Monday, 30 July 2012

Helping educate Bob about his allergies.

Bob is six, only six, not much more than a baby really. Bob is six, only six, but has so much responsibility to shoulder. Bob is six, only six, and he has a tough time ahead of him, and the only way he can safely grow up and mingle with the hazards that life presents him with is to understand about these hazards.

My daughter does a fabulous job on helping him accept that he is different, that he will always be different, but that he really is not that much different, he is a six year old who wants to do what other six years old's want to do.

She has educated him to the best of her abilities to help him live as normally as he can. He can explain to me about his epi-pen, he knows how to use an epi-pen, he knows when he needs one.  He was explaining to me last week about how he breathes with his lungs but sometimes his lungs get smaller and smaller and then he cant breath and that is when he needs his epi-pen to makes his lungs bigger so that he can breathe again.

He knows why he needs to take his "meds" and he knows what each of them is for. Last week we were discussing just how similar he is to grandma, that grandma has a blue inhaler - just like him, that grandma has a purple inhaler - just like him, that grandma takes antihistamines every day - just like him, and that grandma carries piriton and prednisolone in case of an allergic reaction - just like him. No I dont carry epi-pens but as of yet I have never had anaphylaxis.

We were discussing as well how grandma can't take dairy products, just like him, and all this helps him to realise that he can grow up with his allergies and that he can eat food that he enjoys and that we can make yummy food at home that we can all eat, and that grandma has managed to grow up by being careful. (I appreciate I am not on the same scale as him but for helping him accept his lot in life comparisons need to be made he can relate to.)

He is beginning to resent his allergies and he wants to be "normal". He asks his mummy why him? why not the bad boys in his class? he is a good boy and it is not fair. He told me last week that he is gong to write his letter to Santa soon and he is not going to ask Santa for any toys this year, he is going to ask Santa to take his allergies away. Breaks your heart to listen to him knowing that until medical science can come up with a break through not even Santa can perform that miracle.

Most six year olds know nothing about food groups, lungs, or have to think about their external environment and how they interact within it.

He brought across tonight for me three new books his mum has bought for him. These books are based on a central character, Freddie the mouse. Freddie lives in a mouse hole on a farm, and he meets up with some new friends who have severe allergies.

His mum bought him Freddie meets nutmeg, the squirrel who is allergic to nuts. Isobel the mouse who is allergic to milk and Ginger the fox who is allergic to eggs. The books are aimed at 3-6 year old children to give them a basic understanding of why they are suppose to avoid their allergens and the consequences of not doing so.

You can read all about them here. The author  Josie Warburton wrote the books when her daughter  was diagnosed with a nut allergy to help explain to her older daughter what was happening.

Recommended by TOP PAEDIACTRIC ALLERGISTS and featured at The London Allergy Show 2012, Freddy the Mouse is selling like [nut free!] hot cakes!

The Freddy the Mouse series of educational books for children features gentle, informative stories aimed at 3 to 6 year olds. They deal with the topics of severe food allergy and anaphylaxis in a clear and relevant way, using characters that children cannot help but fall in love with.
Each book conveys important messages for children who are exposed to severe food allergy - either directly as a child with a severe allergy, or indirectly via family members, classmates or friends.
These charming, colourful, character-based short stories offer an invaluable introduction to this increasingly widespread issue, and provide a useful framework to support discussions between adult and child. Each page features a full size, colourful illustration taking you through each story, where Freddy meets a different friend with a different severe allergy.

The books themselves make a nice story, with colourful illustrations and a relatively simple text.
Bob has only just finished his first year at primary school, but his mum said he sat this morning and read one of these books from cover to cover, it took him an hour and had help with a few words, but he was so proud of himself, and quite rightly so.

If you have children in the family with allergies why not take a look, or even ask your library if they want to stock them,

My daughter bough these books, so this is not a sponsored post but I wanted to bring these to the attention of other parents who would hopefully find them informative.


  1. cool!! He is one smart (egg, nut and dairy free) cookie! :0)

    1. he has a very good understanding of it, but really is beginning to resent it being him

  2. It isn't fair is it, life is an absolute bitch sometimes. Why should he have to go through so much in regard to allergies and lifestyle, while others waltz their way through life without any problems at all. As you say, he's a good boy, he knows he is, it's just not fair. I once read about a lad who refused to admit he was diabetic, stopped all his meds, ignored all advice and eventually died. Basically this was because he was young and resentful of his condition, he didn't realise the seriousness of his actions. Bob will have to learn carefully and seriously the implications of his allergies - with you and his mum behind him, he'll get through it, but it won't be easy. Poor lad, I do feel for him. x

    1. the rebellion will come Kay, seen it with my own kids, refusing blood tests, not taking medication, eating/drinking what they should not, but his mum is doing a brill job in educating him as to the whys and the consequences, and as he gets older he will need to make his own lifestyle choices. we just gotta hope those choices dont prove fatal.

  3. Can't imagine living with this as we are all resilient to all allergies - barring a little hay fever.
    Ashley's unaware of his condition (we think) but we had to help the girls accept his differences. Now they adore him for who he is.
    These are excellent books.

    1. Yes siblings have a lot to accept,and I think it is harder for them when other kids pick on them through their own ignorance of the disability. May ( in some ways ) be easier when your disabled child looks disabled and is unaware, but we have to accept the hand we are dealt.

  4. Bob sounds lovely! Allergies can be awful and I also think that there needs to be more understanding of them amongst non-allergic folk. Sometimes people are seen as just being fussy or attention seeking - people often don't realise how serious they can be. I think that friends and relatives being supportive can really help and will mean he doens't feel left out. I have a friend who has a little girl with food allergies and I will always make sure I cater for her at parties/playdates etc so that she never feels excluded.

    1. Thank you, Bob is lovely - but I am biased. yes normal people do need to have an understanding of this, but educating them starts at 2 and you need school involvement. All Bob's pals look out for him, they are fantastic. for parents of children like Bob, and your friends little girl, it is trusting other people to cater for them.Its lovely that you do but when you dont live and breath allergies as second nature 24/7 then it is so easy with half a seconds lapse of concentration to cross contaminate.


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