An allergy should not stop you going out with friends or to parties or sleepovers, or stop you doing the things you enjoy.
How are allergies treated?
How an allergy is treated depends on what is causing it and what reaction it is producing.
Most allergies can be managed by seeing your GP or visiting your chemist and speaking to your pharmacist. Sometimes your GP will refer you to an allergy specialist at the hospital. They will do some tests to try and find out what you are allergic to and offer you advice and support. If you have food allergies they might also make an appointment with a dietician for you to make sure you are still able to eat what you need to to grow and be healthy.
There are several ways of managing an allergy:
- If you know what you are allergic to, avoid going near it or being in contact with it if at all possible – so if you are allergic to dogs don’t have a pet dog and don’t stroke other people’s dogs.
- You may need medical treatment such as nose sprays, eye drops, inhalers, creams and antihistamine medicines. Other treatments may sometimes be recommended by your doctor.
- Discuss your allergies with your teacher, who can sometimes make suggestions to help you in class (such as sitting away from the radiator if you have eczema).
- Make sure you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet (as advised by the dietician if you have food allergies).
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Take regular exercise.
With these measures in place it should be possible to reduce the symptoms of your allergy and make you feel better.
Allergy and school
If you suffer from allergies it is really important that you let school know, especially if you have food allergies, have had a severe reaction in the past or if your doctor thinks that you may be at risk of having a severe reaction.
If you have any medicine that you may need to take if you have a reaction, then your school should have some of the medicine and it should:
- Be labelled with your name.
- Be in date.
- Be readily available at all times.
- Go with you if you go on any trips.
- Care plans should be completed by your doctor or hospital for some medicines (adrenaline and antihistamines).
- You should know how to use your medicines.
- It is important that school staff know how to give your medicine in case you feel too unwell to do so yourself.
- It would be a good idea to wear a special bracelet or necklace to let people know that you have an allergy, especially if it is severe.
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