Children with allergies often feel alienated, especially when it comes to birthday parties and other activities. It can be difficult to make the added effort it takes to accommodate the needs of a child with allergies. As a result, children with allergies may not be invited, or parents may feel safer keeping their children away from social gatherings.
Unfortunately, that leaves the child feeling left out from activities that they should be included in. If you're planning a party for your child – and they have friends with allergies – here are some simple steps you can take to accommodate their needs.
Send Invitations Online
When it's time to send out the invitations, head to the internet. Providing an online invitation will allow parents to respond quickly. Be sure to inquire about allergies in the invitation, and include a sample menu. When this information is included in the invitation, parents are able to notify you about allergies.
Inquire About Special Medical Needs
Once you've found out about allergies, you should also inquire about any additional medical needs the child may have. For instance, does the child require the use of an epi-pen? How quickly does the child react once they've been exposed to an allergen? Pay particular attention to any emergency treatment that might be needed. This will allow you to act quickly should the need arise.
If one of the children who are invited to the party suffer from an allergy that you're not familiar with, do some research on the topic. With the knowledge you gain from the research, you'll be prepared to care for the child should an emergency situation arise.
Provide Safe Foods
When it comes to food allergies, plan safe foods for the party. Depending on the allergies, fruits and vegetables are good choices for children's parties. If children have peanut allergies, try to avoid serving any foods that contain nuts or are prepared around nuts. If any of the guests suffer from celiac disease, or are gluten-intolerant, many pizza parlors now serve gluten-free pizzas.
Suggest a Potluck
To prevent accidental exposure to allergens – and to prevent children from feeling alienated – you may want to consider a potluck party. This is particularly beneficial when parents want to provide allergy-safe foods for their children.
Invite each parent to bring their child's favorite dish. The children with allergies will know which foods are safe for them to eat, which will eliminate any accidental mishaps related to food allergies.
If your child is having a party, don't panic if some of the guests suffer from food allergies. You can use the steps described above to make it easier to accommodate children with allergies.
For more information about specific allergies, check out companies like Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center.