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Allergies Health Center

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Food Allergy Checklist for Parents

Food Allergy Checklist for Parents

  1. Have an action plan. Make sure family, teachers, and other caregivers understand your child's allergy and know what to do in an emergency.
  2. Be prepared. If your child has serious allergies, you -- and all of your child's caregivers -- need to be ready to use an epinephrine injection, such as Auvi-Q or Epi Pen, for life-threatening symptoms. Have two injections handy at all times. Also, have antihistamines on hand for minor symptoms, such as itching or hives.
  3. Get a list of triggers. Ask the doctor for a complete list of allergens and how they may be listed on food labels.
  4. Educate your child. Teach your child about triggers and what foods they're in.
  5. Read ingredients. Check labels on all food you buy.
  6. Stick with prepackaged food. Food from salad bars, bakeries, and deli counters may have hidden allergens.
  7. Be cautious. If you're not sure a food is safe, your child shouldn't eat it.
  8. Be up front. Tell restaurant staff about your child's allergies before you order or eat.
  9. Order simple foods. In restaurants, dishes with fewer ingredients may be safer.
  10. Carry info about the allergy. Carry written material, such as chef cards, you can give to restaurant staff.
  11. Get ID. For a serious allergy, your child should wear medical ID jewelry such as a bracelet or necklace.
  12. Act fast. If your child has life-threatening symptoms, use an Auvi-Q or Epi-Pen and get medical help right away.
  13. Watch for hidden allergens. They can lurk in drugs, soaps, lotions, and other products.
  14. Keep trigger foods out of reach. Or don't keep them in your house at all.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on February 15, 2015

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