23 May 7 Guidelines to follow when Travelling with Food Allergies
If you are travelling with a child who has food allergies, this can be a frightening prospect, especially if your child suffers from serious allergic reactions. Our best advice is to plan ahead and take some precautions. These arrangements may seem extreme but it’s best to be prepared so you can relax and enjoy your family time away.
Make sure you carry auto-injector medication (such as an EpiPen) with you at all times, plus spares. As an added precaution when carrying an auto-injector through baggage checks, get a letter from your doctor for additional peace of mind (plus a copy translated into the language relevant to your destination).
Inform the airline staff about the allergy and in severe cases the seat and tray may need to be wiped before you are seated. As an added safely precaution do not eat food provided by the airline, even if it’s allergen free and bring your own.
If you are travelling to a foreign country, get your dietary instructions translated into the local language. Ensure these instructions also include the severity of the allergic reaction, e.g. could be life-threatening if ingested.
Pass these instructions to:
- Restaurants/Room Servie
- Tour guides
- Resort/hotel management and staff
- Everyone who interacts with you
Before booking a holiday, research local doctors, clinics and hospitals in the area in case of an emergency. Carry these numbers and addresses with you at all times (translated if necessary).
An easy option is take your own snacks from home to further safeguard your child against possible exposure to food allergens.
Research food labelling in the country you are visiting as standards can vary from country to country.
International fast food outlets can be a safe option when travelling, especially if there are limited choices or you don’t trust or are unsure of what you are being told. These food outlets usually have an excellent knowledge of the ingredients in their food. You can check before departure with ‘head office’ for ingredient lists too.
Websites such as www.allergyfreepassport.com and www.allgerytranslations.com have tools to help you.
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