I created this Summer Food Allergy Family Checklist because I find checklists and planning a great way to reduce my anxiety when heading out to social activities with my food allergy kiddo. Over the past few summers it has become clear that I need to be proactive when it comes to keeping Sosi Safe. Not only does it increase our likelihood of a reaction free day, it helps me to chill out a little bit and enjoy the time with friends and family. So let’s get to the list! If you are looking to print one to add to your family or allergy binder just join our email list, it will come right to you with our welcome message.
Keep your EpiPens Cool
We use a PackIt backpack as it has the icepacks in the walls of the pack itself. I like this because I don’t have to worry about remembering to throw in ice packs.
Pack lots of safe foods
I try to pack a combination of fresh fruits, veggies, and something special like french fries. It seems that outings to the beach or splash-pad usually include a random chip truck dishing out delicious greasy french fries and hot dogs. So, because they smell so good, we bring our own, already warmed up in a little thermos. It keeps Sosi happy when others are enjoying their yummy lunches as well. I also stock up on our favourite granola bars, muffins, and trail mix combinations.
Remember Your Emergency Action Plan
Remember your Action Plan. We have an action plan from FARE that we use. We co-created it with our allergist and family doctor so we feel comfortable with our steps. Make sure to clearly lay out when you would use the epi-pen versus an antihistamine.
Load up on hand wipes
Did you know that hand sanitizer does not get rid of the peanut protein that causes allergic reactions? It is essential to wash hands with warm soapy water before eating and if that isn’t possible we use Water Wipes with our travel sized soap.
This is especially important if you are hanging out with new friends. The day before, I like to send a group-chat message or text to whoever we are playing with. Usually something along the lines of:
“Hi everyone! I just wanted to chat about snacks for tomorrow. We will bring enough SosiSafe snacks for everyone to share. I just need to make sure Sosi is kept safe from peanuts and milk products. Also, be prepared for me asking you and your kids to use a hand wipe about 10,000 times 😉 Thanks so much! ~Mel”
Schedule OIT dose
If your child is an OIT patient, it is crucial that you schedule your dose at an appropriate, safe time. Our instructions are to make sure that we keep Sosi’s heart rate at resting beats for 1 hour before, and 2 hours after her dose. In our case, we usually wake up a bit early to have breakfast and a dose on days when we have full day plans.
Allergen Free Sunscreen
Make sure that the sunscreen you are packing is safe for your child and free from their allergen. We use Badger and Green Beaver (we are testing out some more as well). We never use a new product on a day trip, just in case of a reaction.
Enjoy your family time!
If you take the time to plan your trip, follow checklists, and connect with the caring adults who will be with your family, you are all set for a great day.
Do you have any ideas or advice for fellow food allergy families? Do you have any ideas for our summer food allergy checklist? Let us know in the comments below or by commenting in our Facebook Group.