Sports and Food Allergies

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Dear Alexander,

I am taking gymnastics after school. Our teacher lets us take a snack break because it's right after school. I love doing gymnastics but I sometimes wonder if I might have a reaction because of someone else's snack (for example, what if they eat something that contains something I'm allergic to, and that food got onto the gym equipment?). Should I stop taking gymnastics?

You shouldn't stop doing something you love because of your food allergies. Together with your parents, you can talk to the gymnastics teacher about things that can be done to help you avoid allergic reactions.

Remember, serious reactions typically only happen when you eat a food to which you are allergic. But there are a couple of precautions that can be taken to help keep you safe and feel reassured. Ask your teacher to make a rule that every gymnast must wash their hands after snack time (as well as before, of course), especially if everyone is going to be handling the same equipment, such as uneven bars or a vault. By taking a few extra steps, you can keep taking gymnastics and have a great time while staying safe.

Good luck!

Your friend,

Alexander Signature
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The information above is not designed to take the place of a doctor’s instructions. Patients are urged to contact a doctor for specific information regarding guidelines for care.

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