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If you have a child with food allergies, navigating risks can be overwhelming at times. You’re not alone in this challenge—an estimated 8%, or one in 13, children in the U.S. share this medical risk. Fortunately, there are many steps parents can take to help their children avoid food allergens. From clearly communicating allergies with their nanny to enjoying safe meals at home, here’s what you can do to minimize your child’s risk.

 

How to Ensure Your Child’s Food Allergies are Accommodated:

Create a strong support network. Establishing a strong group of resources can help you stay informed and feel supported as you manage your child’s allergies. In addition to a trusted allergy specialist, you might also consider joining local support groups or signing up for updates from websites, like the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) or Kids With Food Allergies. This way, you can stay informed about allergen recalls and other emerging information.

Enjoy meals at home. Dining at home is one of the easiest ways to ensure your child has access to meals with no risk of the unknown. Of course, not everyone has the time to meal plan, prep, and cook every night. Hiring a chef who can curate allergy-safe meals can simplify dinners for the whole family.

Seek allergy-friendly restaurants. AllergyEats is an online guide you can use to find allergy-friendly restaurants in your area, as well as major cities and even attractions. Of course, it’s always best to inquire with the restaurant directly to make sure there’s no risk of exposure.

Discuss allergies with your nanny. If you have a nanny or are planning to hire one, make sure they’re fully aware of your child’s allergy. In addition to outlining allergy-safe practices to avoid exposure, inform them of what to do in case of an emergency. For instance, you may need to explain how to administer an epi-pen.

Keep safe snacks on hand. When children are old enough to get their own snacks, it’s important that nothing in the house could trigger their allergies. Keep only allergy-friendly snacks on hand and ensure they’re readily accessible for hungry little ones.