Should you let your child go to sleepovers?

This is a question we get asked alot; having your child sleep away from the food allergy safety zone you have created at home goes outside most people’s ‘comfort zone.’

Therese emailed the following;       I have avoided allowing my 9 year old son from sleepovers but now he really wants to go. I am so worried something will go wrong but I don’t want to keep saying no and risk having him feel like he is missing out.

Whether you allow your child to attend a sleepover with a friend is a personal choice each parent needs to make on their own. Having said that, however, we do believe it is important to not let food allergies define who your child is.

Sleepovers are safe IF the adults in charge fully understand the importance of allergen avoidance and know how to respond in an emergency. Good Planning, Good Teaching and Good Communication is the key.

Firstly, tell the host parents about your child’s food allergies, this allows them to make the choice on whether they want to take on the responsibility.

Secondly, educate the host family  on food allergies; a great introduction to the subject is to share the ‘TRIGGER’ film link and speak with them afterwards.

 Ensure that you have discussed your child’s  ’emergency action plan’ and explain what to do and how to use any and all devices.

 Educate  ways to prevent an incident including label reading, hidden ingredients, cross contamination OR if you prefer, prepare several packed meals and snacks (Many host parents are more comfortable with this additional precaution).

Plus, remember to speak with your child about the situation and encourage them to call you anytime if they feel uncertain.

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