Sharing is preparing! Why you need to tell people about your allergy.
Having a severe allergy, or finding out that your child has one, is probably not the best news you’ve ever received. But if you can learn to manage it well, you can minimise the impact on your, or their, life. You have probably already been told by the doctor how important it is to know what to do in an emergency (for a refresher, read more here). But if life happens and you or your child accidentally comes in contact with the trigger allergen, wouldn’t it be reassuring to know that there is support around you?
That’s why it’s important that your extended family, classmates, colleagues and circle of friends know about your/your child’s potentially life-threatening allergy. Disclosing serious allergies is just one extra safety measure that you should take, like always letting people know your/their whereabouts, or always wearing sunscreen.
Telling people about your allergy will mean your friends/family/colleagues can:
- help reduce the risk of a reaction
- recognise a reaction when it is happening
- assist you in an emergency
None of us want to be different. We want to fit in and just be like anyone else. The bottom line, however, is that you need to put your health first. We may be singled out further if we suddenly have a reaction and nobody knows what to do.
There’s no need to make a huge deal of it. It’s like anyone else with a health need, such as taking regular medication. Just a simple explanation to people who care about you can help you stay prepared-. Here are a few tips that may help you:
- Tell people what you are allergic to
- For older children or adults, ask about food content if food is the trigger, or read the ingredients label if the food is packaged
- Let those around you know where your medical kit is (i.e. your ASCIA Action Plan and prescribed medication)
- Encourage extended family/friends to learn how to recognise signs and symptoms and practice correct administration of prescribed medication
Remember: Life happens and accidents are never planned. So always be prepared.
This article has been produced in collaboration with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and Alphapharm Pty Ltd (trading as Mylan Australia) in the interest of anaphylaxis education