How to Deal with Peanut Allergies

As unusual as it may sound, peanuts cause 80 percent of fatal and near-fatal allergy attacks. Protect yourself with some precautionary steps.

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You Will Need

  • A medical ID bracelet
  • Some over-the-counter antihistamine
  • An epinephrine autoinjector

Steps

  1. Consult your physician to see if your allergies qualify you to receive a prescription for an epinephrine autoinjector or other medications.

  2. Step 1

    Avoid direct contact

    Avoid direct contact with peanuts or anyone who has recently handled peanuts.

  3. Step 2

    Avoid peanut-based products

    Pay attention to ingredient labels and stay away from products that contain peanuts — even peanut oil — or that may have been processed by machines or people who handled peanuts.

  4. Be careful with alternative snacks: sunflower seeds and chocolate candies are often processed in the same factories as peanuts.

  5. Step 3

    Alert your friends and family

    Let your friends and family know about your allergy so they don’t break out the nut bowls when you visit.

  6. Step 4

    Avoid restaurants that use peanut oil

    Avoid restaurants that may cook with peanut oil—such as Thai and Chinese—as merely inhaling the smell of nuts could set off an allergic reaction.

  7. Step 5

    Wear an ID bracelet

    Purchase and wear a medical ID bracelet that explains you have a peanut allergy so medical personnel know what to do in case of an emergency.

  8. Step 6

    Carry antihistamine

    Carry an over-the-counter antihistamine with you in case you start to have an allergic reaction.

  9. Step 7

    Carry injectable epinephrine

    If you know you’re at risk for a severe reaction, like shortness of breath or losing consciousness, have a doctor authorize you to carry an injectable dose of epinephrine (a shot of adrenaline) with you at all times.

  10. About 1 percent of Americans have a peanut allergy.

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