Summer Survival and PCS Tips Jun. 2014 - Page 32

Living with food allergies doesn't necessarily mean that impromptu trips aren't possible. Think of it more as "planned impetuousness" or "controlled chaos," as the case may be. Whatever you call it, make sure you plan ahead. Live life to the fullest - and plan accordingly!

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Pack list- Pack allergy safe food to carry with you. Never assume that there will be safe food along the way. Make sure that you have contacted your allergist or PCM to make sure your emergency action plan is updated and you have enough medications for the duration of your travels.

Air Travel- Before you travel on an air plane call the air line to find out what there food allergy polices are. There are no set standards for food allergy management on air lines at this time. Each air line will be different. Find out if they will ban the allergen from the flight or create a buffer zone between your seat and those allowed to eat the allergen. Keep your meds separate while going through security and let them know you have epi pens. I have never had an issues with this. When you get to the gate ask to be let on early so that you can talk to the air line attendant that will be traveling with you. This will give you time to wipe down the seat and arm rest. Seat covers are sold online that will fit air line seats if you do not want to deal with wiping them down.

I sincerely hope that this will help ease travels for food allergy families. Remember to keep your cell phone charged, epi pens with you and take lots of pictures.

FOOD ALLERGY SAFETY

Traveling with food allergies can be stressful but MSNN is here to help lower your stress with some helpful tips.

The name of the game is research. Research and plan ahead before starting your travels. If any of the following scenarios are on your agenda (dining out, staying in a hotel, or traveling by air), MSNN's resident food allergy expert, Samantha Seagreaves, has some helpful advice.

Dinning out. Call the restaurants before going to check with a manager to ensure that the restaurant will be able to accommodate for your family's allergy. Upon arrival have the hostess send the kitchen manager or general manger over to your table so that the food allergy can be discussed. Some questions to ask include:

1) How is the food prepared, exactly?

2) What procedures are in place to guarantee that the food had not been contaminated with the allergen?

3) You may request to view and read food label.

A common thing to do now is to have a Chef Card. This card contains information about the allergen and information about cross-contamination. You can make these yourself or order them online from www.allergyeats.com Their mobile app is wonderful - a great way to read reviews about food allergies and restaurants.

Looking for a place to stay. Plan out ahead of time where you will be staying through the course of your trip. When we are traveling, I always choose hotels that have, at minimum, a small refrigerator and microwave. Vacation condos, homes, and hotels with kitchenettes will allow you to prepare your own meals. This is one of the safest and most cost-effective way to manage the allergy. As soon as I check in to the facility, I ask the front desk where the closest