Food allergy cases in the U.S. are likely highly over-estimated. Especially in light of recent nut allergy studies that show that nut allergies are way overestimated. Still, nuts aren't the only holiday allergy worry, and some kids are actually allergic, so it pays to know how to protect your child during the holiday season. During the holidays, often, family members and friends love to hand out treats to children and most homes are decorated festively for the season. But, if your child is allergic to a holiday treat or holiday decor item, this can be downright dangerous. If your child has known food allergies, it's best to be prepared with a holiday food allergy and seasonal allergy plan. The American Dietetic Association offers the following suggestions to help protect kids who have food allergies:
- Always check food labels for potential allergens and remind other family members and friends to do the same.
- During the holidays people are rushed, stressed and forgetful. This is the perfect time to remind everyone about the severity of food allergies in your child, along with symptoms to watch for.
- Make sure your older child is fully informed, so he or she can be proactive in preventing an allergic reaction. You can start prepping your young child to tell people about his allergy, but younger kids can't always speak up for themselves.
- Work with a registered dietitian to develop a healthy eating plan that excludes allergens.
Additionally, you may want to...
- Be the treat-maker for parties. Then you control what ingredients go in them.
- To make it easy and safe, simply tell people, "Sorry, but NO food or treats for my child unless I'm present."
- Plan holiday celebrations around crafts, playtime and other fun activities vs. food.
- Be diligent about special holiday triggers in stores, your own home and other peoples homes. For example, candles, some holiday plants, excess dust and more can cause holiday-specific allergies.
The ADA also points out that you should always offer your child’s caregivers detailed medical plans and pediatrician contact info so that the caregiver may treat an allergic reaction if needed.
- See ways to prevent allergies early on.
- Look out for poisonous holiday plants too, which can cause allergic reactions and much worse.
Image by bradgrubbs via sxc.