Natural History museum at tring.

Another simple and affordable family day out idea which we have visited recently.

The Natural History Museum at Tring was once the private museum of Lionel Walter, 2nd Baron Rothschild; today it is under the control of the Natural History Museum, London. It houses one of the finest collections of stuffed mammals, birds, reptiles and insects in the United Kingdom, Stretched over several floors. Not as big as the museum in London however there are still plenty of different animals to see without having to take a visit to the city of London. It offers a few hours of entertainments for kids and the bonus is it is free to visit the museum which is located on Akeman Street, in Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 6AP. The museum has a free car park, a café and gift shop. If you wish you can combine it with a walk, coffee or lunch in tring or a visit to the local reserve.

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I personally don’t think tring is as good as the museum in London but it offers similar experience on a smaller scale without the hassle of going into London. I would say allow 1 to 2 hours depending on your own children attention span for the museum. They do provide free activity sheets and hold events though out the year – take a look at their website for more info. However the boys did really enjoy it for a few hours.

I personally would suggest going later in the day. The museum can get really busy first thing, especially on a rainy day making it hard to move around the museum and see anything. If possible leave buggies in the car as there is not much space to move around the museum at the best of times, due to tight space around displays.

Opening times: Mon- sat :10.00-17.00. Sunday :14.00 – 17.00

Enjoy emmas xxx

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Kite flying at Dunstable downs.

     If you are looking for another simple and affordable day out (a very nearly free day out – apart from the parking/fuel cost) I can personally recommend Dunstable downs (based on one of our family visit recently) it is somewhere different to go as a family, isn’t going to cost you the earth, if you are looking for an outdoor walk with children.

Dunstable downs sits at the highest point of Bedfordshire near whipsnade zoo, Is an extensive chalk grassland within the Chiltern’s area of outstanding natural beauty.  Offering a wind – swept ridge which provides ideal conditions nearly all year round for kite flying or a variety of air sports.  You can have a go at kite flying or just watch others have ago. take a walk along one of the footpaths which include circular walks, stand on top of the downs for a great view with a picnic or have a coffee from the café. The site is owned by the National trust, however you do not need to be a member as free for all to visit.IMG_20190309_151604.jpg

  • Non NT members £3.50 FLAT RATE parking allows you to park all day. (free for NT members – just remember your cards).
  • Kite flying  is all year around –  have a go or just watch (shop sells a great selection if you need one or forget one to take). I have yet to go when no one is flying a kite – There is always some to watch!
  •  The area is Dog friendly (even the café has a section for you to sit with your dog).
  • The national trust provide a Good informative website if you need anymore questions answered.
  • NT café and gift shop within the Chiltern’s gateway centre.
  • Cycling routes are available if you fancy taking your bikes.IMG_20190309_145117.jpgIMG_20190309_145113.jpg

Address: whipsnade rd. Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2GY.

Enjoy emmas xxx

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Lego Discovery Centre- Birmingham.

Again another review based on a family day out, as we have been a bit lacks on our own art and crafts lately – focusing on playing in the gardens, walks, merccano and science kits. This time my review is based on our visit to The Lego Discovery centre in Birmingham. We visited one weekend before half-term on a 40% of voucher.I had heard very mixed reviews most negative to be honest so really was wary and not keen. However we decided that we would take a visit because the boys had been begging us for ages (thanks to the children ads on TV and there Lego obsession), it was indoor, so suited the cold weather and again we had a voucher that tempted us. We were pleasantly surprised (though not so sure if we had paid full price we would say it was not an overpriced day out). Both boys loved it even if it wasn’t quite mummy and daddy cup of tea!!022.jpg

Yes it was small and only takes a few hours, but numbers are controlled (make sure you pre-book on-line – we were glad we did, as when we arrived at 10 all tickets were sold out for the day). It was clean and well organised. Staffs were friendly, helpful and focused on their jobs. There are two small rides, that don’t really have a thrill factor to them, however the boys enjoyed and we took two rides on both.

We watched all 3 movies at the 4d cinema (The Lego movie – our favourite, Lego ninja and Lego knights) all were good fun and enjoyed. 025.jpg026.jpg

We also enjoyed a visit to the mini land, As adults we enjoyed looking at the actual model scenes, whilst the boys enjoyed playing with all the interacted buttons more. The boys then enjoyed building Lego cars to test on the test track. Meeting the Lego characters for photo’s, Playing in the soft play area. Our eldest loved and spent ages designing his own movie. 024

021.jpgThe boys gave the day out a 10/10. Mummy and daddy not quite as keen, however it was a good day out and in our own bias personnel opinion it did not live up to the negative reviews we had heard. Though despite this, be prepared it’s not a full day out at most 4 hours if being generous, I would only recommend if your child really loves Lego, aged under 10 at a push and you don’t have to pay full price to get in. Plus make sure you book on-line to avoid disappointment (most voucher codes can be added online).

Enjoy emmas xxx

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Green Dragon rare breeds farm and eco centre.

002.jpgA few week-ends ago, just before the snow we decided to visit Green dragon rare breeds farm and eco centre near Quainton in Buckinghamshire. Tempted by an advertisement on Facebook and prompted by the fact ‘kids go free’ with a paying adult in January (Making it £18 for 4 of us) and wanting to do something in the fresh air. We were really glad we did as we had a great few hours out hour.

The farm is fairly small but well-kept and offers plenty of hands – on experiences, talks and displays. We were very impressed by the staff, quite often you visit family attractions, where the staff are unenthusiastic, grumpy and put in minimum effort. This was far from the case, all the staff here at the farm were happy, chatty and informative, which is a real credit to them especially as it was absolutely freezing, a few hail storms and bitter in the wind. It was obvious that the staff enjoyed there jobs, all were really informative, friendly and answered our question with great knowledge.003

All the animals were out in the animal paddocks and barn, looked well looked after and were active, Despite it being freezing.  The boys enjoyed grooming a Shetland pony, holding a cockroach, watching a bird of prey show, digging in the sand pit for dinosaur bones, riding a pedal go-kart and playing in the soft play.  Apart from the farm animals, there is an indoor messy play barn, wildlife zone, exotic pets corner, peddle Go-karts, outdoor play area, indoor soft play area, picnic shelter, café and shop.004.jpg

If your Local, in my own personal opinion it is definitely worth a visit to this lovely well run farm for a couple of hours especially those with younger children. Depending on older children’s interest, some may find it to small or not big enough to hold there interest. This is my own bias review/opinion based on our own personal experience of a few hours there. We had a great few hours out, enjoying family time and was so impressed by the staff.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love.

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Marwell zoo

IMG_20181231_134648.jpgWe visited Marwell zoo near Winchester during the Christmas school holidays.  I thought I would share my own personal opinion on the Zoo based on our own experience – with you! We have visited the zoo previously as it is just under 1 hour from home and have always had a good day out, though seeing the animals has always been abit hit and mix. This visit was prompted by the fact we had two ‘kids go free’ vouchers and we wanted to do something in the fresh air so we thought we would take a visit.

We were really glad we did as we had a great day out. All the animals were out and active, unlike previous summer visits to the zoo. We saw every animal up close!IMG_20181231_150906.jpg

  Marwell Zoo is a well spaced out zoo and crowds are not ever a problem. Easy to find (lots of brown signs). It is a fairly big zoo (140 acres) for walking with young children however there is a free land train that goes around the zoo one way. I recommend using this where possible it relieves tired legs for little ones and keeps the interest going. There is also a proper rail train which you can pay extra for too, though I can’t comment on this as it has never been open when we have visited.

The zoo is open every day and has two prices throughout the year (there is a cheaper price to go in the winter months). Plus you do have the choice to pay with or without Gift aid ( a voluntary donation). There are animal talks, feeds, cafes, gift shop and playgrounds. Parking is free (always a bonus) in a big car park close to the park entrance. We always take a pack lunch and eat it in the indoor picnic room, so can’t comment on the café. The shop is near the entrance/exit, big and has a wide choice of gifts typically priced for a visitors attraction.

The animals you can see to name a few include Giraffes, Cheetahs, zebras, tigers, penguins, flamingos, rhinos, wallaby’s, reptiles, fish, insects etc.

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Despite mixed opinion on Zoo – I do believe animals should live in their own wild habitats. However I have two children (and myself) who love animals, and seeing them up close only helps increase that interest, love and knowledge. Plus I do appreciate that Zoo’s have changed there agendas in past years and the reality is that some animals will be protected from dying out due to programmes and funds created from/by Zoo’s.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

Fun with Ice.

Hi hope you all had a good week-end in the snow. Recently I saw this idea on a face book page and thought it looked pretty cool, so we decided to give it a go during the snow, doing our own version. It was a very  straight forward idea and easy to do, however our ice sculptures didn’t quite turn out as cool as the ones we saw on-line!

Take a look  at my project section or follow the link below if your interested to read more or want to give it a go.

Fun with Ice.

IMG_1169Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

The national history museum and the science museum.

   As a family we love to spend days out, spending valuable time together. Cost is always something we consider looking for either free or at the cheaper end of the scale. Over the holidays we visited The national history museum and the science museum in London. A trip we have done a couple of times now on a Sunday or a bank holiday to take advantage of the free parking. (London on the train is a shocking cost for a family of four and is an unrealistic cost for us personally as a family). However having spent a lot of my earlier years in London it is something I want my children to experience and both really enjoy visiting ‘the big smoke’.

   If you go early enough a free parking space can be found in London near most points of interests (9am-10am seem to be the best time to ensure a space – any later and it can be a struggle). Though in the past it used to be that you could park free all day in the same spot, however it is worth pointing out this time we noticed a lot of spaces had a time limit on them even on a Sunday/ bank holiday of 3 or 4 hours. We found a space for 4 hours near the museums, for us this was fine as the boys or my attention in a museum probably doesn’t stretch any longer. Plus on this occasion we had plan to only visit the museum. However if planning to visit for longer or getting the underground elsewhere it would be worth re- investigating in finding spaces that allow for longer.

    If you have Curious Kids of any age the National history or the science museum both at Kensington in London are a perfect place to visit. You can choose to visit just one or dip in and out of both as both our next door to each other. Entry to both of the museums is free (donations welcome) so a perfect activity to do when visiting London cheaply with children.  Though tickets are required for some of the events, activities, galleries and special exhibitions if you choose to visit these (we haven’t yet, so cant comment on these personally).

In the National History Museum children can get up close with nature and creatures. Next door in the Science museum without stating the obvious children can get up close to all types of science.

   There is so much of interest to explore in the galleries at both, they cannot all be done in a day! There is plenty of hands-on and interactive activities to keep children of all ages interested at both of the Museums. We always find something new each visit. Both my boys have different interests and likes so we tend to agree they choose initially two zones each then dependant on time we will visit extras.

   This time in the natural history museum my boys chose and enjoyed the interactive Dinosaurs (The big TRex was a hit unlike last time which scared my little one to a big uncontrollable melt down) and looking for scenes from ‘Andy dinosaurs adventures’. The clock can be seen in the front entrance for anyone looking for it. We missed it first time as it is quite hidden away among the crowds. My big tip would be to do the dinosaur section early as it gets busier as the day goes on. My youngest loved the Mammals spotting dolphins in the blue zone and then the bug zone offered lots of interaction with button pressing . Whilst the eldest really enjoyed reading in and exploring the volcano and earthquake zone the escalator though the earth core is always a big hit to get to these sections.

    At the science museum we always spend time in the space and vehicles section despite there being more to explore. The boys are quite happy just to do these two sections.

    To help keep costs down and due to the added complications of son with food allergies we always take a picnic for lunch. there is always somewhere to pop yourself down to eat inside or out (big picnic seating area upstairs in the science museum). Quite often we just take a breather on a bench for lunch between the two museums in the fresh air. There are several cafes if you would rather grab something to eat or drink.

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 The Basics:

Both Open daily: 10.00–18.00.
Galleries start to close 30 minutes before the museum closes.

Science Museum: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD

The Natural History Museum: Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

2019

Well hello and a belated welcome to 2019 better late than never (still in January?). I hope all is going well so far. Apologies I put the website on a back bench for a while. Busy spending time with the boys enjoying Christmas, then trying to catch up with myself when they returned to school. A list of ‘must do one day’ jobs was getting slightly to long. I decided to hit it head on – so the crazy muddled mind could calm down. Not sure the mind has but some of the jobs have been completed. Finally I can right my first blog of 2019 be it not very exciting!

Don’t you just hate January! I am personally not a fan, Its cold and miserable! The cold, germs and dark seems never-ending. Not doing much to entice people outdoors. Despite trying to smile though it and be positive. No one seems to smile and grumpy people seem everywhere. Roll on summer!!!! Despite this we have kept ourselves busy in our own little world called family.

This has included exploring new puzzles, games (monopoly has been the big favourite), science and craft kits given to us as gifts. So yes we have been busy being creative, however not much to post on here as they have all been cheat methods. We now have a wooden plane, boat, painted money-box and universe mobile on display.

Shortly to follow will be a review on two of the places we visit over the Christmas holidays.

The national history museum and science in London.

Marwell Zoo,

Plus a simple no cooker recipe for a traditional ‘Rice Krispies treats’.

So as always please keep checking back, follow, comment, share or like.

Alongside this I will be adding the remaining photos for ‘elf on the shelf’ (I know that no one will be interested in this year as very late – It just never happened but they will be early for next year and not lost between now and then).

I promise to start blogging and placing more projects ideas as they happen on here again after the slow start to 2019 so keep your eyes peeled!

Keep smiling and think of the positives – summer will be here before we know it.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

Cookies and elf on the shelf ideas.

Just a quick one to say Hi and let you know I have just added Oatmeal cookies.to the projects section under simple Cooking with kids. These are really simple to cook and taste delicious. They also freeze really well if you fancy cooking them up and keeping them for a go to at Christmas time. Though in our house they are normally eaten before they cool down.

So Elfie and mischief have revisited us this Dec, So far :

Day 1: arrival via parcel delivery.

IMG_20171130_211426Day 2: The elf camera has been installed. (This has worked great on our eldest, for behaviour. However the youngest is completely freaked out by it).IMG_20181202_015030.jpgDay 3: Elfie and mischief have been drawing snowmen.IMG_20181203_004930.jpgTonight they will be at the bowling alley.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2018 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

Defined by a label- living with severe food allergies.

 

So as a follow on to my recent School and separation anxiety.  blog. I have finally got the courage to write another blog that is very personal. Something I try very hard to avoid talking about (though in reality its near impossible) as I do not want it to define me, my son or family. There is so much more to us as a family and we do not want it to control or dictate our lives. Though the reality is it does, however much we try. People always  have questions to ask, which is only right to answer.

         ‘Defined by a label’ – I am one of those allergy mum’s!

If you have been watching the news recently you maybe aware of the case being held against ‘pret a manger’ in regards to  Natasha Ednan-Laperouse death. If the recent news has told us anything, the world of Allergies is still very much misunderstood and more knowledge is needed to support those living with severe life threatening allergies.

So I have mentioned before in previous blogs that one of my sons suffers from severe allergies, He is Anaphylaxis to all Nuts (not just peanuts as many assume) and Eggs.

I am essentially a very lucky and thankful mum to two wonderful, gorgeous cheeky boys one is 8 years old space obsessed, Lego mad and a secret mad scientist. Who has Life threatening food allergies. His 5-year-old brother on the other hand thinks he is a superhero captain who is at one with mud, anything creative and the outdoors. He appears to have been dealt the lucky card so far escaping any allergies of his own. On the surface so far as a rule life has been a breeze for him.

In 2012 ‘a label’ was placed on my then 2-year-old eldest son and us as a family that is hard to hide from. I detest the word ‘label’ and everything that can be associated with it. I actually hate in many ways the fact that we were given labels ‘oh he’s the boy with the allergies’, ‘ oh that is the mum with the allergy son’ more than the actual Allergies themselves. For me and my son it has been harder to deal with the labels given and assumptions made than living with the actual allergies. Society in general is quick to judge, past comment, make assumptions and create those theories.

SEVERE Food allergies present many challenges it is a type of disability, and exclusion is something you learn to live with. He has lived with these most of his life. As a family we have learned to live with it as best as you can.

NO – We did not choose them? It is not a choice!

YES- We would do absolutely anything to not have Allergies in our lives.

If there was a cure we would be the first in the line.

When my son asked me – Why me? I answered honesty I don’t know, he was absolutely shocked and distraught when i said if i could i would chop of both my arms and legs if it didn’t mean he had to live with them.

From 6 weeks my eldest suffered with severe eczema from head to foot and started to show immediate reactions to food when we were weaning him. At two he was diagnosed with allergies to milk, soya, egg, later on he was diagnosed with all nuts , mustard and sesame. After having his first serious reaction to Eggs at 9 mths. He has since outgrown the milk, soya, mustard and sesame allergies with the help of food challenges and using what is known as a food ladders.

However he still lives with Severe life threatening All nuts and Egg allergies and probably will for the rest of his life.

   He had his first severe anaphylactic aged 2 and has had a few more since alongside mild/ moderate reactions on numerous occasions. Sometimes we have known what has caused them other times not.

The early signs he had allergies were (though we didn’t know it at the time) as a baby he suffered from colic, reflux, bad tummy ache, lovely slimy green poos, weak immune, pale skin, sunken eyes, eczema and refusing to feed as a baby. We knew he was in pain however had no idea how to help or what the cause was.

At the time we knew we shouldn’t just listen to our GP who just wasn’t interested saying it was probably just Reflux and he would outgrow it. There was no mention it could be allergies or intolerances however our gut told us different as there seem to be no simple cure for his reflux, eczema and obvious pain. However we struggled to find answers. I have heard on average it can take up to 4 years for a child to be correctly diagnosed. For his eczema we were sent away with steroid creams and told it is what it is, basically just get on with it. The steroids just seem to make it worse.

Luckily for us we had an amazing Health visitor who stepped in and referred us to a Eczema Clinic at 6mths, it was here that they instantly took one look at him and we learnt his eczema was probably caused by food allergies and the environment. After skin pricks and blood tests, milk was removed from his diet and the eczema went away within two weeks. literally I stopped feeding he stopped screaming, it was like a miracle. But this wasn’t to be the end of it.

Over the next few years he had many reactions, resulting in hospital visits some via ambulance, he became allergic to other foods confirmed by skin pricks, reactions and blood tests ( we were to learn that he didn’t just need to consume them they could be caused by touch and were Airborne) and we finally found a brilliant doctor at the allergy clinic. It wasn’t just eczema we had to deal with it was now food allergies to. We were told some Food allergies he would outgrow and some he would probably never outgrow (they have given him 1 in 1000 chance of outgrowing the nut allergy to this day).

Antihistamines, inhalers and adrenaline auto-injectors became part of our lives and go everywhere with us. We also learnt he may not just have instant reactions but it is possible to have delayed reaction (up to 72 hrs after first contact) and repeat reactions to the same reaction.

It’s not a club we asked to join, or one I ever expected to be part of but I have the pleasure of being given the unwanted label of an allergy mum. It often seems that unless you happen to know someone who has a severely allergic child, you are on a lonely path without a map. You end up using the words ‘Anaphylaxis’ and ‘epi-pens’ way to much even when you don’t want to, to the point of boredom, they become everyday vocabulary. Allergies have an emotional impact on your lives, you have to learn to cope with your fears and hide the tears. It affects the whole family. Having an anaphylactic child takes the stress of living with allergies to the extreme.

Anaphylaxis is a life threatening condition. Our child’s safety is literally in our hands that is scary!

– I often wonder can I keep my child safe or even get him into adulthood in one piece.

– Will we recognise a severe reaction quick enough and act fast enough?

– Will we know what to do ?

– Will I even be there?

– Am I likely to overreact and give the adrenaline unnecessarily?

– understanding experts opinions vary a lot. you are the one who has to weigh opinions up against others verses your Childs history.

– You spend many an hour getting as much information as you can, to give your child the right support and you the confidence in your decisions.

Research into the reason why children die from Anaphylaxis concludes that factors at play our recognising how severe the reaction was and adrenaline is often not given quick enough. Constantly being aware and reacting quickly is undoubtedly a vital factor in keeping our child safe. We know adrenaline auto – injectors (often known as Epi-pens) are life saving if given quickly and correctly because they work instantly to reverse the symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction. normalizing blood pressure and circulation to the body organs.

In short it is better to give a unneccessory dose of adrenaline than not to have used it when it was needed. We also know they don’t always work alone (often they only give you time to get to a hospital where additional help is often needed including your child being pumped full of steroids) and they are not always a magic solution, Sometimes there is no stopping or reversing the anaphylaxis reaction or the pens just dont work for some reason in some cases. An anaphylactic reaction is alarming to witness mostly because of the sudden speed with which it occurs. Watching your child turn blue struggling to breath and becoming non-responsive is scary beyond belief especially as the reality is you have no control over the outcome and knowing it can be life threatening. resulting in the possibility of spending time in Children critical care units or at worse intensive care. This is all caused by food, which is essential for survival and should be seen as something to enjoy.

Having a child with a food allergy has a great impact on quality of life, creating understandably anxieties for the present and the future. You spend your life reading labels. The reality is that Ingredients labels can be frustrating. It is frustrating to find out what actually goes into a simple biscuit or cake. The ‘contains’ or ‘allergy information’ labels on packaging do make shopping easier but even when you have been doing it for years and our an experience label reader. It’s easy to make mistakes if you are not always on guard. Its annoying when you enter a shop or restaurant to see spills or loose food that might cause a reaction or to be  faced with someone who does not appear to care.

The ‘May contain’ debate – we as a family despair at this label, it is the most unhelpful and contentions statement that can be written on a food product. It is unhelpful because I want to know does it? or does it not? contain any nuts not that it might!

It is also contentious because in our society/culture some believe that manufacturers are just covering themselves against being sued. However when it comes to ‘may contain’ evidence suggest that there is a 1 in 3 chance that the allergy is present. So its like playing Russian roulette. There is a small but significant risk that exists which cannot be ignored Yes as a result we miss out on foods that could potentially be safe but the risks dictates are choice. Seeing as our son who has had two anaphylaxis reactions to ‘may contain’ items we avoid at all costs now ( Of all things Tin tomatoes and ice cream being the culprits ‘may contain’ Tree nuts / Hazelnuts).

You feel like your child’s life is in your hands as you shop for food. In short food shopping is a huge challenge. However the reality is there is food everywhere – there are few environments that do not include food. This makes going anywhere harder: visiting friends and family, socializing, Farms, Zoos, eating meals or snacks out, Ice creams in the park are to name a few.

Whilst bringing up an allergy child we have experienced every emotion going as parents Felt scared, fearful (for the present and the future teenage years), angry, guilty, anxious, in denial (it took us a long time to fully come to terms with and accept the reality of living with allergies) and at times felt completely hopeless. Wondered does anyone really understand? It can be a lonely business and stressful as parents and for a child living with it.

Asking have I done anything wrong?

Blaming ourselves,

Have I done everything in my power to try to prevent allergies developing?

Its heartbreaking but we can not allow it to consume the here and now or the years ahead. It is not our fault, we are not to blame and its as simple as that! Over the years both myself and husband have had to deal with our own nightmares however it does becomes manageable. Dealing with family and friends offers its own challenges, some are fantastic and offer endless support, whilst others will try to find answers and give you advice, whether you want it or not! A few will make you question whether they have heard you and actually get it. Awkward situations make you feel like a fussy over-protective mum, adding to which there is concern a friend is actually helping you out or trying to offer support. The last thing you want to do is cause offence by checking for potential risks. It is especially frustrating as a mum when others do not take it seriously, roll their eyes, or confuse a serious food allergy with food intolerance.

There are so many key moments in a child’s life that are made harder by allergies

A big challenge to overcome is trusting other people to look after your child, if they will have them on their own and don’t have fear themselves. It takes a great leap of faith to trust someone to provide food for your child or childcare. One thing you learn quickly that it is essential that you have to be over-protective in certain situations – Supervision against risk. However when others offer to produce safe foods or have your child alone for a few hours you feel no end of gratitude.

Holidays present another issue, they need extra planning and in some cases a lot, Allergies dictate where you can go, concerns over language barriers, the medical care available, Aeroplanes are scary – What if they have a reaction in the air? Nuts on board planes present an issue. To top it all of you pay a premium on Travel Insurance costing you more.

School holds many fears and issues to overcome from snacks to, school lunches, staff training, medicine at school (who do you trust?), lunch time supervision, no swapping or sharing, school trips, will they be bullied or teased because of their allergies? play dates, parties (To stay or not to stay? were they not invited because of their allergies? birthday cakes present high risks), clubs and sports.

Exclusion is a big issue you have to deal with. often your child will be left out or presented with something different (those this is meant with the best intention to include him it can often actually exclude and make him feel different). Sometimes in your head you question- hang on a minute you know about his allergies why do you still exclude him? There is no magic solution, however we are very lucky to have some amazing friends and parents at my son’s school who go above and beyond. Having friends who have shared an understanding of what we are going though has been my lifeline at times, offering comfort and reassurance We truly appreciate this as we know the challenges it presents. As parents all we want is inclusion for him, as normal as possible childhood with the same opportunities as others his age. Inclusion and not exclusion is a big thing !!!

There is a fine balance between allowing your child a normal life and keeping them safe!

As a mum I have also had to deal with the fear of having an another allergic child after my eldest. It turned out this was not the case, however you spend 9mths paranoid and the early years of the second childs life worrying. Most of the theories you get told behind preventing your child against allergies in my own personal opinion are untrue and it is just a guessing game still. One of my births was natural (eldest), one was c-section (youngest). One was breastfed (eldest) one was bottled (youngest). I ate nuts in my first pregnancy because I was a big nut eater before allergies entered our lives. However I did not in my second. Personally I think there are no real conclusive answers to preventing allergies it’s just pot luck!

I worry alot about my youngest needs,

does he get enough attention as it feels like his brother gets all the attention sometimes?

– Does he feel it’s all about his brother?

-does he feel he gets all the special attention?

-Does he get enough himself?

-Does he feel any burden or responsiblity or anxiety living with a brother with allergies?

Does he feel any resentment due to denied foods that he likes but can’t have due to his brother (he loves eggs and only eats them out the house away from our eldest)?

As a family we try our hardest to gain a realistic acceptance and understanding of living with allergies. So we can all enjoy life to the full. We have tried to give our sons as normal as possible childhoods despite allergies. We take days out, holidays and eat meals out.

As parents we try to teach him how to face the dangers calmly, whilst sometimes containing our own panic so he can learn by our example and help him to cope practically with whatever life throws his/our way. Theres no doubt that food allergies can be worrying. I’d be lying if I told you any different. The risks are certainly manageable with the right support, knowledge and understanding. Everyday we are trying/ learning how to raise our son in an atmosphere of safety and stability. We try to give him the tools to empower him to decide independently in situations where food is present. How to take his medication and to accept his condition as just something to be lived with.

It’s the hours between food that really matter.

Sometimes the support and help is hard to come by

(those who have travelled down the allergy road will know this only to well).

Gp’s struggle to suppor families in line with their allergy clinics, information on the television and internet can be portrayed incorrectly or questionably. Creating stereotypes. As he grows older increased independence brings fear. Will he be responsible enough about his allergies? when should he carry his own medicines? will he take chances or risks with his allergies?

In short : No matter how well we manage our Childs allergies and try to help him on his way to looking after himself with confidence.

We would all love a cure to be rid of the daily threat to their lives.

emmas xxx

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