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Education is an important part of food allergy treatment. If you are allergic to certain foods or families of foods, do your research. Learn the unlikely foods in which your allergen might show up, and plan ahead to avoid them. Reading labels, contacting manufacturers and never eating anything you're unsure of are the best ways to avoid a reaction.
If your child has a food allergy, the entire family needs to be educated. For preschool children, caregivers must be informed what the child can and cannot have. Furthermore, stress that the caregiver must err on the side of caution, especially if the allergy is life threatening. Ask them never to give your child a food they are unsure of!
As your child gets older, he can carry some of the responsibility for keeping healthy. Still, the entire family must know that reading labels is a vital part of keeping the allergic child healthy. Keeping certain foods out of the house and avoiding certain restaurants may be necessary. While this can cause disappointment or even anger among siblings, it's important that all family members work together to keep the allergic child safe. Planning a special outing to a restaurant they miss might help non-allergic siblings be more supportive.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|