Let's Talk about Allergies
Attending a new groups or class can be daunting at the best of times, if you are anything like me you will be thinking
- I hope I feel welcome
- What if I'm late!
- What if no one talks to me?
- Will I be able to find the place?
- What if my child plays up?
- Will they sit still?
But if you are a parent or carer of a child with allergies your worries are personified.
- What if they are allergic to something?
- What if someone has snacks and then touches my child?
- Will they be able to join in everything ?
- What if they have a reaction?
- Will people think I'm being neurotic?
At Story Imagin-ory we are very conscious of the worries and restrictions that allergies can put on your children and you. Often leading to isolation, reluctance to go out, and anxiety at attending groups.
At the point of booking your class you disclose to us any allergies your child has, which means we can cater our sessions around you to make it accessible for everyone to attend. As a standard rule we don't use dairy, meat products, or nut products. This means that we often shop in the Free From isle for our food based products. We don't use products that contain gelatine. We also make the majority of our sensory play items from scratch/natural products meaning they are safe to eat.
However, it's not always about the activities and products we provide, it's about the other participants of the session and the equipment. Did you know that when a child has a snack, and then goes to play with the activities and toys transference can occur, meaning a child with an allergy may have a reaction inadvertently. Therefore we welcome you to have snacks but do ask you to eat them at the side of the room and make sure hands are wiped clean afterwards.
It all sounds a bit dramatic? Yes? Absolutely NOT. One of our class teachers knows all too well the repercussions of allergies and attending groups. During a recent chat we discussed how she had been made to feel 'over the top' and isolated at another group when addressing the subject of the severe allergies her child has, leaving her in tears after the session.
Where we cannot guarantee complete safety from allergies we will do EVERYTHING we can to make sure you can attend the group. After every class we wash all fabric items in 60 degree wash (with anti bac agent) and all equipment is cleaned and soaked in milton steriliser, then boxed ready for it's next use.
We are all first aid trained and can administer epi pens if needed.
We have a very large number of children who attend weekly with a variety of allergies, some mild, some major. So if you are reading this and love the look of our groups but are worried about your child's allergies, please send me a message and see how we can help you.