You just want your kid to feel like any other kid, to be able to go to school, go outside at recess, and play like all his or her friends. And your child just wants to be "the same" as everyone else too.
Unfortunately, 4 out of every 10 kids in the US today has allergies. Some have skin allergies, some have nasal allergies (also known as hay fever), while others have food allergies. And some unlucky kids have all 3 and maybe allergic asthma too! And, as you know, allergy symptoms can wreak havoc with everyday life, especially at certain times of the year.
As you can see, if your child has allergies, he or she is not necessarily alone, but chances are he/she still feels "different." So, your job as a parent is to talk to your kid about allergies and help him or her still live a normal active life. Ignoring allergies is not the way to deal with them.
Luckily, there are a number of resources on the Web today that can help parents and kids understand allergies and manage them successfully. I thought I'd use this post today to review a few of the resources available.
NOTE: A number of resource websites on disease conditions are published by drug companies. Some people could have a negative reaction to this, thinking that the drug company is only trying to sell you on their product. And while that might be something they hope for, it's also important to know that drug companies in the U.S. are required to provide public education. So, don't automatically discount these types of sites. There's a lot of great information to be found there. I know; I've worked on several such sites!
This is a booklet you can either download or have sent to you by snail mail -- for free. It's written for school-age kids about nasal allergies. Yes, it's from the makers of Claritin and they would like you to buy their product. But Claritin is only mentioned on the back cover. The book is about discovering triggers and finding treatment solutions. It's quite easy to read and features artwork done by school-age kids about their allergies. I think it's pretty cute and would definitely be useful.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology is one of my favorite websites to go to for accurate asthma and allergy information. They have a number of easy to read books on all kinds of asthma/allergy topics. But they also have a whole bunch of games, booklets, and more specifically aimed at kids with allergies and asthma. Here are a few of the things you'll find there:
- Asthma Q&A with musician Coolio
- School triggers interactive game
- Camping triggers interactive game
- Coloring book pages
- Just for kids asthma video
- Word search puzzles
Whew! That name is quite a mouthful, but the website is specifically designed for parents of kids with asthma and allergies. They've got a kids' section, although to my eyes, it's designed more for parents, since it's entirely text-based and not really written at a kids' level. Still there are some educational stories there, along with some activities you can do with your kids to help them learn.
To be honest, this site is mostly geared to asthma, despite their name, but since most kids who have asthma actually have allergic asthma and many of them also have nasal allergies, you'll probably still be able to relate to it.
You can probably find other kid-oriented allergy websites on the Web too. This is just a selection of some of my favorities to get you started. Help keep your kid healthy and allergy symptom-free!
Published On: July 14, 2008