Oct
12

I’ve shared a lot about our food allergy journey and I’m thrilled when our experiences are helpful to other families with food allergies. Today I’m focusing on preventative measures you can take to protect your little one from others accidentally giving them unsafe foods.

Avery wears a MedAlert Bracelet, which helps alert medical professionals and other adults that she has food allergies. See my post 5 reasons children with food allergies should wear medical ID jewelry for reasons why I think this is necessary.

There are times, though, when I take an extra step to make sure people know not to give her food — such as when we are at large family gatherings, or birthday parties where there is food present. If there’s a chance she’s out-of-sight and other adults may offer her food, I use the food allergy Safety Sticker (seen on Avery in the photo here).

Our allergist recommended them when he first diagnosed her with food allergies to eggs, milk and peanuts. He even included a sample sticker in the information packet of information he gave us. I ordered some right away and have been very grateful to have them. I keep extras in our Food Allergy Emergency Kit, so I always have some nearby. I usually put the sticker on her back, just because, well, it seems more respectful to her.

I put a Safety Sticker on Avery during her first visit to her new Sunday School. Each time I drop her off I make sure the volunteers/teachers understand about her food allergies, symptoms to watch for and how to use the EpiPen Jr if needed. The Children’s Ministry folks were so impressed with Avery’s sticker they ordered a supply to use in all the classrooms — Avery’s not the only one with food allergies. Now each week we use their stickers (instead of using up our own supply), which I totally appreciate!

The Food Allergy Support Group of Minnesota held their annual Food Allergy Resource Fair recently and I was excited to meet the founder of the Safety Stickers (I made her pose for this photo!).

I was also impressed with another product she invented – the Car Seat Safety Pack. I purchased two, one for each car Avery rides in. The idea is that a parent may be hurt and unable to warn paramedics about the child’s food allergies. The information on the car seat will hopefully prevent them from giving the child unsafe food. Just think how many adults would try to give an upset child a cookie to help them calm down? Here is a picture from my minivan:

The Car Seat Safety Pack comes with two vinyl window clings to place on your windows. Typically you would place one on the driver’s door window and the second on the window where the child’s seat is located. However, my back windows are tinted and I couldn’t see the window cling through it very well, so I placed both stickers on the front door windows. They stand out very well and I always notice them now when I’m approaching my car.

Then there’s a small plastic sleeve with an adhesive back that you stick to the car seat. Inside is a card you remove to write emergency information – including an emergency contact, food allergy info, medication, doctor’s number, hospital of choice and Mom and Dad’s cell phone numbers. This is great! Hopefully we’ll never, ever need it — but it was well worth the $5 to know that if we do, my daughter will have a greater chance of being cared for properly.

You can find more of my food allergy posts, tips & recipes on my Food Allergy page. I’d also love to connect with you on my Marketing Mama facebook page and twitter. This post, and all posts on this blog, are written from my experiences as a parent of a child with food allergies. I am not a medical expert and encourage you to consult with a doctor on your personal medical situation.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post. I purchased the stickers and car seat safety packs myself. All photos were taken by me.

 

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2 Responses to “Safety for young children with food allergies”

 
  1. Monkeymama says:

    Great ideas Missy! I need to buy some of those stickers for group situations.

    We were at a very small playdate last week and there were snacks. I helped Joe (peanut allergy) get a snack that I knew was safe. 20 minutes later he walks by with what looks like peanut butter cereal. The mom who gave it to him said he was peaking at the snack table. It was a false alarm, the hostess clarified that it was graham cracker cereal, but a scary moment for me. The first time in my experience that he was given food without the person asking me first. No one should give food to a small child without having them check first.

  2. The Marketing Mama says:

    Oh no – what a scary situation! These stickers are perfect for playdates when other families may not know of your child's food allergies.

    I've also been impressed with moms who have seen the sticker and asked if it was okay for their own child to eat unsafe food near Avery. I always thank them profusely for asking, and then explain that it's fine, as long as they don't share with Avery, and not touch her or share toys until their hands are washed up.

    Those conversations wouldn't happen without the stickers! 🙂 Glad this was helpful for you!

 

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