The all-all-encompasing beast that is the allergy obviously affects you throughout your life. However, as a young adult now (or at least nearly!) I can honestly say that it has different effects at different stages of your life.
This post serves mainly to educate those who have an interest in allergies and how it affects you, though if you are an allergy-sufferer like me you can read along and see if any of my experiences match your own!
1. Parties: As a toddler, someone’s fourth birthday party is something every child usually get’s excited about. I was no different, but I can only guess the worry my parent’s were plagued with every time such an event happened, as a clumsy, curious toddler like me would find interest in everything – thus the potential for something to go wrong was huge. You only had to stick your finger into an enticing pudding for a small taste, but the ramifications of that could be potentially catastrophic.
2. Bath-time: This may look like a silly one, but the amount of cosmetics that use nut oils in their products is a surprisingly large number. One only has to inspect the shelves at major cosmetic stores such as The Body Shop to notice the amount of products where the word “almond” is mentioned in the labelling. Thus, simple and (relatively) easy tasks such as bath-time for toddlers suddenly become another cause for concern – wherein the chance of being soaked by a potential fight-back isn’t a parent’s only issue.
3. Autumn: This too may look like a doubtful one, but I swear to you that trees at this time of year are dangerous! It is a traditional excitable activity for toddlers around the country to collect conkers at autumn and carry piles upon piles of them home and insist that they must be kept somewhere. As a toddler, one gets increasingly excited until literally everything that is round, brown and under a tree automatically becomes a conker – and this too has the potential for problems. Around this time of year, chestnut trees tend to drop their “fruit” as well as leaves, and these take the form of nuts – chestnuts to be precise. As they are similar in size and shape to conkers, it is incredibly easy to get them mixed up, and sometimes it only takes you to touch one for an allergic reaction to take place. This is a mistake made not only by toddlers, but parents also, so it is advised that adults be extra vigilant and take precautions in advance to be able to recognise a nut should they see one.
I hope some of these provided useful insight into the challenges of allergies faced by parents and their toddlers. At this time in a child’s life, they are curious and explorative – which can be a dangerous trait at the best of times. However, nowadays it is getting increasingly easier to cater for toddlers with allergies, and support groups and alike can offer support to parents who struggle or just want to know more. Should you wish to know more about such support groups, go to the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s website, which can put you in touch with support groups meeting on a regular basis near you.