WEDNESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with nut allergies need to take special precautions if they're traveling during the holiday season, an expert warns.
"The best thing to do is plan ahead. Though you can't plan for everything, being prepared will help keep your child safe and limit your holiday stress," Dr. Sean Cahill, an associate professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in a Loyola news release.
One of the most important things is to keep your child's hands -- and surfaces that your child touches -- as clean as possible, he said. An allergic reaction can occur when children touch a surface that's been exposed to nuts and then places their hand(s) in their mouth.
Cahill offered the following general travel tips:
Cahill also noted that peanuts are a common airline snack and aircraft seats often contain traces of nuts. He advised parents to use sanitizing wipes to clean all solid surfaces, including arm rests and tray tables.
Dress children in a long-sleeved shirt and long pants, to limit the amount of nut residue that comes into contact with their skin.
And remember to bring a note from your doctor so that your EpiPen doesn't cause you trouble with airport security, he added.
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more about food allergy.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: Loyola University Health System, news release, Nov. 22, 2010
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