LaunchPAD Children’s Museum

Position on Food Allergies

Definition: Allergic reactions are an immune-system hypersensitivity to a particular substance called an allergen.

For many allergic individuals, exposure to an allergen results in mild symptoms. But for some people, allergic reactions can be life threatening. The most dangerous symptoms include difficulty breathing and a drop in blood pressure, which are potentially fatal. Called anaphylaxis, this severe and lightning-fast allergic reaction may affect children with known allergies and those without known allergies.

Between 1 percent and 2 percent of people are at risk for anaphylaxis from food and stinging insects. The most common allergens, accounting for 90 percent of allergic reactions, are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

With hundreds of visitors each week and the wide range of food allergies, it is not possible to maintain an allergy free environment within the museum, nor in its outdoor environments. Therefore, these guidelines depend on those with food allergies to be responsible for their own age-appropriate education and self-advocacy. Those with potentially serious allergies should recognize the inherent risks of attending a public community space frequented by very young children and others who are unaware or unaccustomed to the needs of people with food allergies.

LaunchPAD Children’s Museum seeks to support those with food allergies in the following ways:

  • Signage is posted at the museum entrance noting that food containing allergens may be present and/or sold on site.
  • Guests are required to use designated eating areas within the museum.
  • Exhibits, exhibit props, educational rooms, rental spaces and office areas are cleaned on a regular basis.
  • In the designated areas and on the museum’s website, LaunchPAD highlights steps visitors can take to lower the risk of initiating an allergic reaction.
  • If a child with known food allergies is left in the care of LaunchPAD staff for a camp, class or event, the parents/caregivers are asked to inform staff of said allergies and provide the medicine epinephrine and instruct the museum staff in the administration of the medicine in the event of an allergic reaction. If an allergic reaction occurs, LaunchPAD staff will call 911 and the parents/caregivers of the child.

The following information is posted in all eating areas:

Parents / caregivers of children visiting LaunchPAD are reminded that children in their care should:

  • Refrain from trading or sharing food with other children;
  • Only consume food in designated areas;
  • Refrain from eating foods with unknown ingredients or known to contain any allergens;
  • Be aware of allergen exposure risks;
  • Wash hands before and after eating.