Food allergies should be treated seriously, because if a person has a severe reaction and isn’t treated quickly enough, it may even prove to be fatal. However, that is not likely to happen if people know that they have to avoid certain foods, for example. Here are some simple ways to help prevent food allergies.
- People who cook their own meals should know all the foods they are allergic to, and ensure they don’t even have those foods in the house, unless absolutely necessary.
- Preventing food allergies also means keeping all cooking surfaces completely clean of the foods the person is allergic to. For example, if a person has a nut allergy, but makes a peanut butter sandwich for a child, and then makes a salad sandwich for himself using the same cutting board, butter knife and surface, there’s a risk of having a reaction.
- Anybody with an allergy should educate themselves on the types of foods that can trigger an attack. Read ingredients before buying foods and drinks. Doing research online is an easy way to learn what foods should be avoided.
- If somebody has a food allergy, they should discuss it with their doctor. A doctor can run some tests and see what foods the person is allergic to. If it’s a severe allergy, the doctor may prescribe an emergency epinephrine pen. These pens can literally mean the difference between life and death in some cases.
- Wearing a medical alert necklace or bracelet is important, because allergies can cause a person to choke and be unable to communicate. The medical ID jewelry can warn somebody nearby to look for an “epi pen” in the person’s bag, purse or pocket, and then use it on the victim.
- Restaurant dining can be difficult sometimes. As an example, if the person is allergic to nuts and eggs, these ingredients are very common and can be found in many foods. The good news is that the restaurant staff members are used to being asked these types of questions, so they can help someone order a delicious meal that doesn’t include certain ingredients.
- If a child has a food allergy, they must also wear medical ID that explains what to do in an emergency. Just like with adults, an “epi pen” should also be carried at all times, and the school nurse should have a spare as well. However, extra precautions must also be taken. The child must never buy food at school, as the ingredients won’t be known. It is much easier to have control if the parents prepare all the food.
- Teachers and the school nurse must also be advised of the child’s allergies, so they can take action if something happens. The parents should prepare a plan of action, and the children must be taught to ask for help anytime they have a reaction.
Prevention and treatment of allergies go hand in hand. While education and the avoidance of specific foods are the keys to prevention, understanding how to treat a reaction is just as critical.