I’ll start off by saying how thankful I am that this weekend looks to be a beautiful one here on the East Coast! No rain, clear skies, and low humidity. So I hope this post finds you with your car packed with allergy-free food, (2) or more epi-pens or twininjects, benadryl, albuterol (if you need it) and are ready for a great weekend!
I’m going to share a few key tips for having an allergy-free July 4th weekend, or, as our daughter likes to say “freak-out free” weekend. And here they are in no particular order.
1. No new foods this weekend.
I know it’s going to be tempting to see if your allergy kiddo can have mustard (or beef, or milk, or anything else but I’m just using mustard as an example) on his or her hotdog (or hamburger) this weekend. But this is not the weekend to try (unless you know for a fact that your little one will not react). Why? This is how I explain it to all my friends, big and small:
We love our Doctors right? They’re amazing people who always make us feel better, right? Guess where they are this weekend? They’re celebrating with their families just like we are! And so, let’s just make a promise that we won’t do anything dangerous so that no one has to make an ER call or page a Dr. on this weekend unless WE REALLY REALLY HAVE TO!
(And by the way, I gave my child mustard on July 4th weekend many many years ago, and yes, she had a reaction, and yes, I had to call the Dr. and almost go to the ER where the very dedicated medical student interns would have treated her. And no, my weekend wasn’t relaxing!)
2. Have a buddy system worked out with your partner, best friend, sister, or Mom at any parties you may go to.
One person watches the kiddo to make sure that Aunt Susie doesn’t offer him/her some of her home made blue ribbon winning apple pie with ice cream, while the other person eats, or relaxes, switch off at even intervals.
3. Try not to dwell on food allergy talk with neighbors, friends and family, in front of your child.
Yes, our child has food allergies, and yes, it is challenging, but it is not the time in the middle of a party to drone on about it, and if people are really interested, offer to call them or touch base with them at another time out of earshot of your child. You and your child hopefully went to the barbeque, party or gathering to let off steam, enjoy yourselves and see your friends! So enjoy them! Talk about soccer, the weather, your other summer plans.
Here is a line you may find useful: Yes, he/she still has allergies and it’s challenging, but things are going great, there are so many alternatives for us out there! Even if you don’t feel it, just saying it will make you feel better.
And if someone (a layperson with no food allergies who has read one article) wants to talk about “their” theories about Food Allergies, simply say, well, yes there are a lot of theories, we focus on the day to day management, then find another place to stand, walk, and talk to someone else about soccer, the weather, or gardening.
Overall, remember to enjoy this great weekend and your adorable child(ren)!