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Wednesday, 20 December 2017 00:00

Tips to Safely Celebrate Christmas with Food Allergies

The holiday season is often filled with parties and celebrations with family and friends.  Below are some options to help you celebrate  the holidays safely.  The best option for your family will depend on your child’s age, developmental level and individual medical history. 

The most common allergies in children are to peanuts and milk; other frequently seen triggers include eggs, fish, shellfish (crab, lobster, crayfish and shrimp), soy, tree nuts (for example, pecans, cashews and walnuts) and wheat. The most severe reactions are typically to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish — all allergies that can last a lifetime. Children often outgrow allergies to milk, eggs, soy and wheat.

All parents of a child with a food allergy should be aware of the possibility of anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening reaction that impairs breathing, causes a sudden drop in blood pressure and can send a body into shock. For that reason, most children with food allergies are prescribed epinephrine (adrenaline), administered with an auto-injector as soon as symptoms develop.

SAFETY TIPS:

v Wash hands before and after eating or handling food. Prevent cross-contamination in 

100 peanutpreparation and serving.

vRead the labels of all food ingredients.

vPrepare and cook safe meals first. Seal them, and set aside. Then make unsafe foods.

vKeep unsafe foods away from safe foods when preparing, serving, and storing.

vUse separate serving utensils for each dish. Be careful not to mix them up.

vWash all prep areas and eating areas with a paper towel and commercial cleaner. (Sponges and rags can be a source of allergens.)

vTry to keep food isolated to one area of the home and clean up thoroughly after the meal.

vMake a plate for your child before the meal is served to avoid cross contact.

vEnsure that those eating nearby will be careful not to accidentally spill or share unsafe foods.

vKeep unsafe foods out of reach of young children with allergies.

vIf food will be served and eaten throughout the house, bring packages of wipes to keep near the food and encourage everyone to wipe hands after eating, though encouraging them to use soap and water is the best. Walk around periodically to dispose of any uneaten food or dirty plates and napkins.

To find out more about dealing with allergies in children, book on our paediatric first aid course

food allergy