New Year’s Resolutions For People With Food and Latex Allergies

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For many, January is a time to review the past year and set goals for what to accomplish in the coming months. For families with life-threatening allergies, this review may also include strategies to better prepare for an anaphylactic emergency.

“After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important to circle back with family and review the year – celebrate what worked, and modify what didn’t,” says Tonya Winders, president and CEO of Allergy & Asthma Network, the leading patient education and advocacy organization for people with asthma and allergies. “Use this opportunity to recharge the family’s understanding about allergies and how best to manage them.”

The Network suggests the following New Year’s resolutions for managing life-threatening allergies:

Replace fear with facts
Schedule an appointment with your allergist to review your food or latex allergy diagnosis: Do you know exactly what you are allergic to? Is it time for new testing? What is working or not working in your prevention program? Make a list of questions in advance and be sure to include food-allergic children in the conversation. Help them understand how to prevent exposure and respond to symptoms.

Practice prevention and build confidence
Educate your children by reading food labels with them, both at home and the grocery store. Focus on words related to their specific allergies. In addition, talk with them about situations they may find difficult to handle, such as being offered snacks that may contain allergens at school or parties; role play to help them build confidence.

Organize medications
With life-threatening food, latex or other allergies, it’s important to carry two epinephrine auto-injectors with you everywhere, every day. Devise convenient and creative ways to keep them close at hand. Check expiration dates on your devices and put renewal reminders on your calender..

Extract from Allergy & Asthma Network