All Posts in Category: Allergies

How to Plan a Menu for an Allergy-Free Spring Party

Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠ offers suggestions for throwing an allergy-free spring party.

Did you know that about 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies? That number includes about seven million children, most of whom are allergic to more than one kind of food. If you’re planning a party, whether for adults or kids, it’s a good idea to try to avoid the most common allergens in your party foods.  Here, we’ve got some tips for throwing an allergy-free spring party that will be fun for everyone on the guest list!

Know the most common allergens. Hopefully, you’ll be aware of any allergies your guests have, so that you can prepare dishes that cater to their particular needs. If you’re unsure, though, plan a menu that avoids these common allergens: milk, peanuts, eggs, fish, wheat, sesame, shellfish, soy, and some tree nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts.

Rethink cake. Reading through the above list, you know doubt noticed that some of the most common allergens are also the ingredients in cake. Fortunately, you can make non-traditional cakes that are dairy-free and even wheat-free. To make sure everyone at the party can have an allergy-free treat, consider making multiple cakes.

Plan a healthy snack table. Avoid serving nuts because even putting them on the table can create contamination. Instead, serve snacks like vegetable sticks, raisins, hummus and popcorn. Fresh fruit is a great option because you know exactly what’s in it. Make fruit kebabs, a fruit salad, or a platter with different types of fruit, for a sure-fire hit.

Offer some gluten-free options. Gluten free cookies, doughnuts, and flour-less cakes can be delicious. For savory treats, buffalo wings and dip with carrots and celery are good options. And did you know that popcorn is gluten-free? Go for butter and salt popcorn for a healthy, popular snack.

Consider making it a BYO affair. Encouraging guests to bring their favorite snacks to share is a great way to ensure that everyone has something safe to eat and enjoy. It’s also fun because it gives everyone the opportunity to taste things they may not have ever tried before!

Don’t just focus on the menu. Did you know that some arts and crafts supplies can have allergens, too? For example, wheat ingredients in play dough have been known to trigger allergies. Be careful with party favors, too. Candies can sometimes be an issue, so stick to things like stickers, puzzles, bracelets, and games for party favor bags that are safe for everyone.

When in doubt, choose a venue. Sometimes, your best option is really just to let someone else handle the details. Professional party venues can accommodate children’s allergy needs, as long as they’re informed ahead of time. Make sure the staff and manager know about the allergies so that you can be sure the menu and facility are free of any allergens that could be hazardous to your guests.

Taking some time to plan can make your party fun and safe, even for your guests with allergies. If you or your children suffer from allergies, it’s a good idea to look for an experienced, board-certified allergist. The physicians at Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM are the region’s most experienced allergists in high-risk food allergy testing and challenges.  Call 610-825-5800 or visit the website for an appointment, or to learn more.


The post How to Plan a Menu for an Allergy-Free Spring Party appeared first on Allergy Doctor of King of Prussia – Allergy & Asthma Specialists.

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How to treat a Bee Sting and Identify an Allergic Reaction

Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM explains what to do in case of a bee sting, how to treat it, and what to watch for in terms of allergic reactions to bee stings.

Spring and summer are wonderful seasons for getting outside and enjoying nature. It’s important to remember, though, that humans aren’t the only species out and about in the warmer weather. We share our peaceful natural spaces with many little creatures, some of whom can cause some pain if we encounter them. Bee stings are something that can happen quickly and cause pain to the average person, but can cause much worse effects for someone who is allergic to them. Do you know what to do in case of a bee sting? Just in time for the warmer weather, here’s a guide on how to treat bee stings and identify an allergic reaction.

Be aware that the most important thing to do is to get the stinger out as quickly as possible. A bee’s stinger releases venom the entire time it’s in a person’s skin, so the longer it stays in, the more pain and swelling the person will experience. Another note: the following apply not only to bee stings but also to the stings of wasps and hornets.

Keep your cool. If you are stung by something, walk calmly away from the area. While bees are typically only able to sting once, wasps and hornets can sting again after they’ve already stung you. To avoid additional stings, get out of the vicinity of the bugs.

Get the stinger out of the skin. Wasps and hornets don’t leave their stingers behind, but if you were stung by a bee, there’s likely to be a stinger in your skin. You can remove it by scraping over it with a piece of gauze, your fingernail, or even a credit card, but never use tweezers to pull out a stinger. Tweezers can squeeze the stinger and cause it to release more venom into your skin.

Wash the area that has been stung with soap and water. This will help to reduce the chance of a bacterial infection resulting from the sting.

Use a cold pack to ease pain and swelling. If this does not help, or the swelling moves to another part of your body, seek emergency medical attention as quickly as possible.

Try over-the-counter pain relievers. A sting from a bee, wasp, or hornet can be very painful, but the pain can often be alleviated with medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Follow the instructions on the label for appropriate dosage.

Signs of an allergic reaction. Localized swelling of the sting site is not an allergic reaction. Systemic symptoms, i.e. symptoms away from the sting site are of concern. Swelling, especially in your face or neck, can be a sign of an allergic reaction. Also, pay attention to other symptoms of allergic reaction like trouble breathing, nausea, dizziness, or hives. Now is the time to go to the emergency department.

For most people, bee stings do not cause a severe reaction. It’s important to pay attention after someone has been stung, though, because serious symptoms could be a sign of an allergic reaction. Do not ignore even a mild allergic reaction. A mild allergic reaction will be more severe if an individual is stung again, possibly resulting in anaphylactic shock.  Seek help from an experienced, board-certified allergist highly trained in testing for stinging insect allergies and prescribing life saving treatment.  Call 610-825-5800 or visit the website for an appointment, or to learn more.



The post How to treat a Bee Sting and Identify an Allergic Reaction appeared first on Allergy Doctor of King of Prussia – Allergy & Asthma Specialists.

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