If you’re a mom of a young child, you know invites to birthday parties are constantly being thrown out. Just about every weekend you’ll have a party to attend for a classmate, a friend, or a family member, and if you’re a mom of a child with an allergy, you may dread all those invites.
There will always be cake and ice cream at parties. Nothing will change that. Ever. Whether your child is allergic to gluten, or dairy, or even nuts, it can be really difficult to go about these sorts of things. You want with all of your heart to let your child go have fun, but you’re worried he will feel left out because he can’t have the special treat everyone else is having, or you’re afraid he will go for it anyway and end up with a terrible reaction.
It’s hard to deal with this ordeal, but it can be done. Your child can go have fun at these parties and events, and you can even rest easy by doing these things, knowing that everything will be OK.
Pack a Special Treat
If your child is allergic to dairy and can’t have the frosting on a normal cake, send her with a special dairy-free cupcake just for her. Same goes for other allergies. There are special treats every child can indulge in, if you look around. Find the one your child likes best and give it to them during special events like these so that they don’t feel left out when other kids are having cake and ice cream. Make it a fun thing!
Explain to Your Child She Isn’t Different in a Bad Way
Children will see that other kids get to eat different things than them at parties. While some of them won’t care, many of them will. It’s important to let your child know that her allergy does not define her and that just because she is different from others in what she can eat, isn’t a bad thing. It’s what sets her apart from the rest of the kids and makes her special.
Explain the Effects of Your Child’s Allergy to Him
If your child doesn’t fully understand what his allergy can do to his body should he eat the wrong food, he might be tempted to just try a taste. Let him know how serious it can be to do that, but try to do it in a manor that won’t scare him. The goal is not to frighten him, but to instead inform him. The more knowledge your child has on the subject, the more likely he is to understand it and why he can’t have certain things when other kids can.
Let the Parents of the Party Know About Your Child’s Allergy
If your child is attending the party of a friend, make sure the parents throwing it know he is allergic to whatever he has problems with. While they probably can’t be on top of him all the time, they might be able to help him if he’s feeling discouraged or wants to try what other kids are having. Plus, an extra set of eyes is always a good idea. Give this parent the special treat mentioned above so that they can give it to your child when the other kids are indulging in their treats if you won’t be staying for the party.
Make Sure to Being an EpiPen, Benadryl, or Whatever Allergy Medication You Use in Case of an Attack
There is always a chance of an allergy attack. Always, always, always. Be prepared. You absolutely have to be prepared. Things happen, no matter how careful you are and how many precautions you take. Make sure they stay in a safe, accessible location where they are hidden from other children, but available to adults who may need to help in the situation. If your child is old enough to administer the medication, make sure he knows where it is too. Instruct the parents of the party if you aren’t going to be attending it with your child so that they know how to help him in the case of an emergency.
Overall, Let Her Have Fun
Living with an allergy is a serious thing, but that doesn’t mean your child can’t have fun. You might be stressed about the whole birthday party thing, but don’t let her see that. Let her be a kids and have fun with everyone else while you work out the fine details in your own head. Just be there for her with any concerns she has, be prepared in case of emergency, make her feel special, and always have a special treat unique to her for these events.
Are you a mom of a child with an allergy? Do you have any other birthday party tips you can share with readers who may have the same issue?