While there is no cure for food allergies, the condition can usually be effectively managed by not eating the offending food in any form. Following are some additional tips for managing food allergies.
- Carefully check all ingredient labels.
- Learn other names of the food responsible for the allergy.
- Exercise caution when eating out since restaurant staff are not always aware of specific menu ingredients or how food is prepared.
- Be careful when eating food that is packaged in multi-packs with other foods. While one product may be considered "safe," there is a risk of cross-contamination because products may leak or become unwrapped.
- Learn to recognize symptoms early and always be prepared to handle an allergic reaction.
- Always carry epinephrine if a severe allergic reaction has occurred and wear a medical bracelet or necklace to quickly alert medical personnel or caregivers about food allergies.
- Teach family and friends about the warning signs of an allergic reaction and how to manage it.
- Obtain assistance from food-allergy cookbooks, patient support groups, such as the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, and registered dieticians.
Children with severe food allergies require special precaution. Parents and all caregivers must be informed on how to prevent and manage a child's allergic reaction, including the administration of epinephrine (adrenaline). Fatal food allergy reactions often occur outside the home and sometimes in a school setting. Parents need to make sure the school has a written emergency action plan providing instructions on recognizing and managing severe life-threatening allergies. Parents also should make sure that epinephrine is immediately accessible in the student's classroom and that multiple school staff members are trained in its administration.