Protect children with food allergies

Protect children with food allergies

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Precautions to protect children with severe food allergy

Food allergies are a particular problem for children, not least because the little ones find it difficult to determine whether food contains dangerous ingredients for them. The German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB) provides tips on how to minimize the risk of allergic reactions.

If adults already have difficulties in identifying possible allergy triggers in food, children are simply overwhelmed at this point. In its "Allergy in Concrete" magazine, the DAAB therefore recommends special labeling of food at home, according to the news agency "dpa". For example, parents could safely mark foods with a green dot, while unsafe foods could be marked with a red dot. Such simple markings are also easy to understand for children, visitors or babysitters.

Keeping food separate If children suffer from a food allergy, even the smallest amounts of nuts, milk or eggs can trigger a severe allergic reaction. Therefore, the DAAB recommends some precautionary measures in the household. In addition to the understandable labeling of food, for example, the allergen-containing and allergen-free food should be stored separately, reports the "dpa", citing the DAAB. If they are right next to each other, there is a risk of confusion. For example, the DAAB recommends parents of children with severe lactose intolerance not to place soy milk next to cow's milk.

Ban allergenic foods from the household? Ideally, according to the DAAB, special places on the shelf or a separate cupboard are reserved for safe food. However, there is also the possibility of completely eliminating allergenic foods from the household if the parents want to avoid sticking to points and sorting the foods. This reduces the risk of accidental consumption. However, the child is less trained in the handling of food, since the artificial situation does not require special attention. This can quickly lead to problems in public if the child is not prepared for certain foods being dangerous.

Avoiding contamination from cutlery and dishes If there are no allergenic foods in the household, according to the experts, this also has the advantage that the transmission of very small amounts of allergenic foods, for example via cutlery or contaminated hands, into the allergen-free meals can be excluded. Otherwise, according to the DAAB, parents must exercise special caution to avoid such contamination. Allergy-free food should only come into contact with clean cutlery, which requires cleaning the pots, pans, cutlery and dishes with hot water and detergent, according to the DAAB. Rinsing with water is not enough here.

Separate preparation of dishes According to the DAAB, the preparation of allergen-containing and allergen-free dishes must also be separated. First the allergen-free variant of a dish is prepared and then the normal meal. In this way, it can be avoided that allergy-causing substances get into the allergen-free food with the cooking accessories. If meals are prepared at the same time, the DAAB advises under no circumstances to use the same utensils, a here too there is a risk of contamination that can be associated with severe allergic reactions. (fp)

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