Leaving the house is like packing for an expedition
You have all the usual nappies and spare clothes but then you also have antihistamines, a dosing syringe, two epipens, an inhaler, spacer, extra spare clothes and a mountain of snacks in case the ones provided aren’t suitable. If you’ll be going far from home you might want all that paperwork from the hospital too. Some mums even have to keep an emergency hospital bag packed and in the car. You may need a pack horse to carry it all.
The fear of a bag of cheese puffs
If your child has a dairy allergy then nothing is more worrying than the sight of another child with an open packet of cheese puffs. That orange cheesy powder puffs into the air as the packet is opened, sticks to little fingers and faces and drops to the floor as they eat. You might as well leave the minute you see them come out of Mum’s bag.
Your heart breaks every time your child gives you “that” look
It’s snack time and all the children sit in a circle patiently waiting. The plate comes out and your child looks at you with hope in their eyes. “Can I eat it?” It’s heartbreaking to have to say no, yet again, and you silently curse whoever has “treated” the children to brioche, cake and chocolate chip cookies despite your requests that they stick to fruit, or at least let you know in advance. Good job you have those emergency snacks in your bag.
You rarely get a break
It’s hard for any parent to leave their child for the first time but it’s a lot harder when your babysitter has to be given strict instructions on when to call an ambulance and how to give emergency medication. Many simply won’t take on the responsibility so it can be difficult to find a sitter at all, and when you do they are likely to be more expensive. As a result you don’t often get any time to yourself, or with your partner.
You are on high alert all the time
You can never relax, you always have one eye on where your child is and what she might have picked up, or even worse what a well-meaning adult may have given her. You read every packet, question the staff in cafes and basically act like a particularly suspicious detective. But you have no choice, because…
A tiny bit really does matter
Depending on the type of allergy your child has, a tiny “taste” could have them rushed to hospital in an ambulance (yes, even if it’s not a peanut allergy) or it could have them up all night crying in pain. Both are situations you will do everything in your power to avoid. Sometimes that means you shout across a crowded playroom, sometimes it means you are “that” parent quizzing the chef and sometimes it means you just stay at home and miss the party in the ice cream parlour. People may think you’re a bit bonkers sometimes but you’re no different to any other parent, just doing what it takes to keep your baby safe.
The relief when you find a safe place to hang out
Whether it’s a friend who also has allergies, an understanding class leader or a dedicated allergy friendly playgroup, being able to meet other parents and children without worrying every second is an amazing feeling.
At Popcat’s we understand what it’s like and we want everyone to feel safe and included. Snacks are always bananas or raisins with water to drink - free from all the top allergens, with no surprises or hidden ingredients. If that sounds good to you then find your nearest class here. www.popcats.co.uk
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