Navigating Food Allergies From Diagnosis to Adulthood
The food allergy team at Children's Mercy has created a roadmap to help kids, caregivers, schools and friends navigate food allergies through the years.
- Fill the epinephrine prescription ASAP and ALWAYS carry 2 with you.
- Order a medical alert identification.
- Read every label, every time.
- Learn all the names for your allergen.
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.
- Know how to administer epinephrine and call 9-1-1.
- Find support through local support groups, national organizations and friends.
- When eating out, check the restaurant out ahead of time to meet needs. Upon arrival, notify server/manager/chef of allergens.
- Learn how to avoid cross contamination and cross contact.
- Follow the “no label=no eat” rule.
- Educate family and friends about food allergies and how they can keep everyone safe.
- Train all potential caregivers on how to administer epinephrine and the food allergy action plan.
- Check out food allergy cookbooks or online recipes.
- Always carry snacks and hand wipes with you. Hand sanitizer does not remove allergens.
- Teach siblings how to handle food allergies.
- Teach your child to say “allergen.”
- Make sure your child can visually recognize allergens.
- Teach your child to ALWAYS wash their hands before eating.
- Wash toys if they have been in an unsafe environment or on the floor.
- Educate babysitters about signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis. Train them on how to administer epinephrine and the food allergy action plan.
- Ensure daycare/preschool have current epinephrine and food allergy action plan.
- Schedule a meeting with school administration to discuss 504 or Individual Health Plan.
- Meet with teacher and school nurse.
- Discuss lunch protocols.
- Discuss how the school handles parties/celebrations.
- Make sure your child can read their allergens.
- Teach your child and their siblings how to administer epinephrine and review regularly.
- When you think it is appropriate for your child, let them practice with epinephrine trainer.
- Ensure nurse/office have current epinephrine and food allergy action plan.
- Train your friends how to use epinephrine.
- Know your 504 plan and rights at school. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Have conversations about a responsible, safe allergy lifestyle.
- Know what your “date” and friends have eaten to prevent cross contact.
- Check medication expiration dates.
- Start the conversation on transition of medical care to adulthood.