Learning that your child has a food allergy, especially a life-threatening one, can be a scary and stressful time for parents. The primary goal should be to establish a “normalized” and non-panicked, but safe environment for your child. These tips can be a great starting point after a new diagnosis.
- Make sure your home is allergy free for your child. The first step is removing all food items that contain allergens from your fridge, pantry and freezer. Thoroughly clean and sanitize cooking utensils, cookware, dishes and all surfaces in your kitchen, including appliances, inside and out. This will help prevent possible cross-contamination of allergens.
- Check soaps, cosmetics, lotions and all other toiletries for allergens in the ingredient list. While you might only think of food as the source of problems, many modern toiletry products contain the very ingredients that cause food allergies, and you can never be too safe.
- Clearly explain the allergy to all family and caregivers. Do not assume that the people you trust with your children will remember every detail. Teach your children to say “No, thank you,” to any food they are not certain is safe.
- Keep antihistamines and prescription medications easily accessible at all locations your child spends time. Check the expiration dates regularly on all medication your child may need, as the effectiveness diminishes once the expiration date passes.
Talk to your provider at Atlanta ENT about your concerns and ask for additional ideas on how to keep your child safe if you are worried. Taking the proper precautions can make all the difference in the world when it comes to preventing an allergic reaction to food allergies.
Ramie Tritt, MD, President, Atlanta ENT