There are several things you can do to protect your child who is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts when you are traveling on an airplane. First, you want to be familiar with the airline’s policies regarding travelers with food allergies. You can do this by looking on the airline’s website. If you don’t see the policies on the website, contact the airline directly.
Second, after booking your trip, and well before traveling, call the airline to tell them about your child’s peanut and tree nut allergies. Some airlines may make accommodations, such as providing a peanut or tree nut free buffer zone. Therefore, passengers several rows behind and ahead of your row will not eat foods with peanuts or tree nuts.
Third, always carry extra EpiPens with you. Make sure the ones you carry have not expired. The EpiPens should also be kept in a carry-on or a purse that is easily accessible. If possible, put the purse or carry-on beneath the seat.
Another thing you can do when you arrive at the gate is to ask the airline crew to let you and your child pre-board the airplane. This way, you can wipe and clean all the surfaces your child may touch with antibacterial wipes. Such surfaces include: the seat, seat arms, tray table, window, seat belt, etc. In addition, you may ask the airline attendant to make an announcement and ask that passengers refrain from eating foods with peanuts or tree nuts.
There are also numerous food allergy support forums for parents in your situation. You may want to visit those sites for other suggestions.
If you have more questions about your son’s legal rights or what accommodations airlines should make, feel free to call me at 877.944.8396.