Mylan Specialty recently commissioned a study from Harris Interactive which found that 55% of parents of children with potentially life-threatening (severe) allergies report that their child has experienced a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) during a winter holiday event. The statistic rises to 70% among families in urban areas. Results also showed that 98% of parents of children with severe allergies report that their children have holiday events planned with friends and family or at school. Those numbers can put stress into the word stress, yikes!
|photo courtesy of standard.co.uk|
- Educate your child and their friends before the holiday season: Head to www.25YearsofEpiPen.com to read misperceptions about living with severe allergies and the importance of having an anaphylaxis action plan that includes knowing and avoiding known allergens, recognizing signs and symptoms, having access to two EpiPen® (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors at all times and seeking immediate emergency medical care should anaphylaxis occur.
- RSVP – ASAP: Be a great guest by contacting your host as soon as your invitation arrives. Start by communicating gently and by educating others; remember, your host is hoping to plan the “perfect” holiday party or meal.
- Review the rules: Go over “the rules” for parties with your kids in advance so that the most important safety rules, such as not eating a food unless he or she knows the ingredients, will be fresh in their minds when they arrive.
- Help with the preparations: Offer to bring food that you know your child can eat so your host doesn’t have to worry about separate food preparations. Share dishes that are allergy friendly.
- Ship ahead: If you're flying to visit friends or family, you may want to make some simple allergy-free foods that travel well and ship them to your host ahead of time.
- Tag-team parenting: If your family is invited to a party, plan ahead with your spouse to divide the task of supervising your young child. With designated "on duty" times, your child will be supervised, and each parent will have time to socialize. This keeps little hands away from allergens that may be out (such as a bowl of chocolates or nuts).