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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.

Instructions

  • : Consult your physician to see if your allergies qualify you to receive a prescription for an epinephrine autoinjector or other medications.
  • Step 1: Avoid direct contact Avoid direct contact with peanuts or anyone who has recently handled peanuts.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Be careful with alternative snacks: sunflower seeds and chocolate candies are often processed in the same factories as peanuts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Step 6: Carry antihistamine Carry an over-the-counter antihistamine with you in case you start to have an allergic reaction.
  • 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.
  • FACT: About 1 percent of Americans have a peanut allergy.

You Will Need

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

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