A bracelet could save your child’s life

28 March 2014

Wearing an allergy bracelet could save your child’s life! Food allergies are a growing safety and public health concern, and could be fatal. Allergic reactions have far-reaching effects on children and their families as well as the schools, care or education programmes they attend. So it’s important moms are knowledgeable on allergies and know how to prevent disaster.

According to the Medic Alert Foundation, a food allergy occurs when the body has a specific and reproducible immune response to certain foods. The body’s immune response can be severe and life-threatening, such as anaphylaxis. Although the immune system normally protects people from germs, in people with food allergies, the immune system mistakenly responds to food as if it were harmful.

Experts from the foundation say there are eight foods or food groups that account for 90 per cent of serious allergic reactions. These are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts.

Pay attention when your child says this: 

  • It feels like something is poking my tongue.
  • My tongue (or mouth) is tingling (or burning).
  • My tongue (or mouth) itches.
  • My tongue feels like there’s hair on it.
  • My mouth feels funny.
  • There’s a frog in my throat; there’s something stuck in my throat.
  • My tongue feels full (or heavy).
  • My lips feel tight.
  • It feels like there are bugs in there (to describe itchy ears).
  • It (my throat) feels thick.
  • It feels like there’s a bump on the back of my tongue (throat).

Can reactions change over time?

The symptoms and severity of allergic reactions to food can be different between individuals, and can also be different for one person over time. Anaphylaxis is a sudden and severe allergic reaction that may cause death. Not all allergic reactions will develop into anaphylaxis.

Is there a link between asthma and food allergies?

Children with food allergies are more likely to have asthma or other allergic conditions than those     without food allergies.

Is there a cure?

There’s no cure for food allergies. Strict avoidance of the food allergen is the only way to prevent a reaction. Early and quick recognition and treatment of allergic reactions that may lead to anaphylaxis can prevent serious health problems or death.

Here’s help

Medic Alert bracelets are available online. Go to medicalert.co.za, call it on 021-425-7328 or email info@medicalert.co.za for more information.

Source: Medic Alert Foundation of South Africa

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