In­tro­duce eggs and peanuts early to re­duce al­ler­gies

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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