With food being a central fixture at many get-togethers, it presents unique challenges for people who suffer from food allergies. Prevea Allergy
has a few tips to avoid an allergic reaction while celebrating any occasion.
- Educate your family and friends. If your child has a food allergy, talk to them about their allergy triggers and how to avoid them. It’s important your child’s daycare or school is aware of the food allergy as well. Many schools have specific food allergy forms that should be completed.
- Planning ahead.
- If a celebration is being held at a restaurant, check the menus online or call ahead to determine which foods are safe. For pot-luck or hosted gatherings, offer to bring allergen-free dishes that complement the meal. If there is too much uncertainty, consider eating ahead of time so you can enjoy the celebration without putting yourself at risk.
- Asking questions.
- Ask questions about ingredients and how a meal was prepared, stored and served. Even if a food doesn’t have a specific ingredient, cross-contamination could occur in the kitchen. A trace amount of the allergen left on a utensil, storage container or serving platter is enough to taint food and cause an allergic reaction. If there is any uncertainty, the food should be avoided.
- Being prepared.
- Be prepared for an allergic reaction. Carry and know how to use auto-injectable epinephrine and antihistamines to treat emergency reactions. Teach family members others close to you how to use epinephrine and consider wearing an ID bracelet that describes your allergy. If a reaction occurs, have someone take you to the emergency room, even if symptoms subside. Afterwards, get follow-up care from your allergist.
Using these tips can help you and your loved ones understand and prepare for any food allergies, allowing you to focus on quality time spent together.