Sometimes triple-checking labels are not enough -- unfortunately, milk allergies
have a tendency to strike, and usually away from home. Here are some ways
to deal with milk allergies at school or wherever else you or a loved one with
allergies may be.
Always check labels. Even if it's something you've had no problems with in the
past, manufacturers can change ingredients without notice. Train yourself and your
child to check the label every. Single. Time.
Do not accept food from anyone else. Hammer home the point that all food must
come from home. Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell what is in baked goods or
other foods, so do not even risk it; make sure your child understands that taking
food from others with even the best intentions can be dangerous. On playdates or
for school days pack a lunch.
Avoid fried food and foods that have batter on them. Even though there may
not be milk in the batter or the food being fried, the oil may have already fried
something with milk in it and would cause a reaction. Just another thing to be
conscious of that may stave off an attack.
Carry an over-the-counter antihistamine. Often times a regular oral
antihistamine, such as Benadryl, can stop a reaction dead in its tracks if caught
early. Have some with you at all times and pack some with your child when you
send him or her off to school or on play-dates.
Keeping epinephrine on hand at all times. This should not be your main way
to prepare for an allergic reaction, but is necessary in case a bad one occurs. If
your doctor says you need an epi-pen, bring it with you. Make sure one is readily
available at school for your child and it might be a good idea to leave one at the
houses of playmates.
Joseph Gustav is a guest blogger for An Apple a Day and a writer on the subject of medical transcription training for the Guide to Health Education.