Discovering that your child has a food allergy can be difficult. In addition to the pain of the allergy itself, you and your child may need to overcome fears, monitor food constantly, and overcome any embarrassment of explaining the allergy to others. Here are a few ways to navigate managing food allergies.

Thoroughly read food labels. This may seem basic, but labels are misleading at times. You need to know all the names the allergen falls under, in case it’s not obvious.

Always ask which ingredients are in the food you’re given. It can be tiring, annoying, embarrassing and emotionally draining to have to ask which ingredients are in your food every time. But for your child’s safety, it’s a necessity. Your friends and family would prefer to keep your child out of the emergency room, than for you to not ask this question. You won’t inconvenience anyone by finding out if the food has an ingredient your child is allergic to.

Recognize the symptoms and help others recognize them, too. Allergic reactions to food may include impacts to the skin, the eyes, upper respiratory and lower respiratory functions, the mouth, gastrointestinal functions, cardiovascular system, and others. Knowing all of the symptoms and being able to tell others how to spot them can help one nip a reaction in the bud at the first sign.

Prepare an emergency action plan. Everyone your child comes into contact with needs to know what to do during an allergic reaction. Free templates are available online that you or your child’s physician can fill out, and they will outline the proper procedure to care for your child with allergies.

Know how to use an auto-injector. Tutorials are available online. You can also ask a pharmacist to show you. These are life-saving tools for people with food allergies.

Hopefully, these tips will help you navigate managing food allergies for your child. Most importantly, follow your doctor’s advice.