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• Lighten the load for the host. Offer to bring a dish which is safe for your child and can be enjoyed by others. At our neighborhood New Year’s Eve potluck, my family used to take care of the kids’ meal – pizza, veggies, and potato chips – a popular treat for all of the kids.
• Be careful of what others don’t know. Friends and relatives may know how to avoid obvious allergens such as peanuts and nuts in baked goods, while they may forget about nut extracts or that butter is, in fact, made from milk. They might not be aware of the risks of cross-contamination through shared utensils. They also may not be label savvy, and not realize your child cannot eat foods that has “may contain” warnings for allergens.
• Remind your food allergic teen about kissing risks. Talk to your teen about the importance of teaching his date about his food allergies. An intimate kiss could trigger an allergic reaction if his date has eaten something to which he’s allergic.
Here’s wishing you and your family safe, happy holidays.
Laurie Harada is Executive Director of Anaphylaxis Canada, www.anaphylaxis.ca
First published in Allergic Living magazine, Canadian edition.
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