Health News – Sushma Shah, Naturopathic Doctor
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Keeping On Top Of Allergies

As the Spring season kicks off, it brings with it warmer weather, rain, melting snow, and the dreaded POLLEN and our reaction of hay fever to it. More children seem to have allergies today than ever before. There are many theories to explain why this maybe such as perhaps we are “too clean”, or introduction of certain foods to early such as peanuts maybe identified by the immune system as foreign, or a parent having allergies, eczema or asthma.  Here are some things you can do for your child if they are suffering from allergies.

According to Food Allergy Canada, up to 300,000 Canadian children suffer from food allergies and children under the ages of 3 are most affected, however, the most chronic condition is non-food allergies in kids 12 and older.

How to manage these food allergies?

First, it is very important to identify that the symptoms are related to a true allergy and not a sensitivity / intolerance – there is an overlap with the symptoms produced by both such as rashes, fatigue, stomach issues. However, symptoms such as dark circles under the eyes, puffiness and swelling, chronic diarrhea and of course anaphylactic shock are related to allergies. A simple blood test will help reveal whether there is an allergy or an intolerance. Once identified, here are simple tips you can use to help your child:

  1. There are natural and over the counter remedies that can help deal the symptoms of environmental allergies, so talk to your child’s naturopathic or medical doctor before starting either.
  2. Getting tested for allergies is important to identify what additional allergies your child has. Cooking foods can sometimes make a difference, as there may be less of an allergen.
  3. For environmental allergies, good hygiene practices and limiting or eliminating exposure helps.
  4. Educating those around you when it comes to cooking with foods or being around kids or people with known allergies such as peanut and shellfish, or being affectionate with a person / child after ingestion of known food allergies can be disastrous!
  5. Know the signs of anaphylaxis and how to treat them!

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