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Balancing Needs when a Sibling Has Food Allergies
Your child's non-allergenic siblings may resent the extra attention that is focused on the allergic child, or may complain about the "unfairness" of the activities in which your family cannot participate or the foods that your family does not serve because of their sibling’s food allergies. If possible, try to make regular arrangements for you, your spouse, or another close adult friend or family member to take the other children out of the house to eat these foods and enjoy these experiences.
If the non-allergic sibling is still young enough to make a mess of himself when eating, you will need to take precautions after these food outings to avoid contaminating your car and your house with allergens.
Although you can and should lend a sympathetic ear when your non-allergic children feel a need to complain about the situation, make it clear that it is not acceptable for them to complain to or tease their food allergic sibling. Your home should be a place of love and understanding, where each member of the family, including the food-allergic child, is accepted as he is.
Copyright (c) 2004, Linda Marienhoff Coss, All rights reserved.
Excerpted with permission from "How to Manage Your Child's Life-Threatening Food Allergies: Practical Tips for Everyday Life" by Linda Marienhoff Coss.
More information about this book can be found in KFA's Allergy Book Shop.
Reviewed by KFA Medical Advisory Team August 2005