If your child suffers from severe food allergies, you need to make sure they're protected, even when you're not around. While children are small, it's easy to monitor the foods they eat, as well as the foods they come in contact with. However, once children grow up, and head off to school, it's no longer possible for you to monitor them as closely as you'd like to. That's why it's important to devise ways to protect your kids when you're not around to do it. Here are four steps that will help you protect your child from food allergies while they're away from home.
Teach Your Child Safety Rules
If your child has food allergies, one of the best ways to protect them is to teach them safety rules while they're young. Teaching and enforcing those rules will help your child avoid foods that could cause serious health problems for them. The first thing you should do is teach your child to avoid sharing food – including packaged snacks. If you didn't provide it, they shouldn't eat it. Second, teach your children to wash their hands before and after each meal. This will help keep them from ingesting trace amounts of allergens that they might have come in contact with. Finally, teach your child to notify adults about their allergies whenever food is offered.
Insist on Identification
If your child suffers from food allergies, it's important that you identify the condition to those around them. This includes strangers who may need to provide assistance to your child while you're away. Insist on a medical identification bracelet for your child. The bracelet will identify your child, their medical condition, and the foods they're allergic to.
Send Packed Lunches from Home
If your child has food allergies, the lunch line at school is the last place they should be. Even if the school assures you that the foods are safe, you have no way of knowing if it came in contact with something that could harm your child. To protect your child against food allergens, you should pack your child's lunch each day. This will ensure that they only have safe, healthy foods to eat.
Double Up on the Epi-Pens
If your child suffers from severe food allergies, it's important to remember that even with the best planning, accidents can happen. If your child requires epi-pens for emergency situations, be sure you always provide them with a double dose. This will ensure that during a severe reaction, there will be sufficient medication to pull them out of the medical emergency.
Don't leave your child's food allergies to chance. Now that they're heading off to school, use the tips provided here to keep them safe. Talk to your doctor about other steps you can take to keep your child safe from food allergies. For more information or advice, contact a center such as Dino Peds.