If you didn’t already know, I am a food allergy parent.
I’ll never forget the day my son was diagnosed. I was eating a bagel with peanut butter on it and he swiped his little finger in the spread. After eating the tiniest bit of peanut butter, his top lip swelled within minutes. I grabbed the benadryl (I did not know at the time that benadryl DOES NOT stop anaphylaxis*) and called 911. Thankfully we live across the street from the hospital and he was admitted to the ER, given steroids and monitored for 4+ hours. We saw the allergist as soon as we could after this incident and also found out he is allergic to all legumes (did you know, peanuts are legumes, not nuts!), as well as most tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachios etc).
*Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. It typically causes more than one of the following: an itchy rash, throat or tongue swelling, shortness of breath, vomiting, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure. These symptoms typically come on over minutes to hours.*
I am also a proud military spouse.
Since my husband is often training in the field or even away in a completely different state/country at times, I decided it would be smart to have a binder explaining my sons needs. Below are some of the pages I have put together so far. They seem basic but when it comes to preparing food and feeding a person with food allergies, it is best to know what items are safe!
First page in his binder is FARE’s Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan along with a list of medicine he can take. His list includes, Motrin (dye-free version), Epipen Jr, Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops and Zarbees Cough Syrup & Mucus. I added the amount of each and how often to administer it. He also has eczema and uses certain soap, lotion and ointments to keep it under control.
Here is where I get particular! I included all the foods he eats, including snacks like Yogis freeze dried yogurt drops and Hansen organic apple juice. We have certain brands we trust and like to stick with them since many companies have cross contamination in their facilities. I also included serving sizes of veggies & fruits and how to cook his chicken breast.
I included this little blurb in case someone wanted to feed him something other than what is on the list. (But, MOST if not all, will know that I prefer you stick with my list…that’s why its there haha)
Again this may seem like basic important information but before this binder, I had all of these contacts in my phone and maybe one on our whiteboard in the kitchen. What if something were to happen to me and/or my phone? I included me and my husbands phone number, neighbors, relatives in state and relatives that live out of state. His allergist and pediatrician can also be found on this list.
Find a good place to put it! For now, I have his binder next to our microwave. This seems like a good spot for us since our kitchen is the first room as soon as you walk in the front door and we keep most of his foods in the cabinet above this location. Lastly, inform your family and friends where the binder can be found and why its so important.