Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Allergy alert

When my youngest son was about 6 or 7 months old, he started breaking out in a rash over his torso, face, arms and legs.

He itched. He cried. He had diarrhea all the time.

Trying to be a good mommy, I put him in tepid baths with a little ground oatmeal to try to stop the itching. It didn't help. We tried changing his diet - he wasn't eating too many different things yet - Cheerios were his favorite food, and he loved fruits and veggies. Finally, I took him to an allergist.

Lo and behold, he was allergic - very allergic - to oats. And here I'd been bathing him in the stuff.

According to the Food Allergy and Anaphalaxis Network, "Approximately 12 million people in the U.S. have food allergies. That’s one in 25, or 4% of the population. Food allergies are more prevalent among young children – one in 17 under the age of 3 has food allergies."

I eventually had all of my kids tested. Turns out one of my daughters is so allergic to nuts that she was given an epi pen to carry with her. I had no idea.

Parenting a child with food allergies, especially a young one, can be daunting. A trip to the grocery store - which used to take 15 minutes - now takes an hour, since every single label must be read. These days, many foods have ingredients you'd never suspect. For example, I am very allergic to soy. I never would have dreamed I'd find it in lunch meat - until the day I bit into a roast beef sandwich and my throat almost closed up. Sure enough, the meat contained soy. Why it did, I have no idea.

Furthermore, a parent cannot watch over their child's diet when they aren't home. Sometimes it only takes a tiny bite of an allergen to cause a strong reaction. What if someone offers my son a bit of an oatmeal raisin cookie and he says yes?

I came across these bracelets last night, and I am thrilled. What a great idea! Lucinda of Designed By Lucinda on Etsy makes the custom personalized bracelets that kids will be likely to wear because they're cool and pretty.

"My child has asthma, and I know many kids with it," Lucinda writes. "I also know many people with kids who have food allergies. The problem is that the necklaces and bracelets that EMTs are trained to look for tend to be a bit ugly to a first grader or so. These bracelets are a training step for kids for accept the (to them) ugly necklace while sporting a pretty bracelet."

Of course Lucinda doesn't intend for her bracelets to take the place of official asthma alert or other necklaces that EMTs are trained to look for. Instead, they are just "another way to remind people to Watch Your Child and read the labels before offering your child a cupcake."

Monday, April 19, 2010

We're all ears!

Sometimes a girl needs a little pick-me-up. A treat. A little goodie to brighten an otherwise dull week. And what better way to bring on a smile than to find the perfect pair of earrings ...

We recently came upon Made by Jewls on Etsy - the perfect spot for finding nothing but adorable earrings. Julianne specializes in flower earrings and earrings covered in gorgeous fabrics or Japanese paper. These one-of-a-kind beauties are just the right size - feminine but not foofy, big enough to be seen but not overbearing. And for those old-fashioned girls without pierced ears, Julianne can convert any earring into a clip-on style.
Here are some of our favorites from her shop:

Learn more about Julianne and her work here: http://www.madebyjewls.blogspot.com/