As spring approaches and families start heading off to outdoor adventures, here are some helpful reminders for those managing food allergies:
1. Remember to bring your epinephrine auto-injectors; and by bring them, I mean, keep them on you- not in the car! Epinephrine is sensitive to temperature, so it is important that they don’t get too hot, (or too cold!). A car interior can heat up quickly! ~ A study showed that a car’s interior temperature exceeded 125°F and reached a maximum stabilized temperature in 40 minutes! Placing epinephrine injectors in an insulated bag and placing in a cooler can help keep them cool (but not freezing!) on hot days in the park or at the beach.
2. When venturing to playgrounds or parks, be aware of other children with food! Whether it’s the person feeding peanuts to the squirrels, or the child eating allergen containing snacks and then playing. (Who doesn’t remember packing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and heading to the park?) Bring wipes to clean surfaces, and hands. Encourage children not to touch their faces until you can wash their hands after playing on equipment.
3. If you enjoy animal parks, and petting zoos, please be aware that as tempting as it can be to feed the goats, bears, or deer, many of the foods in the dispensers can contain allergens, wheat, dairy, seeds or nuts, etc. An additional risk is an animal who ate an allergen food and licking the child could cause a reaction, if hands are not washed well immediately!
4. Spring also means gardening! Please be aware that many fertilizers and potting soils can contain allergens as well! From crushed egg shells, to nuts. For example, “The following Scott products contain Peanuts and/or Tree Nuts. Specific ingredients (e.g. which nuts and % of ingredients) vary by region. Even with the lot number of the packaging, they do not require this information from their suppliers, so they cannot guarantee the allergen contents:
MiracleGro® Moisture Control Potting Mix.
Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix”
5. Another important reminder: If you have insect sting allergies~ Time to check your epinephrine expiration dates and get new sets if needed! If you are sensitive to insect bites, a Benadryl Insect bite pen is great to have on hand! Wearing insect repellant is important precaution as well. Also be aware of ticks and do inspections after being outside!~ Lyme Disease is nothing anyone wants to deal with!
Spring is a wonderful season to enjoy but when managing life threatening allergies, a bit of pre-planning, preparing and precaution is advised. Call ahead to venues before heading to them, or manufacturers when using products, carry your epinephrine, wash hands, and wear sunscreen!