Daniella Knell is mom to two kids who have six of the top eight food allergens. She also recently came home from a 10-day getaway with her husband–just her husband! We are thrilled she had a great vacation, and we’re happy she agreed to let us reprint a post from her SmartAllergy blog on how others can vacation without kids with food allergies. Thanks, Daniella! Everyone else, start planning your getaway now.
Vacationing with food allergic kids can be challenging; at times, daunting. However, can you imagine going without them? Trusting others to make sure they don’t eat something they shouldn’t? Who will pack their lunches correctly? Will they know where to go to get your child’s favorite waffles? Who, besides you, knows where to go in case of an emergency?
Unimaginable? Almost… but not impossible!
Having just returned from a week long getaway without our food allergic kids, we realized that with the right resources, there are others who can successfully take care of our children. After rummaging through the very large packet of information I left for my mother-in-law, here are the resources she found the most helpful.
Our Top 4 food allergy resources checklist
1. Emergency/Food Allergy Action Plan
Telephone numbers for Doctors, Allergist, Hospital, Neighbors, Close Friends
Map outlining local streets, marked with the locations of important places
Copy of your Food Allergy Action Plan, such as this FAAN Food Allergy Action Plan with food allergies clearly noted. Also, mark what reactions to watch for, particularly if you manage anaphylactic and non-anaphylactic reactions.
Part of FAAN’s Food Allergy Action Plan worksheet.
2. SAFE Food List
A listing of foods your child can safely consume. Include specific brand names of snacks/snack bars, candies, cereals, and pre-packaged products they eat. We include fruits and vegetables, particularly those which may not be as common in other households such as edamame and bokchoy.
3. SAFE Places to Eat
Favorite restaurants and places you frequent. Include specifics on what is safe, ie, they can have the hamburgers; you can order with the bun but kids won’t eat it, no cheese and nothing on them. Sorbets; the soft option from the machine and the ‘psychedelic sorbet’ in the container.
4. SAFE Cabinet
An allergy-friendly cabinet or pantry shelf. Probably one of the easiest ways to put your caretakers and your children at ease with you gone. Load up this designated area with your allergy-friendly snacks!
See? Others can keep your kids safe. So, get out there and start planning your own getaway, even if just for a night or two!
Daniella owns and operates Smart Allergy~Friendly Education. She is actively involved in raising allergy awareness within her community. As an allergy awareness educator and consultant, you can also find her presenting in local schools and hospitals, offering one-on-one consulting and national telephone workshops–and, of course, writing valuable blog posts with reliable information.