Fall 2015 Psychology Event
Stress and Anxiety in Families with Food Allergies
Amy Przeworski, Ph.D. Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University, recently spoke to members of NEOFAN about stress and anxiety in families with food allergies. Some topics she discussed were warning signs of anxiety and ways of coping with stress. She emphasized the importance of considering their developmental level when teaching about allergies and risks.
Some indications of child anxiety may be:
- Sleeping difficulties (nightmares, sleep walking, insomnia)
- Physical complaints(stomach aches,headaches)
- Twirling hair, biting fingernails.
- Child looking drawn/worn down
- Repetitive behaviors (checking ingredient lists repeatedly, asking for reassurance that there are no nuts in the food, etc)
- Avoidance of situations that involve minimal risk
Some Social Impact of Anxiety of the Family may be:
- Some parents restrict the family’s social activities to prevent accidental exposure
- More than 30% of parents of children with food allergies make more than one visit per month to their child’s school to discuss their child’s allergy
- 10% of families in one study home-schooled their child because of their food allergy
- Those with food allergies have higher absences from school relative to healthy children
To learn more please see Dr. Przeworski’s notes on Stress & Anxiety in Families with Food Allergies.
Supporting Allergy Friendly Halloween
At this event the first 20 attendees were given teal paint to use for Halloween in support of the Teal Pumpkin Project.