Philadelphia, PA (December, 2009) – As the holiday season approaches, many of us think of fun and excitement; good times and good food. But for millions of parents whose children are on special diets due to food allergies, Autism, Diabetes or other health issues, this time of year is particularly challenging. During this month of school celebrations, family dinners and holiday parties with food, desserts and special treats in abundance, how can parents protect their children from the hidden dangers lurking on the dessert table?
Just remember, a little awareness goes a long way. Here are just a few affirmative steps parents can take to reduce the risk to their children:
- If you’re a guest, don’t be shy. Remind your hosts that your child has food restrictions.
- Offer to bring your own food for your child. This is an easy way to open the conversation and usually the host will want to make safe options available. Most hosts want to accommodate their guests, especially when the guests are children.
- Beware of special holiday treats. People often spice their regular recipes with special ingredients (almond extract, crushed walnuts, etc.) that you might not anticipate. If you aren’t sure, don’t give it to your child!
- Give your child a small meal before going to a party. Bring safe snacks in case you are unsure of what food is safe.
- Clearly identify children by their specific health issues–especially important in school and at holiday parties where others may not remember or be aware of a child’s food restrictions.
- Clearly label children’s their belongings with their name and specific restrictions (“Peanut Allergy,” "Milk Allergy" or “Gluten Free”) to remind those is your child’s school or child care center about his/her health concerns.
- Make sure teachers and caregivers are equipped with an epinephrine auto-injector at all times, and know when and how to administer it.
- Have a holiday food allergy conversation with family members, teachers and caregivers before the season to remind them of the increased risk at this time of year.
For parents who are looking for easy ways to alert others to their children’s health issues, STATkids® can help. STATkids® provides practical, age-appropriate, kid-friendly products that quickly and clearly communicate a children’s health issues and alert others to a child’s needs. Founded by a mother who struggled to protect her own child, each product was designed to be durable, comfortable, effective and affordable. With items that fit every budget, from wristbands to stickers to lunch bags and more, STATkids® makes it easier than ever to raise awareness of a child’s specific health issues and keep them safer. For more information on STATkids®, its product line, please visit www.STATkids.com.