Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If your child has peanut allergy, take these steps to help keep him or her safe:

  • Involve caregivers. Ask relatives, babysitters, teachers and other caregivers to help. Teach the adults who spend time with your child how to recognize signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to peanuts. Emphasize that an allergic reaction can be life-threatening and requires immediate action.

    Make sure that your child also knows to ask for help right away if he or she has an allergic reaction.

  • Use a written plan. List the steps to take in case of an allergic reaction, including the order and doses of all medications to be given, as well as contact information for family members and health care providers. Provide a copy of the plan to family members, teachers and others who care for your child.
  • Discourage your child from sharing foods. It's common for kids to share snacks and treats. However, while playing, your child may forget about food allergies or sensitivities. If your child is allergic to peanuts, encourage him or her not to eat food from others.
  • Make sure your child's epinephrine autoinjector is always available. An injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) can immediately reduce the severity of a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, but it needs to be given right away. If your child has an emergency epinephrine injector, make sure your family members and other caregivers know about your child's emergency medication — where it's located, when it may be needed and how to use it.
  • Make sure your child's school has a food allergy management plan. Guidelines are available to create policies and procedures. Staff should have access to and be trained in using an epinephrine injector.
  • Have your child wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace. This will help make sure he or she gets the right treatment if he or she isn't able to communicate during a severe reaction. The alert will include your child's name and the type of food allergy he or she has, and may also list brief emergency instructions.

If you have peanut allergy, do the following:

  • Always carry your epinephrine autoinjector.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace.
June 11, 2015