Introduce eggs and peanuts early to reduce allergies
almost halved. Paediatric respiratory specialist and consultant at Sydney Children’s Hospital Dr Louisa Owens says if properly managed, asthma sufferers should be able to lead full lives and the disease doesn’t have to be debilitating.
But where it’s not is where she sees kids end up in hospital.
“The children we worry about are those who need a lot of Ventolin,” Dr Owens says.
“They might be going to school and seem to be coping fine, but if they need it more than a couple of times a week, it’s a sign it’s not properly controlled.
“You should never rely on Ventolin to get through the day.,” For Julia Simmonds, her son Christian’s eczema diagnosis at three months was just the start of learning to manage a host of allergies. Shee says: “WHEN Christian an (pictured right with Julia) was diagnosed with eczema we were told he’d grow out of it by his first birthday. That first year I was emotionally drained and isolated. ted. We didn’t want to o leave the house, we didn’t want people to ask about us and other children’s mums would steer their kids away thinking the rash was contagious. Once at the post office someone directed me to the nearest hospital it looked that bad. I was trying to manage it with different products and advice from health professionals and it wasn’t working for us.
We saw several GPs, two paediatricians and I’m a pharmacist and were given different advice. I remember one GP said not to bathe him because it would irritate his skin, to do it only once a week. Another said to bathe every day as it would soothe the irritants on his skin. Simple things like that were really confusing.
When his first birthday came he was admitted to hospital for a week because his skin had become infected. At the same time he was diagnosed with asthma and hay fever and we also later realised he was anaphylactic to peanuts and tree nuts. Getting on top of all of that has been challenging.
Now he’s six he has a very good awareness and he moisturises his own skin. He does his own asthma puffers and he’s beginning to be more independent in managing his conditions and better understanding them.
Starting school was a big time for us, especially with the food allergies. We teach him that certain foods will make him very sick and going through what that means. Unfortunately we had an anaphylactic episode when he was four and he remembers what that felt like, he knows the consequences and seriousness of being anaphylactic to foods.”