I have a few tips that will help parents of allergic children be safe without making their children feel like outcasts or that they have to live in a bubble. You want your child to understand how to be safe but not be scared by their allergy where they feel alienated.
First and foremost make sure as your child gets older they understand their allergy its severity and have a plan of action in case an emergency arrives. Always discuss your child’s allergy ahead of time with their school, church, group, friends parents and family so they will be prepared. My motto is being over prepared is better than under prepared.
Second I always be sure my daughter has her medication (Benadryl and a Epi-Pen), and action plan with her whether she is attending a function or a sleepover. It has become routine for her to carry them and she feels comfortable with them now she is older and familiar with them. She does not hide her allergy from her friends or anyone, this helps her feel comfortable around others and from my experience most everyone is just curious and very supportive.
And since we are not able to be with them every where they go one of the things I do to try to minimize my daughter accidentally eating a allergen is to provide her with alternatives. When she is going to a sleepover I always send safe snacks and foods for her to choose from. Many times I will bring pizza or hamburgers for her and her friends so I know she is eating safe. And her friends think that is cool of her to do so. And I always stress to her the importance of not sharing food and drinks. This also has an added side benefit of her catching less colds.
Of course there is no perfect way to always keep them out of harms way with food allergies. But these tips help me ensure her safety while giving her a chance to participate in what activities she wants and enjoy her childhood. I suggest becoming a member of FAAN – this network will help you with support, resources and any information you need for you and your child.