Thanksgiving is often centered around a big family meal. Parents whose kids have food allergies may feel anxious about going to an extended family member’s home for dinner. Below are some simple tips for parents this holiday season on how to keep their food allergic children safe.
Sometimes, a parent whose child has a food allergy, such as a peanut allergy, may not feel comfortable talking to the host/hostess about their child’s food allergy. The parent may feel they are inconveniencing the host/hostess. Parents should not be shy about vocalizing their child’s allergy and should ask whether any of the dishes have peanuts in them. This way, parents can make sure that their child is not exposed to peanut. However, parents should not expect the host/hostess to make peanut free dishes. Parents should offer to bring their child’s food for Thanksgiving, including dessert so that the child does not feel left out.
Parents should carry an EpiPen for their food allergic child to any family gatherings this holiday season. When many families gather under one roof, there may be appetizers placed throughout the home. Parents may not be able to keep an eye on their child the entire time. It is important for parents to talk to their child about eating appetizers without knowing what is inside. However, young children with food allergies, such as a peanut allergy, may not be able to resist the urge to pick up a cookie on a tray that may contain peanuts. Therefore, having an EpiPen may save a child’s life if the child is exposed to a food allergen.
If your family celebrates the holidays at a restaurant, look at the menu and call the restaurant ahead of time. Parents should call the restaurant to let the restaurant know about their child’s food allergy, such as a peanut allergy. In addition, parents should also ask about the menu and how the food is prepared. For instance, even a dish that does not contain peanuts in the ingredients may have peanuts in it if it is cooked in peanut oil.
Daniel J. O’Brien, an injury lawyer licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, has helped individuals who suffered severe food allergies due to an entity, i.e., school, or another person’s negligence. For a FREE consultation, call 877.944.8396.
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