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Staying Safe Over the Holidays

Staying Safe Over the Holidays

A food filled holiday gathering can be challenging for those with food allergies. From the family members who don’t seem to get it to the constant fear of cross-contamination, here are some tips to help you navigate and cope during this busy holiday season.

Have everyone on the same page

This is an ideal time to educate friends and family members about what it means to live with a food allergy.  Build awareness about what your child can eat and how to avoid accidents.

Share the responsibility

Ensuring that an allergic child is safe at a holiday gathering can be exhausting for one person, especially if the child is young.   Share this responsibility with a spouse, friend, relative or someone else you trust to keep him/her safe.

Stay on good terms

Be polite but direct with others.  Explain to them the severity of the allergy and the potential consequences of exposure.  Be very specific about what they need to do to avoid the allergen(s) of concern.

Feel included

If your child suffers from multiple allergies or you fear that others will not keep foods safe enough, don’t take your chances.    Pack  a safe meal or bring a party dish that everyone can enjoy that you know is okay.  Serve the allergic child first to avoid cross contamination with mixing utensils.

Redefine the holiday

Dealing with a food allergy could mean not participating in traditions that involve food.  This could be an ideal time to create new traditions that don’t involve food, such as: ornament decorating, volunteering, or other holiday craft projects.