Empowering children with tools to navigate life with allergies

Posted May 16, 2023
Empowering children with tools to navigate life with allergies

Life with allergies can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be free from fun and adventure.  

The Free To program delivered through Allergy Support Hub (ASH) supports West Australian children and their families to live a full life alongside their allergy diagnosis.  

ASH psychologist Emma finishing up an appointment. Credit: Supplied by Allergy Support Hub

ASH provide on the ground support, education, and psychological services to children with allergies and their families. Through the implementation of urgent care services, support groups, workshops, and counselling, they are the only charity in WA providing on the ground support to help children and their families to navigate allergies from the point of diagnosis right through to managing important life transitions.  

Isaac, aged 7, diagnosed with a bee allergy, and ASH family support officer, Monique, practising proper use of the anapen. Credit: Supplied by Allergy Support Hub

On average around eight children will present to a WA emergency department every day, following their first anaphylactic reaction. There are over 40,000 children in WA living with allergies.  

There is no cure for this chronic condition. Instead, children must strictly avoid allergens and carry lifesaving medication in case of accidental exposure.  

Ava, aged 10, diagnosed with a peanut allergy at one, enjoying a book from ASH library. Pete the peanut was written by a WA mum keen to spread awareness of allergies. Credit: Supplied by Allergy Support Hub.

As you can imagine, avoidance is not simple. Meal preparation, food labelling, elimination of common household and environmental triggers, along with the constant fear and anxiety of being around others who do not understand allergies, are just some of the challenges experienced by children and their families. 

Funds provided by Telethon will allow Allergy Support Hub to expand and increase access to these vital services and provide WA children diagnosed with allergies and their families with the support they need to manage allergies, and reduce the worry, stress and anxiety associated with living daily life with allergies.