Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

One of the keys to preventing an allergic reaction is to completely avoid the food that causes your symptoms.

  • Don't assume. Always read food labels to make sure they don't contain an ingredient you're allergic to. Even if you think you know what's in a food, check the label. Ingredients sometimes change.

    Food labels are required to clearly list whether they contain any common food allergens. Read food labels carefully to avoid the most common sources of food allergens: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.

  • When in doubt, say no thanks. At restaurants and social gatherings, you're always taking a risk that you might eat a food you're allergic to. Many people don't understand the seriousness of an allergic food reaction and may not realize that a tiny amount of a food can cause a severe reaction in some people. If you have any suspicion at all that a food may contain something you're allergic to, steer clear.
  • Involve caregivers. If your child has a food allergy, enlist the help of relatives, baby sitters, teachers and other caregivers. Make sure they understand how important it is for your child to avoid the allergy-causing food and that they know what to do in an emergency.

    It's also important to let caregivers know what steps they can take to prevent a reaction in the first place, such as careful hand-washing and cleaning any surfaces that might have come in contact with the allergy-causing food.

Feb. 12, 2014