With fall upon us, it’s almost time for Holiday gatherings. More than at other times of the year, the holidays tend to include sharing of food, including meals together or by dropping off treats!  Obviously, when eating at other’s homes or sharing treats, there is an increased risk of being exposed to a food we are allergic to.  Here are some tips on how to remain safe and healthy throughout the holidays:

1. Keep Your Allergy Medications With You

Probably the most important thing you can do at holiday gatherings is to be sure you have your allergy medications with you.  These might include an Epi-Pen, Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or a steroid (such as prednisone or methylprednisolone).  That way, you are prepared if you are accidentally exposed.  Remember, any time you believe you are having an allergic reaction, and especially if you have deployed your Epi-Pen, you need to call 911 and get to the emergency room right away.

2. Make the Host Aware

If you are attending a  party, discuss your allergy with the hosts well ahead of time so they can prepare. Or if you are the host, be sure to ask about allergies when you invite your guests. Also, ask about how severe the allergy is and what should be done if a reaction occurs.

2. Know the Source of the Food

Before eating anything prepared by someone else, be sure you know what ingredients were included. You can politely ask the cook what they included in dishes prepared by the host or other guests.  For foods brought from a restaurant, you may be able to find an ingredient list online. When in doubt, call the restaurant for clarification.

3. Mind Your Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is a social lubricant and reduces inhibitions.  Overconsumption can make it more difficult to avoid an allergic reaction or respond as effectively.

4. Consider Bringing Your Own Food

Finally, if your allergy is serious, as yet unidentified, or to a common ingredient that is hard to avoid, you may want to bring your own food. You do not necessarily have to stay away from all the food at the party, but if you might want to guarantee that there is something there you can eat by bringing your own dish. 

Visit CapRock Health for Help With Any Allergic ReactionsIt is always best to avoid an allergic reaction, but if you have an allergic reaction, you need to reach out to a medical professional as quickly as possible. If you have an EpiPen, and have been instructed to do so, you should use it if you believe you are suffering an anaphylactic reaction. Then, even if you treat the allergic reaction, you still need to visit the emergency room for comprehensive care. At CapRock Health, we have a significant amount of experience treating allergic reactions of all types. We are always available to help you, so give us a call with any questions or concerns you might have.