It is scary having a new baby, especially if it is your first. But how much more scary does it become when, even though you are breast feeding and doing all that the books tell you to do, your baby is obviously in constant pain, is not sleeping, is covered in eczema and is patently ‘failing to thrive’. But your GP dismisses your concerns as those of a ‘first time mum’ and tells you that it is all, perfectly normal.
And assuming that you get past those first few horrendous months, what happens when you get to weaning? And your child refuses to eat or vomits up the foods you try to feed him or her. Worse, what if your child reacts by gasping for breath and suffering what you will come to know as anaphylactic shock?
All of these things happened to Emma Amoscato, not just with her son but then with her daughter. She battled with GPs, combed the internet for information and learnt ‘on the hoof’. But how she longed for just one book, one source of information, which could answer all of her questions.
What are allergies? Why does my child suffer from them when I don’t? Will my child outgrow them? How can I find out what foods my child is allergic to? Can they be cured? How do I get a doctor to believe me? How do I cope with an anaphylactic reaction? How do I explain to family and friends about my child’s allergies and how careful they have to be? Do I have to get rid of the dog? Where can I find ‘safe’ food? If my child has a nut allergy should I only send him or her to a nut-free school? How do I prevent my child becoming food phobic? How do I cope with my child being ‘allergy bullied’? How can I manage my child’s, and my own, anxiety about the risk of a serious reaction? How do I prevent their siblings from feeling left out?…..
The questions seem endless because, actually, they are. But there are answers to most, if not all of them. Emma has put all of those that she has come up with into Living with Allergies. And not only her answers but answers, suggestions and comments from a dozen allergy specialists who have contributed short sections on specific aspects of allergy management, and over 30 fellow ‘allergy mums and dads’ all of whom have followed similar paths with their allergic babies, toddlers and now, school age children.
The result is an excellent, simple but comprehensive primer for the parents of allergic babies and children. It covers what allergies are, both food and environmental; the relationship between food, skin and respiratory allergies; allergy medication and, most important of all, allergy management.
This includes what you need to do to your home; what and how you can feed your child; managing outside the home; going to school and then on, eventually to further education and university, and managing the psychological impact of allergy on both the sufferer and their family and friends.
Sensible, down to earth, informed and practical – a seriously invaluable book for any allergic family.
Published by Pen & Sword, Living with Allergies is available from all good bookshops for £19.99 or here on Amazon.