Three Tips for Surviving the Summer with Food Allergies

Three Tips for Surviving the Summer with Food Allergies

by Lauren Kossack

I’ve always loved summer, but now that I’m a mom with school-aged children, my love for summer has grown as I cherish the time I get to spend with my boys. Each day is filled with so many possibilities. I love sitting around the breakfast table with my little men as we make plans for our day. Some days we take trips to the zoo or local museums. Other days we simply spend the afternoon poolside.

Despite the plans we make, one thing remains constant: no matter where we go or what we do, my little men’s food allergies must be taken into consideration and special accommodations must be made.

Many people think that my little men’s food allergies are only issues during mealtime. What they don’t realize is that, not only is food everywhere, but their allergens can be found in everything from shampoo and hand soap to sunscreen. Yep, I said it: sunscreen.

That brings us to our first tip for surviving the summer with food allergies.

1. Check your sunscreen

I can’t tell you how many bottles of sunscreen I’ve picked up over the years that I found to contain nut oils and soy oils. Seriously, it’s scary. Our favorites have been Badger, California Baby, and Blue Lizard. Many of these sunscreens have to be ordered online because many chain stores do not carry these brands. Be sure to check each label and make calls to the company as needed before declaring a sunscreen is “safe” for your children.

2. Keep your epinephrine auto-injectors cool.

I’m sure this goes without saying, but make sure that you have two epinephrine auto-injectors with you at all times. Studies have shown that many people need a second dose of epinephrine before arriving at the hospital. Beyond that, epinephrine needs to be kept at room temperature, between 68°F - 77°F. So how can that be done while playing at the park or sitting at the pool with the sun beating down on you? Purchase an insulated carrying case and keep it in the shade. My favorite cases are made by AllerMates and Allergy Apparel. If you are planning to be outside for a long period of time, you may want to purchase a Kool Blanket to wrap around your auto-injectors to ensure that your epinephrine doesn’t overheat (which can cause the medication to be less effective or not effective at all).

3. Pack extra snacks.

It’s rare that I leave the house without “safe” snacks in my bag or car. However, I find that during the school year, things are a bit more predictable because we are on a daily schedule. But in the summer, the schedule goes out the window. I never want to turn down a fun opportunity because my little men won’t have something safe to eat. Therefore, don’t just pack snacks for when you leave the house, pack extra snacks.

Don’t let your child’s food allergies stand in the way of all the fun you can have this summer. Go – adventure awaits!

About the Author:
Lauren Kossack is the founder and author of the blog, "Our Life as an Epi-Family." On, Lauren writes with a mix of vivid stories, food allergy news, recipes, parenting tips, and questions of faith. Lauren bares her heart as she shares her family's struggles, victories, and daily adventures. She is a proud wife and mom to two young boys who have life-threatening food allergies who appear often on her blog. Lauren and her family currently live in Indianapolis, Indiana.