have to deal with newly diagnosed allergies in their children, as well as a few initiatives for teenagers.

Here are some interesting links:

  • Proposals for activities to highlight special moments (back to school, Halloween, Christmas, summer camps, etc.)

  • Prevention of food allergies in infants

  • Care for babies and young children with allergies

  • Suggestions to promote the integration of young people in school

And two podcasts: Food Allergy Desensitization, and Alleviating Food Allergy Anxiety