Did you know that May 12-18th is Food Allergy Awareness Week. It is estimated that 1 in every 13 children suffers from a serious or even life threatening allergy.
As a former pediatric nurse, I understand how serious allergic reactions can be. This is why I rushed my own husband to the ER three weeks ago after serving him a shrimp stir fry dinner. It was a meal we had enjoyed together MANY times before but never again. He had a sudden and severe allergic reaction to the shrimp. It took several medications and hours in the ER before his swelling, redness and severe hives began to subside.
Prevention and avoidance are the best treatments for any allergy sufferers. Obviously when traveling on a family vacation you are not in control of your immediate environment. Avoiding the foods and items that cause allergies can be difficult and stressful while away from home.
The folks at Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts stand ready to assist allergic guests. They can help to make your Walt Disney World Vacation as worry free as humanly possible for any family members who have severe allergies. This is great news for families who are especially concerned about taking a Disney vacation with kids that allergies.
Of course, allergic people or their parents need to take the normal necessary precautions when planning any vacation. Speak with your doctor or pediatrician. Let them know your travel plans so your health professional can offer customized health and wellness suggestions. Make sure you have enough medication and keep it with you at ALL times, especially epi-pens if they are warranted. It's also a great idea to get some allergy cards. These can help insure that nothing gets lost in translation between a waiter and a chef. They can also help overcome any possible language barriers.
Be sure to let us know that if anyone in the family has allergies, special dietary restrictions or metabolic disorders. Our Vacationkids travel agents know who to contact at Disney special services. We need to do this at least 14 days prior to your arrival. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Hotel and using the Disney Dining Plan, we can ensure that you have dining reservations and that the chef and kitchen staff are aware of any food intolerances. Normally Disney World Chefs will come out to your table and speak with you prior to any food preparation. This will help ensure clear communication and lessen the possibility of any cross contamination too.
During my recent visit to Walt Disney World, I witnessed chefs talking to families many times, even in the quick service hotel food courts. The chefs asked questions, offered alternative meal or ingredient suggestions to the guests and their families.
Food allergies are not the only type of allergy attack that can interrupt a fun family vacation at Walt Disney World. Allergy sufferers can also be sensitive to specific cleaning solutions, laundry detergents or things like latex. Our staff can communicate these concerns to the appropriate departments at Walt Disney World Hotels. Linens can be prepared prior to arrival with fragrance free soaps, deep cleaning and dusting can help asthmatics and any allergic irritants can be removed from your guest rooms. Disney special services can also help alert us to any areas of the theme parks that may contain specific allergic materials to be avoided. For example, latex can be found in some of the seats and tires on a few attractions. This way guests can be alerted so that they can either come prepared or avoid those attractions entirely depending on the severity of their allergies.
Be Our Guests - And Walt Disney World really does put this these words to the test when it comes to creating a warm and welcoming environment for allergy sufferers. We know this news will put many families at ease knowing they can enjoy a fun filled and worry free family vacation.