My son had his first severe allergic reaction at 6 months and just before his first birthday he had anaphylaxis and we nearly lost him.
Seeing anaphylactic shock in real life is surreal, you never expect food to have such a severe effect on a person, let alone your child. the swelling that happens in a second and that gets so bad you start seeing bruising, the difficulty in breathing and all while you wonder how you could be such a terrible mother. Having to hold your baby down while he gets injected with adrenaline and how the swelling doesn’t really go down immediately, the next day is still filled with swelling. Luckily, I haven’t needed to use his epipen, we’ve had to use an antihistamine A LOT thanks to his not so serious allergies milk and eggs that’s always in something, they cause mild swelling, eczema and hives, I’ve basically been anal about everything that Arren eats since we found out what he’s allergic to, but there is something your allergist can’t confirm for you and that is if his allergy is airborne or not.
Our big move to Europe is fast approaching and I’ve been scouring the internet for tips and tricks for keeping a boisterous toddler occupied and happy and with that comes a lot of snack ideas. The idea that people still suggest peanut and nuts as a great snack to bring on board a metal container with circulated air is beyond me, I know that some airlines serve these, but that’s why we are trying to avoid those airlines, it send shivers down my spine when i think about what could happen, if someone decides they’re going to open a bag of peanuts.
I was talking to my sister about my fears, when all of a sudden she got really shocked, she didn’t know peanuts could be a airborne allergy, at that moment I realised that people just don’t know how severe allergies can be, how deadly they can be. All parents flying with children with severe food allergies have the same fear, but there are a few steps to take to make the journey a little less stressful.
TIPS FOR FLYING WITH A FOOD ALLERGY
- Phone the airline a month in advance to alert them that you’re flying with a food allergy.
- Pre board. Most airlines classify allergies as a special need. Wipe down everything you can around you with anti bacterial wipes making sure everything is clear.
- Pack your own meals and snacks.
- Make friends with the people around you and tell them about the allergy, tell the stewardess about your allergies on entering the plane.
- avoid using the airline pillow and blanket.
- Request a peanut buffer zone.
- Pack extra anti bacteria wipes and hand sanitizer.
- Research the airlines, research the restaurants at your layover. Research everything you can!
If we all took a second to think about how to make a long haul flight pleasant for everyone else trapped on a plane, we might all have a way better time.