Food allergy checklist for parents

Knowing the triggers and where they hide is so important.

By Rebel Wylie

Food allergies in children are not uncommon, around one in 20 families across the world deal with the threat of an allergic reaction and the risks involved with that on a daily basis.

If this is you, it pays to have a food allergy checklist that you, your family can regularly refresh to ensure that your child's school and other activities remain a safe place for your little one.

What are food allergies?

When you have a food allergy, your immune system reacts to a particular food or foods as though that food is toxic - an allergen.

When food acts as an allergen, your immune system tries to protect your body by releasing chemicals like histamines into your body's tissues, giving you an allergic reaction which can anywhere from mild to extreme. Most reactions aren't classified as severe and deaths are extremely rare.

You still need to be vigilant, it doesn't take huge amounts of exposure to a food you are allergic to either, sometimes just being in the same room as that food can trigger a response from your immune system. An allergic reaction can be immediate or sometimes happen hours or even days later.

Allergic reactions can be anything from skin reactions (rashes, swelling, hives), itching, stomach pain and vomiting or nasal/sinus congestion right through to more sever reactions like shortness of breath or interrupted breathing, wheezing/coughing, dizziness, tongue and throat swelling, low blood pressure and difficulty communicating.

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Food allergy checklist

If your child has a food allergy, it helps to have a food allergy checklist to remind yourself and your family of some important safety steps both at home and beyond.

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