One rite of passage many of us look back on fondly is our first slumber party. The late night giggles, the games, and last but not least, the snacks! Oh, the snacks!
For children with allergies, staying safe while enjoying time having fun with their friends can be a bit challenging. Other families may not be aware of the steps they need to take to keep your child safe, or just how serious an allergic reaction can be. So, planning ahead and letting your child know what to expect is key.
One of the best slumber party tips for kids with food allergies is reaching out to the host well in advance to make them fully aware of your child’s food allergy. This helps to ensure that you have the host’s full attention and gives them time to reach out with questions before the event.
When it comes to the safety and health of your child, over-communication can be a great thing! Some of the topics we recommend covering are:
• Party food for kids with allergies: Discuss what will be served and whether meal and snack time will be supervised. If the host is open to suggestions, share some ideas on good treats for children with food allergies. If sending a safe treat or meal for your child is an option, let the host know (this can be a great way to introduce the host and your children’s peers to yummy and safe foods).
• How and when to use an EpiPen: Set up a time for you and your child to teach the host and their child what food allergy symptoms to watch out for, whom to contact, as well as how and when to use an EpiPen.
• Emergency contact information: Last but certainly not least, be sure to give the host your contact information and request that they reach out in the case of emergency, or if they have any questions.
If you are aware that there will be snacks or treats your child needs to steer clear of at the slumber party, let the host and your kiddo know. Perhaps, send your child with something special so they don’t feel left out. Discussions and reminders with your child about safe eating are also important. After all, your child is the last line of defense.
We know these conversations can be challenging, but the more you have them, the more comfortable you and your child will be when the next invite rolls in. Including your child in the planning can help make it fun. For example, if you opt to send them with a snack, take their input. Maybe even prepare it together. The other kids might just be jealous.
With two parts preparation, three parts conversation, and one part perspiration, your little one will be well on their way to their first of many fun-filled slumber parties.