College and Nut Allergies

How are kids with food allergies managing at college?

At the risk of sounding like a nervous mother, I'm reaching out to see how kids with nut allergies dealt with being in college and eating dorm food and the like. As my daughter approaches the time to start applying for colleges and I start thinking about what all to consider, I wondered if parents of kids with allergies could enlighten me about if there was anything to consider with college choices. My daughter has a tree nut allergy that used to be mild, but has gotten more severe when she reached high school (our allergist told us that that can happen in the teen years). She obviously carries an Epi-Pen and knows to go to the hospital if she has a reaction. We're all clear on that kind of thing. But I wonder how careful the dormitories are with alerting students about ingredients contained in the cafeteria food. 

Has anyone had experience dealing with this with their child? Any advice is appreciated.

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RE: College and Nut Allergies ()

For whatever university you select, I highly recommend that she complete the required paperwork to inform the Disabilities department of her allergies, so she can get housing, dining and academic accommodations as needed. Our youngest daughter did so only after struggling for a year to manage her escalating food allergies. By way of context, she was born allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts. At age 5 she “outgrew them,” but continued to be a “picky” eater. She carried epi pens but never needed to use them. In high school she suffered a concussion and had many, severe headaches for months. In retrospect we think they were due to both the fall and her escalating allergies. She (and we) thought she could manage a shared double room and eating in the dining hall (both required for freshmen), but that was not to be the case. Currently she has many life-threatening food allergies as well as oral allergy syndrome. She has had many adverse reactions (for which Benadryl helped but caused her to have to sleep for long periods) and had to go to the ER twice in the last year. She now has a university private room in a two-bedroom apartment with kitchen (at the same rate as her shared double room in one of the dorms). Feel free to contact me through the moderator if you want to talk further about any of this. 

RE: College and Nut Allergies ()

Lots of information here:

Good luck!