Food allergy educator and advocate Kyle Dine was the presenter of FARE’s November 18 webinar, “If I Only Knew Then What I Knew Now…Food Allergy Tips for Teens.” In addition to providing teens with tips for dealing with food allergies, Kyle shared his personal experiences growing up with food allergies—including mistakes he made that resulted in serious allergic reactions.
He started the webinar talking about the risk-taking often seen among teens, adding that teens’ brains are a work in progress and not fully matured until they reach their 20s.
He highlighted a survey of 174 teens with food allergies, which exposed some of the risks teens take: While 87 percent said they carry epinephrine, just 61 percent reported they always carry it.
Kyle went on to talk about bullying, peer pressure, feeling like a burden to others, and feeling excluded—all of which can result in risk-taking behavior. He then presented his top 10 list of tips for teens:
- Always carry epinephrine
- Take ingredient lists seriously
- Be aware of hidden allergens
- Know the risks of intimacy
- Don’t keep it a secret
- Wear medical identification
- Prove you’re responsible
- Own your allergies
- Be a leader, not a victim
- Stay positive
Kyle also had tips for parents, including making sure their teens are always prepared and to work with them to be more independent.
During the question and answer session, Kyle answered questions about ways to carry epinephrine auto-injectors, transitioning into college, dining out and how to deal with anxiety.
Additional resources for teens with food allergies:
- FARE’s Resources for Teens
- Food Allergy Teens Blog
- Teen Food Allergy Support Group (Facebook)
- Managing Food Allergies At College: A Prospective Student’s Guide
Join our next webinar!
- Speaker: James R. Baker Jr., MD, CEO, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)
- Wednesday, December 16, 1 p.m. ET