6 unknown allergy triggers at school for first-time parents

Back to school

6 unknown allergy triggers at school for first-time parents

Sending your little one to school for the first time is a smorgasbord of emotion, filled with excitement, worry, and a slither of thought for future peace and quiet, mixed with dread and anticipation. As a parent, you want to ensure their well-being in every way possible, especially if your child has suspected allergies. The school environment can introduce a range of allergens that might affect your child’s health and comfort. 

Let’s explore the types of allergies your child might encounter at school, empowering you to take proactive steps for their safety. Here are the allergy suspects that might already have a cameo appearance at home:

Exercise-induced allergies

Yep, it’s possible to be allergic to your own sweat. If your little ones are more into creative adventures than outdoor acrobatics, you might’ve missed those sneaky hives on their arms and neck after a bout of exercise. But school means playtime galore, and all that running around and PE could introduce exercise-induced urticaria – an allergy to sweat. 

Food allergies

Schools are a melting pot of food allergies, ranging from the usual suspects like nuts and dairy to more unexpected guests like eggs and wheat. If your kitchen is allergy-proofed and free from certain foods, your little one might have a surprise encounter with a new treat that uncovers a hidden food allergy.

Insect sting and pollen allergies 

Depending on where you live vs. your child’s school, you might be coming from a lower-risk area to a higher one. If you live more in the city and your child’s school is surrounded by fields and woodlands, there might be an increased risk of pollen and creatures they didn’t have before. This can trigger hay fever symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. If you’re worried about a reaction, keep an eye on pollen forecasts, especially on high-pollen days. 

Mould allergies

This one is crucial as it’s also common in autumn—perfect timing for the new school year. Mould spores thrive in damp, decaying spaces, such as that big pile of wet leaves, which looks like a magical place to play for our children. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they shouldn’t, but it’s a good idea to explore if they have the potential to be causing issues before they do. 

Pet allergies

When you have a pet allergy, it’s not necessarily touching the animal that causes the issue. It’s their saliva and fur (or dander), which can be easily passed across classrooms or encountered on sleepovers and playdates. If you have a pet-free family and your child hasn’t had many encounters with animals and then starts showing signs of sneezing, wheezing, and skin rashes, it could be from a contact allergy made in the school. 

Allergies triggered by classroom materials

School supplies might look familiar, but some might have a twist. Markers, glues, and paints in the classroom could sneak in allergens. Even latex in gloves and balloons could stir up a reaction. A first-time encounter with these materials might leave you puzzled over the cause of your child’s response.

How can you prepare yourself and your child?

The common thread is that school throws your child into a new environment filled with its own set of allergens. Different cleaning potions, artsy materials, and outdoor spaces can trigger allergies you’re unaware of.

Understanding the potential allergens your child might encounter at school is the first step towards safeguarding their health and comfort. But it doesn’t have to be a scary ordeal. If you suspect your child has allergies or are unsure, preemptively testing can help you pinpoint specific triggers. 

From here, you can work with the school to take appropriate precautions, ensuring your child’s safe and enjoyable school experience.

As your child dives into the world of education, empower yourself with knowledge. If you suspect allergies, take the proactive step of getting your child tested. Our experts are here to guide you through the process. Get in touch to discuss how to ensure your child’s well-being is prioritised at school and beyond. Call us on 02031 433 449 or register as a new patient today.

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved