The Care Environment
- Totally avoid
peanut butter and other significant peanut products in the care
environment. This avoidance policy should extend to no peanut butter
kept on the premises because of surface and other food contamination
- Eat home-prepared food where possible. Always carry
a supply of safe food
when traveling for your child.
- Eating other nut products represents a risk
as cross contamination and substitution often occurs and unrecognized
allergies often exist.
- Avoid nuts and seed products such as tahini
(sesame paste) in very young children with peanut allergies as
they may have an unrecognized
or a new allergy may develop. In older children and adults this needs to
be managed on an individual basis.
- Inform your doctor about your child's
relevant food, drug and latex allergies.
Outside the Home
- Cautiously give your child processed
foods and food prepared outside of the home as particularly chocolate,
confectionery, unlabelled foods
represent a risk.
- Read all labels very carefully when purchasing
food (see safe food) as ingredients and manufacturing processes
the “may contain… warning” is
not very discriminating and gives no indication whether the risk is substantial
- Advise family, party hosts and caterers well in
advance of a gathering about your child's allergies and that the
serving bowls. Advise them about problem foods and safe alternatives.
Case of a Reaction
- A MEDICALERT® bracelet that your child
wears can provide vital information about the nature of the problem
in an emergency.
- Always carry an EpiPen® (self-administrable
adrenaline) and make sure that those who are with your child are
aware of his/her
allergies and the need
to administer the EpiPen®. An adult caregiver should always assume responsibility for administering an EpiPen®.
- Educate all
caregivers about the signs of an anaphylactic reaction and have
an action plan in the event of an accidental contact reaction.
(and adults) should never leave a group to go to the bathroom on
their own if they have symptoms of a food allergy reaction.
- Keep a check
on the expiration date of the EpiPen® and the color of
the fluid in the barrel according to the manufacturer's instructions,
as the adrenaline has
a limited shelf life.
- Note that exposure to heat above 30°C
may degrade the adrenaline; this means that adrenaline should not
carried in a car, too near the body in a pocket,
or to the beach without adequate insulation.
Allergies: Advice from your Allergist,” ACAAI: American College
of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology
5 Allergy Basics, Provided with permission from The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis
6 Soutter, Swain, and Loblay, “Peanut Allergy"