Food is not a common asthma trigger but asthma symptoms can occur as part of an allergic reaction to certain foods. Whole nuts should not be given in any case to pre-school age children because of the risk of them choking, but you should also remember that children with atopic conditions are more vulnerable to nut allergies.
Food manufacturers now label all foods containing nuts, but if you are buying unlabelled foods or eating out, ask about the ingredients. Artificial colorings and additives are also triggers, so try to include as many natural, unprocessed foods as possible in your child’s diet.
If you suspect that certain sweets or fizzy drinks are causing attacks, avoid them. This will not only help you decide whether there is a problem, but also limit your child’s intake of junk food.
Dairy products are often connected with allergies, especially eczema, but you should always ask your doctor’s advice before removing them from a child’s diet. Pollen is very hard to avoid during summer months. The worst time is early summer when so many plants are in flower.
Rain literally washes pollen away, so the pollen count is highest during a dry spell and you may have to be extra vigilant at this time. Get into the habit of finding out about the daily pollen count, and then plan your child’s activities accordingly.
Encourage him to play outside only early in the morning or just before bed when the pollen count is lower. Resist the temptation to bring cur flowers inside the house. Open windows and doors to air the house early in the morning and then keep them closed for the rest of the day.
Do not hang clothes outside to dry or bedding to air when the pollen count is high. If your child reacts badly to pollen, ask his school if he can stay inside at times when there is a high pollen count and when the grass has just been cut. Remind him never to roll in grass, even when he sees his friends doing so.
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