Tis the season to celebrate and be safe

The Holiday season can be a challenging time for food allergy sufferers and their families, but with some careful planning, communication and vigilance, food allergies are manageable and the festive season can be enjoyed.

One key to a successful celebration is communication; communicating with your guests who may be coming for dinner and bringing dishes, is just one example; suggest dishes they can bring or alternatives instead of bringing food – ask them to bring flowers instead, etc.

Communicate ahead of time with hosts who have invited you to their event ensuring they are fully aware of the allergies involved and what is required to keep loved ones safe. Never assume that just because they know you have an allergy that they know what to do.

Remaining vigilant is also key- ensure you have your medication at all times and that the medication is up to date. Make sure you have an action plan and know what to do should a medical emergency occur.

Follow the rule; ‘If in doubt leave it out.’ If you are unsure of the ingredients of a particular dish its best to err on the side of caution- simply don’t risk it. Many food allergic people opt to take their own food to events to avoid cross contamination or confusion.

Finally, make sure you take the time to thank your guests or hosts for their efforts to make the event allergy friendly. Though people are aware of the existence of food allergies, many people are simply not cognizant of how truly dangerous they can be and if they care enough about you and your loved ones to be patient and make adjustments to their plans, always take the time to let them know how much you appreciate it.

Happy Holidays!

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