Meg Faure has collaborated with allergy expert, Dr Sarah Karabus and paediatric dietician, Kath Megaw to launch the phenomenal and much-needed book, Allergy Sense. Allergies have never been more prevalent. It seems everywhere you turn someone has an allergy to something. You name it and you are bound to find some who is allergic to it. In South Africa alone, one in three people suffer from seasonal allergies and at least 2,5% of children have a food allergy. That’s one in every 13 children – or roughly two in every classroom. About 30 percent of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food But there is a lot of misinformation regarding allergies which causes a lot of fear and confusion for parents when faced with a diagnosis of allergies for their child. Allergy Sense sorts the science from the noise and combines the formidable knowledge, insights and experience from the authors to form a practical guide to help families living with an allergic child.
Did you know? Allergy is the most common chronic disease in Europe. Up to 20% of patients with allergies struggle daily with the fear of a possible asthma attack, anaphylactic shock, or even death from an allergic reaction.
Allergy Sense has been officially endorsed by the Allergy Foundation of South Africa and carries their seal of approval (you can read more about the AFA in this post). It answers a number of questions around allergies and allergy issues from what causes allergies and how to prevent them to is picky eating allergy-related or a sensory activity and how to protect your child from serious reactions. This book is aimed at helping families to live their lives to the fullest rather than allowing the food allergy to limit their lives.
Did you know? Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 5,9 million children under the age of 18
Having read and used Sleep Sense and Weaning Sense, both of which were hugely beneficial, I was really excited to get my hands on Allergy Sense. Having suffered with chronic eczema as a child and knowing how much knowledge has changed when it comes to treating and preventing eczema, this is a topic that fascinates me. While my allergy was by no means a matter of life and death, it did result in days off school due to such chronic flare ups that I couldn’t bend my knees. Trying to prevent eczema in my newborn baby was something that I took very seriously and did as much research as I could. Eczema has a genetic basis so it does run in families but research has shown that protecting the dermal barrier in newborn babies helps them to maintain a protective skin barrier – essential in preventing allergies. As a child, I bathed and moisturised with aqueous cream but more recently, studies have shown that the ingredients in some aqueous creams can actually do more damage to the skin’s natural barrier when used as a moisturiser. Now, using a water-based emollient that provides hydration from within and does no irritate the skin is key to maintaining a healthy skin barrier as it allows the skin to breathe.
In the last twenty years, food allergies have increased dramatically. But the topic of food allergies is a complex one. Some people have severe food allergies and don’t know about them and are at risk of having a severe allergic reaction whereas others think that they have a food allergy but actually don;t and make dramatic changes to their lives for no real reason or benefit. Allergy Sense does a brilliant job of demystifying the topic of allergies and helps you to understand what allergies are, what the symptoms may be, how to really diagnose food allergies and what the difference between acute and chronic reactions are. There are pages of incredibly useful and practical information on socialising, eating out and travelling with children with allergies. More than half the book is filled with the most amazing, delicious and creative recipes which are cleverly codes to indicate which common allergens are present. They are also easy to adapt and tailor to specific allergies. And they have been given two thumbs up by the toughest critics of all – the little ones themselves!
This is a must have book for all families, friends and relatives of children with allergies. It clears up the unknowns and provides a clear road-map to all involved, ensuring everyone is on the same page.