The warmer weather is here. In fact, it’s downright hot. That means that barbecues and picnics probably aren’t far behind!

And if you’re one of the 15 million Americans with a food allergy, you don’t have to sit out these fun events. Our team at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville wants to share ways you can protect yourself and manage your food allergies so that you no longer have to miss out.

Protect Yourself From Food Allergies

No one wants to miss out on the fun this spring and summer just because they suffer from food allergies—and they shouldn’t have to. Especially since there are many ways people can protect themselves during family cookouts and gatherings this season.

Let’s take a look at a few.

What Does the Food Label Say?

If you suffer from food allergies, you should always read the food label on any food you eat. Food labels are required by law to indicate whether any of the most common allergens are contained within the product.

However, just because you read a food label once, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to read it again. Because food manufacturers are constantly changing the ingredients in some of your favorite foods, it’s important to double-check the product label regularly to ensure nothing has changed.

What’s Cooking?

If you’re the one doing the cooking, it’s important to take note of the food allergies of anyone you’re cooking for.

This also includes cross-contamination when cooking. Although you might not serve someone a salad with almonds if they have a nut allergy, sometimes even having nuts in the pantry or around other items can cross-contaminate the food you’re preparing.

It’s important to be extremely careful when preparing foods for those who have food allergens—and talk with the person or his or her parent about precautions you should take.

If you’re the person with the allergy, be sure to talk with your host about any foods you’re planning to eat to ensure they don’t contain an allergen.

Enjoy the Town With Care

So many things are happening this spring and summer around Knoxville that you won’t want to miss out. However, at some of these happenings, such as at the Children’s Festival of Reading, food will be served.

Therefore, it’s always important to ask questions to ensure the foods you’re eating don’t contain an allergen and/or weren’t cooked near your allergen. Remember, better safe than sorry—so always ask!

Sometimes, no matter how careful you try to be, allergic reactions happen. When they do, it’s important to be prepared.

From medical identification bracelets to an EpiPen for emergencies, it’s important to always bring your allergen information with you in case something happens and you are unable to verbally communicate your needs.

Believe you could be experiencing a food allergy? Visit our medical team at AFC Urgent Care Knoxvilletoday to talk about your symptoms with one of our knowledgeable providers.