Tips for Road Trips with Your Child with Allergies, by Raylene from It’s OK to be WEIRD! Raylene’s daughter has a severe allergy to peanuts.
When your child has an allergy, especially a severe food allergy, travelling can sometimes be a daunting prospect. There are a few things you can do to make family road trips with your child with allergies easier.
Pack Your Own Snacks
No matter where you’re travelling or for how long, bringing along plenty of safe foods that you trust is absolutely necessary. Having good, trusted snacks in your cooler will help you avoid the potentially dangerous run through the nearest convenience store to grab ‘something’ when hunger pangs strike. You are already a label reader, and you have foods and brands that you know are no risk to your child – bring them along so you don’t have to think about it on the road.
Stick with What You Know
As already mentioned, when you have a child with allergies you become fluent in and familiar with nutrition labels.We’ve become very brand loyal in our house because we know there are some brands that there’s never been a risk with. When visiting a new part of the country, the same brands or food chains you’re used to may be more difficult to find. When it’s possible to choose brands you trust, stick with the ones you know; search them out if necessary.
When you are not able to find those familiar and safe brands while away from home, check the labels carefully.On a road trip is not the best time to discover you missed that problematic ingredient and now have an allergic reaction happening in the back seat.In fact, the best policy, as most moms with allergic children know, is to ALWAYS check the label, even with brands you trust. Also, if visiting friends and family while on your trip, be sure that they are aware of the allergy issues.Being diligent and aware will help to ensure your child’s safety and that the trip goes smoothly.
Have Medication Accessible
While we’re all packed tightly into a car, travelling cross-country with our families, we’re usually focused on getting stuff put up and out of the way. When it comes to allergy medications, however, don’t tuck them too far out of the way. Keep antihistamines, puffers, and Epi-pens in an easily accessible place, and that everyone in the car knows where to find them. You don’t want to have to rummage through a suitcase or bathroom bag to find an important medication when an allergic reaction is happening. Make sure that your medication is up-to-date as well, and in good condition. Bring more with you than you think you need, as you may not be able to find the same stuff in another region of the country. This will help to ease your mind in the event of an unexpected reaction – at least your medicine will be ready to go to work for you and your child.
Travelling by air with a child who has allergies is another issue altogether, and worthy of a whole post on just that topic. We take a lot of family road trips, though, and sticking to these tips has helped us have more enjoyable and safe trips with our daughter’s allergies. Bringing plenty of our own safe snacks, seeking out trusted brands and food chains, being careful and aware, and having medications at handy in case they are needed – these simple things can make a big difference when on a road trip with a child with allergies!