From the Program Director's Desk

ALLERGIES AND COPARENTING

Many parents sharing custody of a child argue about allergies. What is serious? What is mild? How do we decide to test?

Here are listings of MILD and SEVERE symptoms. A good start for a Mom and Dad who view the symptoms differently is to start a checklist and do it consistently. If both parents commit to recording symptoms in the MILD and SEVERE categories, you will be able to let the child's physician see the picture much more clearly.

MILD symptoms may include one or more of the following:

1 Hives (reddish, swollen, itchy areas on the skin)
2 Eczema (a persistent dry, itchy rash)
3 Redness of the skin or around the eyes
4 Itchy mouth or ear canal
5 Nausea or vomiting
6 Diarrhea
7 Stomach pain
8 Nasal congestion or a runny nose
9 Sneezing
10 Slight, dry cough
11 Odd taste in mouth
12 Uterine contractions

SEVERE symptoms may include one or more of the following:

1 Obstructive swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or throat
2 Trouble swallowing
3 Shortness of breath or wheezing
4 Turning blue
5 Drop in blood pressure (feeling faint, confused, weak, passing out)
6 Loss of consciousness
7 Chest pain
8 A weak or “thread” pulse
9 Sense of “impending doom”

Coparents need to collaborate on the topic of symptoms and allergies. Children need to be free of pressure about the topic. Some parents are so anxious about the difference of opinion between Moms House and Dads House that they actually create anxiety in the child.

Make a list of symptoms, document dates and times, observe possible triggers. Do this for at least 90 days before even raising the topic with the other parent. If you have a good-enough relationship to sit down together in a neutral place, schedule the time and do it. If you don't get along, then find someone who can facilitate the meeting.

Facilitated coparenting meetings is one of the services offered by the Transitions Family Program at Hannah's House. Coparents participate in the structured process, reach agreements, and then usually agree to use the facilitated meetings in the future prior to filing in court. Many issues can be resolved this way, saving both financial and emotional resources for both households!