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Allergy Safety

Safety Checklist

Living with food allergies means being prepared and staying safe. Choose from our menu on the left side of this page to learn about being allergy-aware at home, school, work and while travelling and dining out.

Ask Yourself

  • Before leaving the house: Do I have my epinephrine auto-injector?
  • At the restaurant: Do the waitstaff and kitchen staff understand my allergy?
  • Before making a snack or meal: Did I read the ingredients?

Some general guidelines

Read it Before You Eat It

  • When checking food labels for your allergens, do The Triple Check:
    • Once at the store before buying it.
    • Once when you get home and put it away.
    • Again before you serve or eat the product.

Be Prepared

  • Have an Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan and share it with the people in your life.
  • Follow our guidelines for kitchen safety. These include:
  • If you are a parent, take steps to educate everyone in your child’s life (including teachers, relatives and babysitters) about preventing, recognizing and treating anaphylaxis.  For more information, visit our Educating Others page.
  • Always carry your epinephrine auto-injector.
    • Make sure it has not expired.
    • Practice using it on a regular basis.

Parties and Going Out

  • Talk to the host of an event about your allergies, preferably days or weeks before the event.
  • If you are attending an event where you are unsure if the food will be safe, make yourself a meal beforehand.
  • Keep in mind that alcohol affects your judgement.
  • If you are a parent, learn more about play dates and birthday parties at our Newly Diagnosed Support Centre.

Know the Signs and Symptoms

  • Reactions can differ each time. Remember, an allergic reaction can start with mild symptoms that can get worse quickly.
  • Reactions can look different each time. A person can have a severe reaction without having hives, for example.
  • Follow the chart below to understand the signs of anaphylaxis.
  • Remember, the auto-injector can save a life. When in doubt, use it.

signs-and-symptoms-img

Take Action

  • Give epinephrine, then call 9-1-1.
  • A second dose of epinephrine can be given as early as 5 minutes after the first dose if there is no improvement in symptoms.
  • Place the person on their back with their legs raised while waiting for the ambulance. If they are vomiting, nauseated or have fainted, place them on their side.
  • Do not have the person sit up, stand up, or walk to the ambulance. This can cause dangerous complications.
  • Travel to the hospital together. The hospital will treat and monitor symptoms.