Recently Diagnosed – The Safety Basics
The diagnosis of a life-threatening food allergy can be overwhelming. I would not be honest if I said your life will not change…it will! It will challenge you, stretch you and in many ways force you to pay attention to things you may have taken for granted if you were not forced to be on guard for the next bite of food. First and foremost become educated. Understand how to eliminate the allergen, how foods can easily become cross-contaminated, and the importance of always carrying epinephrine! Food Allergies are unique in that it can often times require the support of others to help ensure a safe environment for your child. Education and awareness are key to providing a safe environment and my hope is this site will provide resources to help you as you navigate this new journey.
Epinephrine – Do not leave home without it!
While Epinephrine is not a “cure” it does subside the symptoms of an allergic reaction until emergency personnel arrive. The protocol when using Epinephrine is to inject and then call 911. If you are diagnosed with a food allergy make sure you receive and fill your prescription for epinephrine.
Avoidance and becoming a vigilant label reader
Becoming a vigilant label reader is essential to the safety of those with food allergies. Until there is a cure avoidance is key to managing food allergies. It is imperative that you know what is in all foods and the potential for cross-contamination. In 2004 the FDA implemented Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). While this act has certainly made life easier, it also has some inconsistencies in labeling that you should be aware of.
Yes, you are now an advocate!
Schools, restaurants, child care, yes you are the voice of safety for your child. When Ryan’s Dr. told me I was going to have to become Ryan’s advocate, I had no idea how all-encompassing that role was going to be. For every playdate, babysitter, camp, sporting activity, birthday party, and school there was an educational period that needed to take place prior to being able to leave him. What to eat, what others were eating, how to identify a reaction, how to administer the epi-pen.