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Tips for holidays with nut/ egg allergic DS!

(25 Posts)
Bagofmashings Sat 29-Dec-12 21:12:12

DS has recently been diagnosed with nut and egg allergies. We're thinking of booking a holiday but it all seems like a bit if a logistical nightmare. For example, should I bring ALL of his food with us? Are you actually allowed to take a suitcase of food on a plane? And what about epipens? What else should I be thinking about in preperation for this. Ideally we'd like to go to Greece but are there any destinations that you would recommend? Thanks!

quoteunquote Sat 29-Dec-12 21:30:52

Just go self catering or am I missing something?

Get translated allergy cards for where you are going, which you can show people.

the USA is good as they are use to food allergies.

everywhere in the world has eggs and nuts, but if you use raw ingredients you can't go wrong.

Bagofmashings Sat 29-Dec-12 22:00:07

Yes, we were definitely thinking self catering.
The allergy cards thing is a great idea, I hadn't thought of that.

Bagofmashings Sat 29-Dec-12 22:07:24

I was also wondering about his epi-pen. Do we need a letter from the dr or anything to ensure we can take it on the plane?
Sorry, this is all very new to me and I apologise if I'm asking very obviouse questions.

Bagofmashings Sat 29-Dec-12 22:08:17

Obvious not obvious!

Bagofmashings Sat 29-Dec-12 22:09:28

Obvious not obviouse!

shelsco Tue 01-Jan-13 16:02:00

Hi bagofmashings. Saw your last post from last week on my thread ( have posted reply on the thread). You sound like you are having the same sort of worries and issues as me. I had already booked a holiday ( all inclusive- I'm terrified!). I rang the holiday company(Thomson) and they were lovely and said don't panic.

I have to ring them 90 days before the holiday then they will inform the airline that the flight must be nut free and also contact the hotel to let them know. With regard to epipen, you need a letter from your doctor to take with you which says that your son requires it for medical reasons. If you take an antihistamine it should be in an unopened bottle with prescription label on apparently.

There is a website called epipen.co.uk which has allergy translation cards to print out in different languages. They will also text you alerts of when your epipen is due to expire if you register the date and will send trainer epipens (No needle) so you can practise using one. You might already know all this but I didn't and found it really useful. I'm googling all the time so maybe we can share handy info if we find any?!

freefrommum Wed 02-Jan-13 10:52:20

We always take a letter from DS's consultant about his allergies and why we need to carry epi-pens and Piriton to show at security (we do take a bottle with a prescription label on but it's never an unopened bottle and we've never had any problems). We travel to Spain regularly as we have a house there and we do take quite a bit of food (DD's coeliac and DS has multiple allergies) but I speak Spanish so know what we can and can't buy for them. I find the labelling in Spain very good but do worry about eating out (mind you, I worry about that over here too!). Translation cards are a very good idea if you don't speak the lingo. You can take most foods in your suitcase within the EU but it does depend on the country you're travelling to so best to check. As for hand luggage, obviously you're restricted to 100ml for any liquids but we take tins of ham, bread rolls, crisps, snacks etc.

trixymalixy Wed 02-Jan-13 11:12:50

We take a letter for DS's epipen and translation cards. Whether we take any food depends on where we are going. We don't bother in Spain as there's a wide range of substitutes available, but that's with a dairy allergy, you don't need an egg or nut substitute really. I certainly wouldn't be taking food for the week.

Shelco, we went on holiday full board with Thompson skiing and they were brilliant with the allergies and the kids used the child care, they were all epipen trained.

shelsco Thu 03-Jan-13 01:05:07

Oh thank you so much trix. That does make me feel better. Even though Thomson were really reassuring, I have been worrying that they don't really understand how serious it is! Stupid i know!! i just have that feeling that people don't really understand, even though every person I have spoken to has been fantastic and really knowledgable!!

The panic is beginning to subside a bit but i need to keep hearing these reassuring stories from other people to know that I am not alone and that other people have managed to go on holiday etc and managed well. I did look at one website that terrified me as it had articles from people that just made me feel worse. It is good to know that usually people manage just fine as long as they're well informed and careful. smile

Bagofmashings Sat 05-Jan-13 14:25:54

Thanks so much for all the replies, I'm very reassured by it all. I also found some good tips for going on holiday on the anaphylaxis campaign's website that you might find useful shelsco. They suggest getting details of the nearest dr/ hospital as a precautionary measure and to avoid all plane food, even if they say it's nut free.

For nut & egg it's not so much finding a substitute food but trying to find food without them in iyswim so will def bring as much as possible in the suitcase! I do a lot of cooking from scratch but I'm not entirely sure how practical that would be away from home.
All this said I haven't actually booked a holiday yet so next so I'm off to google where to go....

Shelsco - am about to post on your other thread smile

babybarrister Sat 05-Jan-13 19:56:51

I agree with all of above especially re letters from doctors and looking at anaphylaxis campaign website which has lots of stuff on travel

ukey Thu 24-Jan-13 01:20:11

Speak to staff at check in and again when boarding to inform them about the allergy. Also when flying u can ask to be boarded first. You can take some wipes, wipe down the tray table etc. If the flight normally serves nuts there will be more of a chance of stray nuts in places like in between seats etc. You could also take along a blanket or sheet for your child to sit on if contact reactions could be an issue. As no idea who's been eating what in the seat b4 u board. We always take own snacks etc on the plane.

A tip for carrying piriton, we always ask at chemist for a small bottle, then some can be dispensed into this. Which is handy for every day use, carrying it about etc. I put all meds in a First Aid bag along with his prescription etc.

Be careful with epi pens in the heat/sun. Carry them in an insulated bag (I use a small lunch bag) Though don't use an ice pack as cold can also affect the epi pen.

Translation cards are a great idea to warn places and people of the allergy, self catering would probably be easier.

You can take some foods cereals etc with you in the case. Just need to be careful of what u take due to regulations in certain countries. like generally no fruit, meat etc.

Also have a translation card for Emergency so that ur able to ask for help should a reaction occur.

Bagofmashings Sat 26-Jan-13 19:28:13

I've just seen your post, thank you ukey. That's really helpful. DS does have contact reactions although only ever to cashew, he is allergic to peanut but it's unlikely he'll have a serious reaction to it (thank god when flying, those bloody peanuts get everywhere!) I think a blanket would be a good idea.
I usually carry DS's epipen around in a lunch bag anyway actually, just because it's what we had.
I'm just getting my head round eating out locally and know it's probably impossible abroad. I can't really imagine a holiday without eating out or even stopping for ice creams sad

ukey Sat 26-Jan-13 22:29:18

how many epi pens do you have?

Bagofmashings Sun 27-Jan-13 19:10:47

We were prescribed 2, so we could have 1 for nursery & 1 for home. He doesn't actually go to nursery but they just assumed he did & i didn't tell them otherwise wink I keep 1 at home and carry 1 around with us but I have recently found out on another forum that you should carry 2 all the time, so I should probably be doing that shouldn't I? I'll definitely make sure I have 2 on the plane anyway.

harverina Mon 28-Jan-13 11:27:54

Yes you are supposed to carry two in case the first does not work. We have two sets of two. We always keep two at home and two in my DD's bag, and she carries that everywhere with her. When my DD was first prescribed epipens we put in a repeat prescription request asking for 8 epipens - two for our house, two for her childminder, two for her grans, two for her bag!!! How naive I was to think that we would get them. However, we were given 4 and this is what we always have now smile

ukey Mon 28-Jan-13 21:08:29

yes should always have 2, so when he does go to nursery they will want 2 there, and have 2 at home.

jellymaker Mon 28-Jan-13 21:18:52

As a nut allergy sufferer, we only travel to the states and Europe. We tend to only do self catering but if we do eat out, I will never have deserts, cakes, ice creams or crepes. Too much risk with cross contamination. Airlines respond very differently to phoning ahead. Mention it at the check in desk as they very rarely have got the message on the day. Hope that helps.

Bagofmashings Wed 30-Jan-13 20:43:11

Thank you again people. I suppose I just have to get my head round holidays being a bit different now. II actually feel worse for my older DSC's than DS as he doesn't know any different.

Anyways, must book that holiday grin

cairnterrier Wed 30-Jan-13 20:50:56

We went to Malta with DS1 (egg and fish allergy). Fantastic island with lots of sun, the Maltese people were really warm and welcoming to DS and English is an official language so much easier to explain in restaurants. HTH.

Ilisten2theradio Fri 01-Feb-13 16:58:14

DS allergic to eggs nuts fish sesame and cocoa.
We always go self catering so I can always cook if necessary.
Check out photos and websites carefully to ensure you get a proper cooker and grill not just a hob. ( have come acropper like this once and once only!)
You can get translations of the food items he is allergic too - make sure you get egg white, albumin and other things they may call egg, and nuts and a list of each nut too so you can check the ingredients.
We had some great food in some restaurants where they fell over backwards to make sure DS could eat, and ignorant waiters who caused bad allergic reactions in one angry.
Just stick to plain foods like meat and veg, fish etc.
You can usually buy biscuits but not cakes. Ice cream is ok if you go for a well known international brand like walls or carte d'or as long as you get the cheap version not a luxury one in a supermarket.
Ice-cream parlours invariably use egg in the home made stuff and often in the sorbet too - so ask don't assume. I used a printed sheet that said " my son is allergice to.... and things like
Is there egg in the ice cream he is allergic it could kill him"

MegBusset Fri 01-Feb-13 17:03:30

Watching with interest. DS1 is allergic to peanut, egg, sesame, chick peas and lentils (thankfully not anaphylactic) and we are going abroad for the first time this summer - camping in France with Canvas. I picture him living on pasta and baguettes! The allergy cards are a really good idea, my French is pretty rusty!

Schulte Fri 01-Feb-13 20:58:06

I have flown a few times with DD2 and her epipen and it was never ever questioned. No letter from a doctor, I think security staff are pretty used to seeing epipens. The piriton gets decanted into a small bottle. Make sure you know what nuts and eggs are called in the local language. Go self catering. You will be fine!

Jammygal Sat 02-Feb-13 18:13:13

I never carry a letter either!

Always go self catering.

My son is nut sesame and egg.

I always take; weetabix ,part baked bread, crackers, some choc, pasta and hot choc as that is what he likes and is hard to source abroad.

You can pick up fruit, veg, dairy products, rice, meat and fish etc locally.

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