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Be a PAL: Understanding How Friends Can Help with Food Allergies

food allergiesEven if your child doesn’t have food allergies, he may be near others who do. It’s important to teach your child the importance of food allergies and how to help his friends stay healthy. Consider the following tips to discuss with your child:

Don’t Share Food

If your child’s friend has a peanut allergy, certain foods are obvious not to share such as a peanut butter sandwich or Reese’s peanut butter cups. However, there are many unrelated foods that are made in a factory that also handles peanuts. Even the slightest trigger can set off a potential reaction. Talk to your child about not sharing food even if it seems safe.

Maintain Good Hygiene

Some children don’t have to consume an allergen to have an allergic reaction. If the allergen touches their skin, a rash may occur. So, talk to your kids about washing their hands after they eat. Eliminating the allergen is a great way to keep their friends from an allergic reaction. (In the event that a rash occurs, instruct your child to alert his teachers or a nearby parent immediately.)

Be Prepared

If your child is witnessing his friend experience an allergic reaction, it is extremely important for your child to know what to do to help. For example, if his friend is going into anaphylactic shock, your child could assist him with his epinephrine injector. This could save his life.

The Food Allergy Research & Education website gives great tips and materials to assist you with this life-saving talk. This school year, make it a priority to talk to your kids about allergies in general, and how they can be part of their friend’s team.

If you think your child has food allergies, contact a Langford Allergies doctor today. Your child will be diagnosed, and a treatment plan will be created to help him find relief!