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How to Manage a Childís Food Allergies When Traveling
More than 2 million children suffer from food allergies. For them, dining away from home is a potential minefield where a forkful of food can prove fatal. Before you pack your bags, get the facts on food allergies.
A young boy goes into anaphylactic shock at a baseball game after breathing in dust from the thousands of peanut shells littering the stadium bleachers. A teenage girl with a shellfish allergy is rushed to the hospital minutes after eating French fries prepared in the same oil used to fry shrimp. A toddler at a birthday party gasps for breath after swallowing a sliver of cake made with eggs.
Cautionary tales such as these of children having severe food-allergic reactions while on vacation are as common as they are frightening. And for good reason: More than 2 million children suffer from food allergies, reports the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), and for them travel can be a veritable minefield, with danger lurking amid every roadside dinner and makeshift concession stand. A relaxing vacation it isnít.
Here we take a closer look at what sparks food allergies and how parents can help their child avoid having severe reactions when traveling. While there is no silver bullet against food allergies, with constant awareness and the proper safeguards, they can be managed effectively. Hereís how.