Summer of TAG

Alex’s top 10 list on staying safe this summer

When I found out I was severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts I had to make sure I did everything possible to keep myself safe. Summer can be a challenging time but with the tips below you can have a safe and fun summer. So follow my lead with this top 10 list:

  1. Be informed and learn as much as you can about your allergy. There’s no excuse for not knowing, and knowledge is power.
  2. Always carry your epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen®), and make sure you have a second one with you.
  3. Make sure your epinephrine auto-injectors are up-to-date because they expire, trust me.
  4. Keep your epinephrine auto-injector out of the extreme heat.
  5. Know the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction (hives, difficulty breathing, etc.) and know how to promptly treat it with your epinephrine auto-injector.
  6. Before you enjoy a mid-afternoon snack, always read food labels and make sure your snacks don’t contain any of the allergens you are allergic to.
  7. When invited to a friend’s place for a meal or BBQ, ask lots of questions about the ingredients, how the food was prepared and whether any of your allergens are in the meal. If you aren’t sure, don’t eat the food.
  8. If you are eating out this summer with friends or with your family, tell the restaurant staff about your allergy, and speak directly with the chef about your allergies to make sure they are aware and can recommend a safe meal.
  9. If you plan on travelling this summer, make sure to review the allergy policies for train, cruise and air travel ahead of time. Bring your own snacks so you can be safe.
  10. Stay positive and focus on what you can have and not just what you cannot have. Summer will be great if you are protected with your knowledge and auto-injector.