By Gina Mennett Lee, M.Ed.
Remember those American Express commercials…”Don’t leave home without it.” When your child has a food allergy, you never go anywhere without his or her medication, even if it’s for a walk around the block. I also never leave home without my enormous handbag filled with all the “mom” necessities. Here is a list of the most helpful items I keep in my bag. Remember to always have on hand the medications recommended by your allergists in your child’s food allergy action plan.
- Epipens!! ( At least 2)*
- Liquid anti-histamine in single dose spoons
- A medical alert bracelet or tag
- Food Allergy Action Plan
- Baby wipes
- “Safe” snacks
- Chef cards
- “How to Read Label” Allergy Cards (These can be printed out and laminated or purchased.)
- Other meds: Food allergies are often accompanied by other allergic diseases, so many of you may need to carry additional meds for your children. For me, this means asthma medication (2 inhalers and a spacer).
- Band-aids, tissues, lip balm, etc…
- A change of clothes for your child, and an extra shirt for you. You never know when you or your child’s clothing may accidentally come in contact with an allergen. In this case, instead of worrying about it, just change. (I keep these in my car. Even my bag couldn’t hold all that!)
- 1 Gallon sized baggie (to put soiled clothes into)
- Emergency card and insurance card
- A cell phone programmed with ICE (in case of emergency) numbers, and medical info in the “notes” app.
*IMPORTANT : Never leave the Epipen in the car. The Epipen “should be kept at room temperature…and should not be refrigerated or exposed to extreme heat or light,” according to the manufacturers. I keep my daughter’s Epipens stored in an insulated bag and always keep it with us.
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