And in terms of injecting the epinephrine, Fineman says it's better to be safe than sorry.
"I reassure parents that if they think they need to give the epinephrine to their children, they should give it," Fineman said. "It's not going to hurt the child to get a dose if they don't need it, but could be detrimental if they do need a dose and don't get it."
It's certainly no fun to be an allergy sufferer, as severe food allergies can permeate many aspects of a person's life, Sicherer said.
"It's really important for people to learn how to read food labels, how to ask questions at restaurants, and learn which restaurants are totally off-limits," he said. "It can be a huge educational process, on how to recognize symptoms and treat them."
Bassett said it's important to have a food allergy action plan, created by an allergist, in place for home, school and camp to familiarize everyone on how to handle a reaction.
"In our practice, we recommend that an individual at risk of a food allergy have a food allergen ingredient card for eating outside of the home in order to reduce accidental exposure to the suspect foods," Bassett said.
Now, as we come upon the time of year filled with potluck dinners, holiday work parties and Aunt Suzy's mystery meat on the dinner table, doctors said it's important for parents to be extra vigilant with children who have food allergies.
Bassett said many of the Thanksgiving staples, like potatoes, stuffing, casseroles, pies and breads can be tainted with common allergy foods. And in general, high-risk foods that may contain peanuts, like Asian food, breakfast cereals, breads, desserts and gravy mixes, are worth extra watchfulness.
"Many individuals are surprised to find how easy it is to accidentally expose themselves to food allergies that are found in many common dishes, especially during the holidays," Bassett said. "Be sure to be a label detective and know that your food hasn't been contaminated."