Posted on 9/13/2016
Millions of children in the U.S. have at least one food allergy. Some of
the most common are eggs, fish, shellfish, milk, and
peanut allergies. Sometimes, kids can outgrow certain food allergies, while other food
allergies last for a lifetime. Since the exposure to an allergen has the
potential to trigger anaphylaxis—a life-threatening reaction—practicing
strict avoidance of the allergen is crucial. And because accidents can
happen at any time, it’s a good idea to know the location of the
nearest children’s emergency care department in Las Vegas. Here
at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, our specialists in pediatrics can
help your family learn how to safely manage your child’s food allergies.
Using age-appropriate language, teach your child about the importance of
avoiding “unsafe food” and eating only “safe food.”
Try not to scare your child, but do emphasize that unsafe food can make
him or her very sick. For
optimum management of food allergies, it may be necessary for everyone in the family to follow a modified diet
and avoid bringing the allergen into the home. While grocery shopping,
you should check food labels carefully. Manufacturers are required to
inform consumers if the food product contains an allergen or may have
been cross-contaminated during manufacturing. If your child has multiple
food allergies, preparing healthy meals can be challenging. Consider working
with a pediatric nutritionist.
Your child’s school should be informed of the food allergy. The school
should establish a written emergency action plan for the prevention, recognition,
and management of food allergies. This includes having at least two units
of auto-injector epinephrine on hand for every child with a food allergy.
Your child will need to have access to an auto-injector of epinephrine
everywhere he or she goes, including to friends’ houses. When your
child meets a new friend, be sure to contact the parents and explain your
child’s food allergy. Emphasize the importance of keeping the allergen
away from your child and preventing cross-contamination. The friend’s
parents should also be given a demonstration of how to use an auto-injector
if a serious allergic reaction occurs.
If your child does suffer an adverse reaction to food, the children’s
emergency care team is always available at
Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Families in the Las Vegas area are urged to call 911 in the event of
a serious medical emergency. For non-emergent inquiries about our children’s
hospital, you can speak with a registered nurse at (702) 233-5437.