Anaphylaxis Campaign | Our director’s experience caring for children with allergies

Friday, 18.05.2018 at 09:37AM

Nannies Incorporated is dedicated to raising awareness about children with food allergies and the consequences on their lives. Our director, Annie Martin, is a mother of three children, two of which suffer from severe food allergies. Their allergies vary from shellfish and eggs to nuts and exotic fruits. Having experienced her own children’s mild allergic reactions and also very severe reactions, leading to anaphylactic shock, Annie is committed in both her personal and professional life to bringing awareness on how to cope with children with allergies.

At Nannies Incorporated we always ask our clients if their children have any known allergies. We are conscious that our nannies need to be educated and aware of how to react in the event of an allergic reaction. When we interview our nannies, we always ask them about their experience dealing with allergies and how they would cope in an emergency.

In terms of handling her own children’s allergies whilst they were young, Annie says “Handling food allergies at home was easy as we separated dishes with eggs or another allergen for each individual child, but going to restaurants was always more complicated. It requires a parent or nanny to remain vigilant and prepared.” As Annie says preparation is key. We believe good communication between nannies and parents is essential. All parents should be asked for information about their child’s allergies before a nanny starts a role. We advise that our clients draw up a written management plan for their child, in consultation with the child’s doctor or allergy specialist. Research has shown that children whose allergies are managed with the help of a management plan are less likely to have severe reactions (Ewan and Clark 2005).

In terms of administrating treatment, Annie points out that as her children grew she taught them about managing their own allergies, installing practices that have lasted in to their adult lives: “My children, who are now young professionals, always carry some antihistamine tablets with them as well as their epipens and keep a spare epipen at their offices. I would not recommend even a walk in the park without antihistamine medication as I know from personal experience that even a chocolate biscuit or an unexpected bee sting can lead to an allergy.”

When it comes to trusting another care giver to administer first aid to a child with allergies, Annie said she “would not recommend any adult taking children out, in any capacity, without the child’s antihistamines or epipen.”

At Nannies Incorporated we are committed to being a part of the Anaphylaxis Campaign and helping to raise awareness.

If you are interested in ways to raise awareness or would like to learn more about coping with allergies, then you can read more professional advice here: https://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Anaphylaxis-in-the-early-years-setting-Factsheet-2015-v6-final-corrected-JW-credentials-full-link-text.pdf