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A special request from the parents of a child that has a severe peanut allergy and the difficulty this family had in finding information on travelling with their child has resulted in these tips for a

 

For parents of children with Severe Allergic Reactions, every holiday and outing can place these children in situations that can cause an Anaphylactic Shock, which can be fatal.  

If you suspect your child may exhibit symptoms of a severe reaction to any allergen or substance seek medical attention immediately and consult your doctor for more information.  Also see Travel Safety Tips - Severe Allergic Reactions for  Links to Sites about Severe Allergies. 

See Travel Safety Tips - Severe Allergic Reactions (Anaphylactic Shock) for causes, symptoms, prevention, treatment and links to sites for more information.

CLICK ON THE SPECIFIC TIPS OR SCROLL THE PAGE TO VIEW ALL TIPS

Education

Education can be key to saving a life or reducing the instances of a symptoms appearing and risking Anaphylactic Shock.  Consult your doctor immediately if you suspect your child may exhibit symptoms of a severe allergy.  Ask for a referral to a specialist if necessary.  See Symptoms and Links to Sites about Severe Allergies for more information.

Parents, caregivers, the child/patient, siblings, relatives, friends and anyone who may come in contact or be responsible for the child/patient should be educated to:

  • Avoid contact with allergens for the child/patient and anyone that comes in contact with the child/patient.
  • Be aware of possible cross-contamination.
  • Strive to Prevent instances of anaphylactic shock;
  • Be aware of the symptoms and recognize the symptoms.  
  • For more information on insect stings see First Aid Tips for Insect Stings
  • Administer treatment
  • Contact emergency medical personnel immediately if symptoms appear or contact with allergens is suspected.
  • Inform people in contact with the child/patient of the condition and precautions necessary.  Also see Planning and Tips on Eating Out
  • See Travel Safety Tips - Severe Allergic Reactions for more information.

 Click here to return to list Click here to return to specific tips list

Parent and Child/Patient=s Responsibility:

When a family member has been identified as having a severe food allergy parents and the patient/child need to assume a large responsibility in ensuring that the risk of an Anaphylactic Shock is reduced.  These responsibilities can include:

  • Life style adjustments to ensure the safety of the child/patient including avoidance and removal of all suspected and/or possible foods that may contain the allergen from the home and if possible all environments that the child/patient visits.
  • All family members are educated on the causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment of severe allergy reactions.  See Travel Safety Tips - Severe Allergic Reactions for more information.
  • An EpiPen or Ana-kit is available at all times and that medical attention is obtained in every instance of the child exhibiting any symptoms.
  • The child wears a Medic Alert Bracelet stating the condition and allergens that can cause a severe allergic reaction.  See Links to Sites about Severe Allergies.
  • Children must be taught to be responsible for their own welfare - do not to accept food from anyone other than a parent/care giver that is educated about the Child's severe allergies.
  • Extra caution will be necessary when travelling with all family members avoiding surfaces in restaurants and common areas that may be contaminated. See Tips for Air Travel and Eating Out.
  • Peanuts, one of the most severe and sometimes fatal allergens,  is the most difficult allergen to avoid while travelling. Being aware, careful, prepared and educated can go along way to having a safe holiday.  Also see Travel Safety Tips - Severe Allergic Reactions

Click here to return to list Click here to return to specific tips list

Before you Go – Planning

When a family member has severe allergies, planning ahead can go a long way to reducing the risk of a severe allergic reaction.  Here are some tips:

  • Before you book your vacation, research the destination hotel and resort or look for specific resorts that offer a peanut free environment. This may be time consuming but worth the effort.  Hotels and Resorts that are already aware of precautions for peanut allergies may be better prepared to accommodate other severe allergy guests.
  • Vacationing in a House or Condominium with a fully equipped kitchen will allow the family to prepare all food while on holiday in a controlled environment.
  • If a children’s club is offered, speak to the supervisor directly about whether the facility is prepared to offer a peanut free environment or other allergen free environment, whether staff are familiar with recognizing the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction and the treatment necessary should a reaction occur including administering an EpiPen if necessary.  Also see Kids Clubs Safety Tips for more safety tips.  Provide staff with detailed written instructions.
  • Find out where the nearest hospital is - this is part of being educated – you know where help is if you need it.
  • Talk to your doctor about bringing an adequate supply of EpiPen injections together with all medication information.
  • See Tips for Air Travel
  • See Tips for Eating Out

Click here to return to list Click here to return to specific tips list

Travel Tips

When travelling with a child/patient that has severe allergy reactions, keep these tips in mind:

 Click here to return to list Click here to return to specific tips list

Tips for Air Travel

Flying on an airplane with a child/patient that has severe allergies requires special preparation and considerations:

  • Prior to booking your flight check with the air carrier directly – not the travel agent -  to inquire about the food policies - see Kid Friendly Airlines - Policies and Services for Children on Major Airlines
  • See other tips for more information.
  • Advise the Airline of the allergy and ask that they specifically advise the flight crew.
  • Pre-book seats and ask for special cleaning for the seats and area surrounding the seats.
  • Consider planning the trip during a morning flight when peanuts may not be served.
  • Pack a supply of snacks that you can rely on as being safe for the child. See – Tips on Eating Out.  Also see Links to Sites about Severe Allergies
  • Let the airline know you will be carrying an EpiPen and inquire as to any special considerations they may require - a medical confirmation of the condition from a doctor may be required for boarding and carrying an EpiPen on the flight. - see www.anaphylaxis.org/flying.htm for a sample letter.

When it comes time to board the airplane consider these tips:

  • Advise the check-in staff immediately about the situation and that you will be carrying an EpiPen. Reiterate your request for special cleaning of the seats and ask for confirmation that it has been completed, if this service is available.
  • Preboard the flight and discuss the situation with flight crew – talk to the supervisor and crew responsible for your seating area. Ask that all peanut or possible peanut containing products be withheld from your seating area and that one of the flight crew be specifically assigned to your section that will not handle any products that may pose a risk or be cross-contaminated.
  • Have the EpiPen readily accessible
  • Should a reaction occur during the flight administer the medication at the earliest sign of symptoms – follow medical instructions.
  • Notify the flight attendant immediately of the situation and be prepared to make a decision as to whether or not emergency medical assistance is required.
  • See www.anaphylaxis.org/flying.htm

 Click here to return to list Click here to return to specific tips list

Tips on Eating Out

Eating out with a child that has severe allergies requires parents to be extra responsible and educated to ensure the safety of the child.  Federal Food and Drug Regulations require packaged food to list ingredients on labels.  Restaurants and bakeries are exempt from these regulations.  

  • Look for restaurants that display the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association's Allergy Awareness Program Logo.   This program identifies food service operators that follow the program guidelines.  In order to qualify for the program, restaurants must supply three main menu items with complete ingredient information.

  • Call ahead and as the restaurant if they participate in the Allergy Awareness Program or similar program, whether staff are trained to accommodate people with severe food allergies and if menu items have detailed ingredient lists available.

  • See other tips for more information.

  • Order a copy of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association's Allergy Awareness Program Brochure at http://www.crfa.ca/research_foodallergies.shtml.  This brochure provides information on what restaurants may do to assist in providing safe eating establishments.

  • Pack a supply of snacks that you can rely on as being safe for the child. See – Tips on Air Travel for special food considerations when flying.  Also see Links to Sites about Severe Allergies for food labelling and more information on restaurants.

  • See Planning.
  • See Travel Safety Tips - Severe Allergic Reactions for prevention tips.
  • Call a local anaphylaxis group for tips on restaurants that may be conscious of peanut/food allergies.
  • Carry anti-bacterial wipes and clean all surfaces that the child/patient may come in contact with.
  • If possible, bring all the food, drinks, utensils and dishes that the child/patient may be using and assume responsibility for ensuring that the environment has a reduced risk of exposure to allergens.

 Click here to return to list Click here to return to specific tips list

All Tips are offered as suggestions only

While we have tried to provide you with a list of suggestions to help parents when travelling with children to keep them safe, unfortunately, we can’t think of everything and it is the responsibility of parents to ensure their children’s safety.

 

Families Breathe Easier at Peanut-Free Resort Restaurant AT Bayview Wildwood Resort, Severn Bridge, Ontario

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