Our Experience of Travelling with a Nut Allergy

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but Doodle has a Nut Allergy. Apparently it’s not a mega one on the nut allergy scale but severe enough to have to carry a bottle of antihistamine & an Epi Pen with us wherever we go…just incase!

We are planning a short trip away at Easter & I’m just making sure we have a plentiful stock of the required drugs & it reminded me of the first flight we took with Doodle, knowing she had her nut allergy. I thought I would share our experience with you incase it would help you or a friend at any time.

Our Story

So, as I mentioned we have Epipens dotted all around (at nannies house, at school, at my sisters, in the car & in my handbags!) My thinking is that it’s better to have one in all these places than to run the risk of forgetting to leave it. The “expiry date” on them is usually quite short so I do find I am always updating supplies but Id rather that than the alternative. As well as Epipens we also have prescribed antihistamine medicine – a massive bottle of! So when we go away (and with the various Epipens scattered across the country) we also have small bottles of OTC (Over The Counter) medicine.

In our hand luggage, amongst all the other millions of things we needed to have readily available with a 2-year-old, I had an Epipen & a bottle of OTC antihistamine medicine. However, this bottle of medicine did not make it through customs! Despite a rather heated “discussion” with the customs officer, where we explained that our daughter had a Nut Allergy & we needed to carry this medicine on us, he insisted that we throw our sealed/unopened bottle of OTC medicine away & go to the Chemist situated in the Departure Lounge & buy a 70ml bottle at a horrendously expensive price! His argument was that it was over 100ml, but he then went on to say that if it had been a prescribed bottle, it would have been fine!

I can honestly say this was the most frustrating thing I had ever heard…I know there are rules but this was madness and as far as I was concerned it was potentially putting my daughter’s life at risk. But we had no choice other than to do as he demanded and make our way to the chemist to buy a different bottle. The chemist however stocked only a version of the medicine suitable over the age of 6 – I was furious!! Doodle was just 2 at the time but after discussion we decided that having something was better than not, so we bought a bottle & hoped!

I did however, pop back to the Officer and advise him that maybe if he was going to prevent someone travelling with a certain medication he should first ensure that a replacement could actually be purchased. I bid him a good day, with a grimace!

If you have any experiences like this or wish to offer advice to others on travelling with children with a Nut Allergy or any other allergies then please do comment in the boxes below this post. It would be great to hear from you.

With love, Ella xx

Written by Ella Smyth for The Keepsake Company


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