How to ease into kids’ routines and deal with summer allergies
It’s hard to believe another school year has come to a close. The time sure flies! While it’s nice to fantasize about the lazy days of summer, sipping lemonade on your porch swing with a bunch of friends, for many families the hectic routine doesn’t always stop in June. (And you thought you were done making lunches? Ha!)
For families with allergies, summer can bring on a whole new set of challenges from new schedules and activities to potential safety concerns. (We know this parenting gig isn’t easy, even when all of the stars are perfectly aligned.) Parents of kids with allergies have an added dimension of stress. We’re here to help you transition from school to summer routines while keeping the kiddos safe and healthy.
Here are a few things to remember as you break out the flip flops this summer:
Navigating summer activities for kids with food allergies:
- Know the rules. No matter where you send your child, whether it is for summer camp or just at a friend’s house, there are different sets of rules everywhere. What types of food will be served? How many nurses are on staff for emergencies? Find out before so you won’t be blindsided. (For a helpful summer camp guide check out this link)
- Empower your child. When they’re not under your supervision, it’s even more important for them to advocate for themselves, even at a very young age. Teach them to speak up and ask questions about any foods that might put them at risk.
- Packing your child’s lunch/snacks is another way to minimize worry. Also remind them to avoid sharing food with friends.
- Consider purchasing a specialized ID bracelet for your child’s allergies. These cool and fun bracelets provide the peace of mind of knowing your child will get the help he or she needs in an emergency.
Navigating the great outdoors for kids with pollen or outdoor allergies:
- Make an appointment with your allergist. Be sure your child is up to date on all allergy shots and stock up on any prescriptions needed for the summer. (This is a good time to check the inhalers that came home in your kids’ school bags at the end of the year! Are they empty or expired?)
- Make sure all medical forms have been properly completed by your physician and submitted to your daycare provider, camp, etc. Find out what their policies are with regard to handling emergency medications like rescue inhalers, antihistamines and epinephrine injections.
- Remember that heat and humidity can be hard on kids with asthma. Be mindful of this when planning outdoor activities and take advantage of air conditioning whenever possible.
- Pack wisely and dress accordingly. Be sure to keep weather-appropriate clothing in back packs, along with sunscreen, EpiPens, and plenty of water.
- Avoid walking barefoot through tall grass and wearing bright colors and cologne/perfume as these can all attract bees.
- Speaking of bees…..make sure to pack EpiPens (this goes for the kiddos with food allergies too!) and educate all of your child’s caregivers on how to use in case of an emergency. Keep a spare in the car and in your child’s backpack at all times, if the camp or child care center allows it.
- For those suffering from pollen allergies, here are some great tips to help you cope.
If your child is spending time at camp, whether it’s a day camp or sleepaway camp, he or she will be exposed to all new things. New conditions might range from different bedding and pillows to new foods to changing weather or types of flora and fauna. If your child has allergies, that can be cause for concern. Thankfully, your child is not the only little camper dealing with allergies and you’re not the only parent mildly freaking out. We are here to help find solutions for seasonal allergies, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment to strategize the summer!
Every parent wants to see their kids make new summer memories and embrace adventure and challenges. Giving them more leeway to roam can be a good thing for both of you! Your child’s allergies don’t need to stop them from enjoying everything that this season has to offer. With the right amount of planning and awareness , you can ensure that your little (and big) love bugs can have a safe and fun-filled summer. Now, don’t forget the sunscreen!