One thing many food allergies families can empathize with each other about is the anxiety or mental burden of leaving our homes. They are our safe zones, a place where we can finally set our "allergy radar" to low and spend time together without worry.
We know that our toys have not just been handled by a toddler friend with peanut-buttery hands, that we have our child's safe food options stocked in the kitchen, and the medicine we need is ready in the
With kids everywhere eating allergenic snacks all over playgrounds, picnic areas, and kid-friendly spaces, it can be stressful to navigate fun experiences successfully. I'd like to share my time-earned list of things I believe can help any food allergy family more easily navigate "leaving the nest"... so that each of us can start taking our lives back again...and leaving some of that stress behind.
But in our battle with food allergies, if I'm Batman, then Clorox Wipes are my Robin. And I'll take any sidekick I can get.
In a study conducted by the Journal of Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology, researchers measured the continuing presence of peanut protein on a surface for 110 days at levels that would cause an allergic reaction to a person with that allergy. After cleaning with a commercial cleaning wipe, no presence of the allergenic protein could be detected. According to the study, "There are many commercial cleaning wipes, and individuals and families should make it a habit to carry these wipes with them. Simple but thorough cleaning of a surface, for example in a restaurant or a school cafeteria, should safely eliminate the peanut allergen."
YOU DON'T NEED TO TELL ME TWICE. Wherever we go, if I have these guys along, I can make most tables, chairs, floors, play equipment, and toys safe for my son. And that's a big deal. Because the alternative is to either say no to fun opportunities OR take risks with allergenic surfaces, but these wipes help us find a middle ground so we can participate in the things we want to enjoy. SuperParent, to the rescue.
Insulated Epinephrine Carrier
In all things, I go neutral or earthy-toned with my choices, but when it came to our emergency medicine, we thought bright was the best decision. I can't tell you how many times I've reached for it in a panic and been so relieved to find the lime green case quickly in our bag, and not another black or gray item.
If safe epinephrine storage is a new concept to you, read here for more info.
If you need one of these, here is one of many great options available now.
(I really like having this "silver" disposable set in case we are somewhere that is more elegant and he has to use disposable silverware. One of many small decisions in an effort to not make him feel like the "odd one out".)
Great Food Storage
(If you like that ninja cutout and want to know where I got it, stay tuned for our next blog post on tools to keep in your kitchen to make allergy-safe food more fun!)
Washable Picnic Blanket
How These Choices Affect Our Son
That he was special, even when being left out or having to opt out.
How to care for himself in all situations, by watching and learning how we prepped to go out.
How to turn a frustrating situation into a positive one with a little planning.
And finally...how to set up a great picnic.
This receives an honorable mention as an essential, but didn't make it to the list because it's only for a small window of time...the phase where your child puts there mouth on everything. Every other age, you can use wipes to make a cart safe for your child, but you don't want that solution if they are going to suck on the cart handle when you aren't looking. The Cart Seat Cover is a necessary solution for store runs during the "everything goes in my mouth" phase.