We have not been a peanut free home for long; only since October of this year. Before that the only one who watched their peanut intake was Brian and that was because he thought he had a mild allergy that he had to be responsible for on his own.
Boy were we wrong.
Now we do not have any nut products in our home and are in the process of educating friends and family on how to be nut free when we visit, and the proper use of an EpiPen.
I’m thankful that we’ve had since October to ease into this new lifestyle because it would have been overwhelming all at once.
Being new at this, I’m still learning, and am far from the seasoned allergy mom, but I have already learned a few tips and tricks that will help those who have friends and family with nut allergies feel more comfortable.
Hopefully these tips will assist in preparing your homes and give peace of mind prior to a visit from a child with an allergy.
1. Sit Down and Breath
Your first reaction will be to run around your kitchen and read every label in your house, ensuring anything containing nuts is thrown into a bag and whipped into the back of the utility cupboard.
Simply putting the items containing peanuts out of reach of children is all that‘s needed (unless the child is severely allergic and will have a reaction to the smell).
Most companies list the ingredients on the label and state “Peanut Free.” If the product does not state this anywhere, and there are no nuts in the ingredients, use your judgement.
Speak to the child’s parents about their allergy, what it looks like when they have peanuts, and the severity of it. Some children cannot smell peanut butter without going into anaphylactic shock, others need to ingest it. Understanding what happens when an allergy occurs, what to look for, and how to work an EpiPen will ensure an emergency is handled that much more effectively.
Read information on peanut allergies, the dangers of the nut if ingested, and share the information with your family, including children.
Speak to your school about the importance of being nut free, if they aren’t already, and to parents who may hold issue about a peanut free environment.
Advocacy is crucial in keeping children safe.
4. Ongoing Communication and Follow up
Because children grow so fast and change so much as they develop it is important to communicate often with the parents regarding the allergy, and to stay alert and aware.
A peanut allergy isn’t just for one day, it takes everyday awareness.
Every time the child comes to your home the steps above should be taken to ensure safety, it’s easy to forget unless you are living with it.
5. Enjoy the Child
The allergy does not define them.
Does your child have an allergy?
What can you add to this list?
I’d really love for you to share with me so I can learn!