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Food Allergy Resources

Unexpected Allergenic Food Ingredients in Non-food Items

October 2005

There are many non-food items in your home that are also potential sources of allergens. Watch out for:

  • Play Dough: Commercially available "play dough" contains wheat. If your child is allergic to wheat, you can make a wheat-free homemade version.

  • Bird Feeders: If you keep a bird feeder in your yard, check the ingredients of the bird seed. Many commercially available bird seeds contain peanuts, wheat products, and milk products – plus, of course, seeds.

  • Stuffed Toys: Crushed and finely ground peanut or tree nut shells are sometimes used as part of the stuffing material of bean bags, bean bag-type stuffed animals, "draft blockers" that go under doors to prevent drafts, and other such items. If your child is allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, only buy stuffed toys and other items that are stuffed with polyester fiberfill or other synthetic products.

  • Pet Food: Many pet foods contain ingredients to which your child may be allergic. Watch out for this in your home, and watch out for this when visiting other people’s homes.

  • Anything You Give to Your Baby or Toddler: If your child is a baby or toddler, be especially careful of anything that you give to her to hold or play with. Babies and toddlers put everything into their mouths. Anything given to them must be completely safe and free of allergenic food residue.

Copyright (c) 2004, Linda Marienhoff Coss, All rights reserved.

Excerpted with permission from "How to Manage Your Child's Life-Threatening Food Allergies: Practical Tips for Everyday Life" by Linda Marienhoff Coss.

More information about this book can be found in KFA's Allergy Book Shop.

Reviewed by KFA Medical Advisory Team August 2005

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Page last updated 7/29/2012

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