lady with icecream

Living with
severe allergies

Follow these tips to help reduce your risk of a severe allergic reaction at home and when you go out.

1 Avoid allergy triggers whenever possible.

Click on your allergy trigger below for specific tips on how you can avoid them:

  • Always check ingredient labels on packaged food
  • Avoid packaged food with precautionary statements (e.g., “may contain”) for your allergen(s)
  • Avoid eating food with ingredients you don’t recognize
  • Avoid eating food that doesn’t have an ingredients list (e.g., bulk bins)
  • Keep in mind:
    • - Some food products may contain hidden ingredients
    • - Labelling requirements differ from country to country, so pay special attention to food labels when travelling

Dining out:

  • Tell the restaurant which foods you’re allergic to whenever you make a reservation and before you order
  • Check with the manager or chef regarding their allergy policies and procedures so you can make an informed decision on the menu options available
  • Ask how food is prepared and how they prevent possible cross-contamination
    • - Cross-contamination can occur when food accidentally comes in contact with small amounts of a food allergen during manufacturing or food preparation; it can also occur through contact with utensils, surfaces, or objects

At special celebrations:

  • Alert the host to your food allergies ahead of time and when you arrive at the event
  • Offer to bring food that is safe for you to eat
  • Avoid sharing food or drinks with friends
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after eating
  • Carry your EpiPen® Auto-Injector with you at all times in case of a severe allergic emergency

If your child has a food allergy:

  • Offer to chaperone at the event
  • Work with the host to organize activities that can help ensure your child feels like they’re part of the group
  • Remind your child to tell an adult and not to wander off alone if they suspect symptoms are beginning
  • Pack an EpiPen® Auto-Injector in your child’s backpack and teach other adults how to use EpiPen®
Insect stings and bites
  • Avoid insects and nests
  • Consider your clothing choices
    • -Wear long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes
    • -Avoid bright colours, perfumes, and going barefoot outside
  • Use insect repellent against mosquito bites
  • Cover all food when outdoors
  • Stay calm and back away slowly from insects or from someone who just got stung in case more are nearby
  • Read labels carefully
  • Avoid all products that contain latex
  • Look for latex-free or synthetic latex options
  • Tell your healthcare provider about your allergy; most clinics and hospitals can use non-latex alternatives
  • Avoid taking the medication you’re allergic to and medications similar to the one you’re allergic to
  • Tell all your healthcare providers (e.g., doctor, dentist, pharmacist) about your allergy
  • Ask about alternative medication
  • Avoid eating before and after exercise
  • Exercise with a friend, and tell them what to do in case you have a reaction
  • Stop exercising at the first sign of any symptoms


2 Wear medical identification and carry a card that lists your medical information.

A medical identification bracelet or necklace and card can help to quickly identify your condition in a severe allergic emergency. This is particularly important for those who are at risk of idiopathic anaphylaxis and consequently have an unidentified trigger.

3 Make allergy preparedness a team effort.

It’s not easy keeping track of your allergy triggers. And you may not be able to tell others how to use EpiPen® during a severe allergic reaction.

Take the time to educate family and friends about your severe allergic reactions and what to do in the event of an emergency.

4 Carry EpiPen® with you at all times.

Carry your EpiPen® Auto-Injector with you at all times and use it immediately at the first signs of a severe allergic reaction.

Ask your healthcare provider to write additional prescriptions so you can keep an EpiPen® Auto-Injector at multiple locations:

Your bag
EpiPen® carrier
Your EpiPen® carrier

If you’re at risk of having a severe allergic reaction, it’s important to have easy access to an EpiPen® Auto-Injector wherever you go.

Keep your EpiPen® Auto-Injector
close at hand with an
EpiPen® Waistpack.