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5 Food Allergy Road Trip Tips

Posted on January 12, 2017

Traveling with a food allergy can be challenging.

With food allergies, gone are the days of playing the trip by ear. One must overthink everything and create a safe environment for their child to limit risk.

Consider This:

  • You may not know where the nearest ER is in the case of cross contamination.
  • There may be a misunderstanding of food allergy conditions when ordering.
  • Cell phone service can go in and out depending on where you are.
So, Let's Talk About What We CAN do. Because food allergies Can be manageable, even if they are never foolproof.
1. Pack Food. A lot of food.
This idea can be a lot of work, I know.
And trust me when I say, I feel your exhaustion the night before a road trip. I have two boys and pregnant with the third. We just returned from a 6 hour road trip. However, this little trick can keep your passengers happy and should prevent an allergic reaction in the middle of nowhere.
2. Stop at Grocery Stores When Hungry.
It took me a couple road trips to think of this, but this may be my favorite and most helpful tip.
WHY Eat from a Grocery Store?
For one, everyone gets to stretch as they walk up and down the aisles. We may or may not have been known to even throw the ball around the toy aisle as we shopped.
Another reason, is that the ingredient and packaging labels are right in front of you. By now, you probably know your best go to brands.
I know of a couple fast food restaurant options that are labeled "nut free". However, when I dug a little deeper to see where the food came from (such as tortillas, cut fruit, etc) I found that many of the restaurants should really be labeled "We don't serve nuts" as opposed to "nut free". It can be difficult to truly understand where each food item is sourced from.
3. Wear a notification bracelet.
WHY Wear a Food Allergy Bracelet?
  • Help notify others in the case of an emergency, such as a car accident.
  • Raise awareness when stopping for breaks. Yes, there are still people that ask if my child would like a piece of candy or cookie. Many of which are dangerous for him.
This particular bracelet was purchased at Allermates. (They have my favorite food allergy awareness accessories.)
4. Keep Wipes Close.
Most germs I can handle, but cross contamination of a peanut? No thank you. Keep in mind that anything someone touches, could contain food allergy residue. Wash hands or wipe them off before reentering your car.
5. Discuss Food Allergy Concerns with Other Passengers.
This obvious tip can be quite uncomfortable to discuss. It is challenging to ask others to monitor their food choices. Simply share your concerns and severity with your passengers and most likely they will be okay with limiting their food selection for the ride.
Do you know someone traveling with a food allergy? What are some steps they take to try and prevent a reaction?

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This article originally appeared here and is reposted here with permission.
Beth runs the blog Days With Grey, where she writes about education and the social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language development of preschoolers, and food allergies. Her son Grey has a severe peanut allergy.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

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