Food Allergies and the Teenager
Developmentally, teenagers are increasingly independent, spend more time with their peer group, and engage in more risk-oriented behaviors as they transition toward adulthood. Peer pressure and the natural desire to avoid embarrassment further impact teenage decision-making, potentially increasing safety risks for the food allergic teen. Taken together, normal developmental issues specific to teenagers with food allergies, such as allergen avoidance and independent use of medications, make the transition to food allergy self-management uniquely difficult. There are many issues complicating the typical development for food allergic teenagers. Being attuned to the current information regarding some of these specific issues can be very helpful in tailoring interventions to the specific family and adolescent. The use of education, empowerment, and partnerships can improve self-care, adherence, and quality of life.
KeywordsAdolescent Teenager Food allergy Anaphylaxis Food allergy management Allergic reaction
Special thanks to Elisabeth Stieb, RN, BSN, AE-C, for her careful review of this chapter.
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