Category Archives: food allergy

Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 11 – 19, 2014

food allergy awareness weekFood Allergy Awareness Week is designed to inform and educate families, schools, businesses, restaurants and our community about food allergies, safety and training.

As a mother of a child with severe peanut and tree nut allergy, I know the importance of reading every label and researching & calling a food manufacturer if there is no “may contain” statement. This statement is not mandatory in the US, so if it does not say “may contain” on the label, the food item could still have a danger of cross contamination.

I ask every restaurant about what is in the food and cross contamination dangers in the kitchen for every meal.

I show friends, family and caregivers how to use epinephrine in case of a food allergy reaction and leave it with them every time.

The only prevention is total avoidance of the allergen and there is no room for error when it comes to protecting those that we love.

Many families do not carry epinephrine even though their family members have known food and/or insect allergies.

Many people do not know that they need to carry two epinephrine pens in case of a reaction that lasts longer than the time it takes to get to an ER at the hospital.

Here are some valuable resources from FAACT.

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team Supports Food Allergy Awareness Week

Life-threatening food allergies affect more than 15 million Americans, including 6 million children

West Chester, OH – The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) encourages citizens across the nation to get involved with Food Allergy Awareness Week, May 11- 17. Simply learning a few “FAACTs” about food allergies and sharing them with family, friends, and caregivers could save a life.

Food allergies affect as many as 15 million Americans, including almost 6 million children. Food allergies can be life threatening – and are on the rise. The prevalence of food allergies appears to be increasing among children under the age of 18. A May 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that “between 1997 and 1999, food allergies affected about 3.4 percent of American children. By 2009 to 2011, that number rose to 5.1 percent – an increase of 50 percent in just over a decade.” That is two students in every classroom across America – and there is no cure for food allergies. The only way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid trigger foods.

That’s why it is so important for every member of the community to know what food allergies are and recognize a potentially life-threating reaction called anaphylaxis. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team is committed to raising awareness about food allergies and anaphylaxis in schools, restaurants, hotels, catering venues, amusement parks, and local communities across the country. To assist educators and advocates during this year’s Food Allergy Awareness Week, FAACT has shipped free resources to families and schools across the country, including:

 Over 65,000 free educational bookmarks

 25,000 FAACT brochures

 FAACT flyers, magnets, and food allergy booklets

In addition, a food allergy Education Resource Center for schools and families is available on the FAACT Web site.

“Our goal for Food Allergy Awareness Week is to encourage all citizens to recognize the value and importance of food allergy management, anaphylaxis prevention, and awareness,” stated Eleanor Garrow-Holding, President and CEO of FAACT. “Families and schools are important partners in this effort. We urge everyone to get involved and work together in their communities to create safer environments for individuals with food allergies.”

This starts with a visit to FAACT’s Web site and free education resource center. Ways to get involved include:

 Downloading free educational materials and sharing them with school staff and family members

 Contacting FAACT to learn more on how to obtain stock epinephrine for your school

 Becoming a better advocate by educating yourself about food allergies and anaphylaxis

 Sharing FAACT’s information in local communities

About The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT)

FAACT’s mission is to educate, advocate, and raise awareness for all individuals and families affected by food allergies and life-threatening anaphylaxis. FAACT is also your voice for food allergy awareness, from keeping children safe at school to dealing with workplace issues or simply taking the family out for a bite to eat. Managing a food allergy on a daily basis involves constant vigilance. FAACT is here to support you in managing your food allergies – today, tomorrow, and into the future. For more information, please visit us at www.FoodAllergyAwareness.org or call (513) 342-1293, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Resources:

 Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team

 Food allergy statistics from FAACT

 The American Academy of Pediatrics, “Management of Food Allergy in the School Setting”

 The American Academy of Pediatrics, “The Prevalence, Severity, and Distribution of Childhood Food Allergy in the United States”

Media Contact:

Eleanor Garrow-Holding, FAACT’s President and CEO

(815) 276-3015 or Eleanor.Garrow @ FoodAllergyAwareness.org

FAACT is able to consult on news stories and provide medical experts, spokespersons, and subjects while supplying up-to-date information on food allergies and anaphylaxis for your future media needs.

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The Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta 4th Annual Allergy Friendly Halloween Event on Saturday, October 19 from 1PM-4PM!

food allergy kids of atlanta halloween partyBring the family & join the fun during the Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta 4th Annual Halloween Party! We’ll celebrate this year with activities being held both indoors & outdoors at The Summit Autism Center in Roswell, GA!

  • Costume Awards (3 PM)
  • Room to room Trick-or-Treating
  • Dancing
  • Games
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Climbing Fun
  • Trace’s Bounce House
  • Basketball
  • Games
  • Fire & Rescue Trucks

RSVP to confirm@fakidsatl.org with number of adults & children attending!  A members only event – Membership is FREE!

Atlanta Food Allergy News and Events

auviqFood Allergy Kids of Atlanta has events coming up for teens and parents.

Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta Teen Event
Feb 17, 2013, 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Snow Mountain, Stone Mountain GA

Join us as we spend the day braving Avalanche Alley and tube runners with Dr. Luqman Seidu and the FA Kids of Atlanta volunteer team!
Many thanks to GA Allergy, Immunology, & Asthma for supporting the FA Kids 1st Annual Teen Event!

Fore details and to confirm, email Karen (at) foodallergykidsatl.org!

FA Kids Support Group Meeting
 
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Presentation will begin at 7:15 PM.
GUEST SPEAKER: Dr. Luqman Seidu, Georgia Allergy, Immunology, & Asthma 
TOPIC:
Food Allergies: How to recognize and treat a food allergy reaction and when to give epinephrine; Auvi-Q and Epipen discussion and demonstration.
(Please note – this will be an adult only event)
Following the presentation and questions & answers, attendees will have time to meet privately with Dr. Seidu and also meet other food allergic families in GA.

Beverages will be served and allergy friendly samples will be provided.

Food allergy resources, books, cookbooks, educational materials, 504 samples, newly diagnosed resources and more will be available for purchase & giveaway during the meeting!

Eggnots from eggnots.com will be available at $15.00 per dozen!

RSVP:

We hope to see you there! RSVP is requested for this event. Please send an email with event, number of guests attending, & any questions or concerns you would like addressed to confirm@fakidsatl.org, or by registering here: http://www.foodallergykidsatl.org/support-group-meetings.html

DIRECTIONS:

http://www.northside.com/locations/alpharetta_map.aspx
Northside Medical Complex
3400 Old Milton Parkway
Building C, Suite #310 (third floor – Educational Classroom)
Alpharetta, GA 30005

Review and register for scheduled meetings & events here: http://www.foodallergykidsatl.org/upcoming-events.html

Food Allergy News for September 2012.

food allergyNow that back to school is in full swing, I am thankful that my daughter’s school worked with me to create an allergy action plan to keep her safe. As a food allergy parent, I find that opportunities to educate and advocate about food allergies come daily (and are very much needed). And I am proud of my five year old daughter for the advocate she has become to protect her health and well-being. One of the ways to educate is to stay on top of industry news.

Here is a roundup of the latest food allergy news.

From Kids with Food Allergies – Mylan Specialty L.P. has partnered with, Julie Bowen, star of ABC’s hit show, “Modern Family,” as well as a mom in real life to a young son with life-threatening allergies, to launch a new educational initiative, Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis. The Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis Challenge™ is a competition for students (grades 1-12) to write an essay describing an original idea to help make schools more aware of and better prepared for anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. Fifteen students will win a $2,000 scholarship. More info is available at http://www.Anaphylaxis101.com/. Deadline for entries is Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.

For Atlanta food allergy families, Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta announced its 3rd Annual Allergy Friendly Halloween at Pirates Cove Adventure Golf in Duluth, GA!  Saturday, October 20, 10AM – 12PM! For more information and to RSVP, visit the website.

My favorite resource is Snack Safely for safe snacks. They announced an update for its list. Remember to always, always read the label and if you are not sure, call the manufacturer or avoid the item altogether.

The FAAN Walk for Food Allergy is lined up – ours is coming up in October. Get involved and raise money for this important cause!

Natural Foods Warehouse Crabapple Allergy Friendly Grocery Store Tour & Tasting, Monday May 14th

Natural Foods Warehouse on Crabapple Rd., is hosting an allergy friendly grocery tour and tasting on Monday, May 14th in honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week. This is an opportunity to sample the newest allergy friendly products on the market.

Vendors will be on-site and allergy friendly samples will include Bearitos, Just Tomato, Galaxy, Mina’s, Enjoy Life, Earth Balance, Udi’s, Dandie’s, and Tofutti products, just to name a few!

Allergy friendly cookbooks such as Allergy Free Desserts and the Food Allergy Mama’s Cookbook, plus many more will be available for purchase.

There will be door prizes, giveaways and more!

Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta will receive 5 percent of all sales on that day as part of the allergy friendly grocery store tour & tasting, hosted by Natural Foods Warehouse and Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta. Proceeds will help place food allergy educational materials in Georgia schools.

This nonprofit organization helps raise awareness of food allergy management and the seriousness in food allergy reactions in schools, daycares, and restaurants. The organization also hosts support group meetings, mom’s night out dinners, and provides a safe environment for food allergic children to participate in, through yearly activities and programs.

President and Founder Karen Harris say they plan to use most of the funds to purchase educational materials and stock epinephrine for Georgia schools. Delivering educational presentations and ensuring schools are stocked with life-saving medication can help to reduce the risk of food allergy reactions and fatalities in food allergic students.

Be sure to stop by the resource table to browse our food allergy educational materials. Natural Foods Warehouse hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday with the tour taking place 11 a.m – 2 p.m. The store is located in in Roswell at 12315 Crabapple Rd. For more information, call (404) 512-7983 or visit the FAAW event webpage at www.fakidsatl.org

Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 13 – 19, 2012.

Food Allergy Kids of AtlantaFood Allergy Awareness Week is the week of May 13 – 19, 2012. My daughter was diagnosed at age two with a peanut and egg allergy. She is now five and will be starting kindergarten in the fall.

I am preparing now for keeping her safe at school and that will require meetings with teachers, lunchroom staff, bus drivers and creating a health care plan. I have concerns such as peanuts brought in to the school for Georgia day where they were eaten outside by the playground (the dust is dangerous and can cause anaphylaxis) as well as other concerns such as candygrams given to children and peanut butter used in projects. This is why it is very important to establish a team based approach with your school and to communicate clearly what it is that you want for your child at school and writing it in a plan.

Food Allergy is an immune system response. It occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food — usually a protein — as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. Food allergy symptoms develop when the antibodies are battling the “invading” food.

Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, and the amount of food necessary to trigger a reaction varies from person to person and can even be triggered by just a trace amount of an allergy-causing food. Symptoms of a food allergy may include:

Rash or hives
Nausea
Stomach pain
Diarrhea
Itchy skin
Shortness of breath
Chest pain
Swelling of the airways to the lungs
Anaphylaxis (a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction)

Food Allergies are a potentially life-threatening medical condition that afflict as many as 15 million Americans including almost 6 million children.

Children with food allergies: 1 in 13. That’s two per classroom.

Emergency room visits caused by food-allergic reactions each year: 203,000. That’s one every three minutes.

Food allergies are life-altering for everyone involved — not just the kids (I know this from experience!)

Only eight foods account for 90% of the food-allergic reactions in the United States: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. And for those who may be unaware, even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction; there are no cures for food allergies.

It is the second anniversary for Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta. Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta was created to support families who manage food allergies, educate those who care for our children, and create a safer environment in the local area for food allergic individuals. I am thankful for this wonderful group of people and their dedication to educating schools and restaurants to help keep our children safe.

If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with a food allergy, or you think they have symptoms of one, go to an allergist and then find a local community support group. My daughter and I have learned so much from the wonderful families and doctors and you really feel like you are not alone as your learn to navigate in this food-centric world.

Resources:

Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta – local nonprofit in Atlanta

Food Allergy Statistics from FAAN, Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network

Food Allergies By The Numbers – FAI

Safe@School flyer – FAAN – Presentation for schools about food allergy management and the seriousness in food allergy reactions (up to 25% of first time reactions in children happen in school.) 

Food Allergy Awareness Week – FAAN

Helpful Information and Documents – FAAN

The Balancing Act (video) – Food Allergy Awareness for Parents

Articles

Is Your School Allergy Ready?

Food allergy symptomsIs your school allergy ready? States are in the process of passing epipen bills to stock schools with epipens in case of food allergy or allergy attack. In fact, 25% of allergic reactions happen at school for the first time.

In Georgia, you can schedule a Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta Safe@School presentation, or share the following online resources to help your school prepare for 2012 – Allergy Ready & Allergy Home both offer online courses for school staff.

Allergy Ready – Free, Interactive Online Course on Managing Food Allergies and Anaphylaxis in Schools http://allergyready.com/

Allergy Home – Managing Food Allergies in Schools: What School Staff Needs to Know http://www.allergyhome.org/schools/management-of-food-allergies-in-school-what-school-staff-need-to-know/

Image from Canada Safety Council.

Allergy Friendly Halloween Trunk or Treat in Atlanta on 10/29/11

It is that time of year again. For kids, it is a time to dress up as someone else and reap the benefits of trick or treat. For food allergic parents, it is a time to plan for a safe yet fun Halloween to ensure that our children enjoy the holiday without feeling left out.

Thanks to Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta, the 2011 allergy friendly halloween trunk or treat will help ensure that kids with food allergies have a ball at Halloween.

Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta 
2011 Allergy Friendly Halloween
“Trunk or Safe Treat”
When:  Saturday – October 29th, 2011
Time:  3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Where:  Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic/Marietta Eye Clinic (Parking Lot)
895 Canton Rd., Marietta, GA  30060
Day of Event Activities:
Food Free Trick or Treating
Most Creative Costume Prize
Most Creative Trunk Prize
Games & Prizes
Fun & Socializing
RSVP by October 26, 2011
 to Shandy@foodallergykidsatl.org or by calling 404-229-8243
Volunteers are needed to host trunks and/or to work game stations!


Food Allergy Walk in Atlanta is Set for October 1, 2011

Join us for the Food Allergy Walk in Atlanta on October 1. Money raised will help research food allergies and anaphylaxis of which there is currently no cure. There is also a blog about the walk. There will be lots of free fun family festivities after the walk in Dunwoody, GA as well.

Check-in for the Atlanta walk is at 9 a.m.; the walk begins at 10 a.m. at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody. It’s a two-mile walk, and baby strollers and wagons are welcome. A DJ, moonwalk, games, sponsor exhibits, and more will be onsite.

If you can’t participate, you can support a walker (me), give directly to the walk site, or volunteer on Walk Day. Individuals and teams are encouraged to register online. Please note: All walk participants, including children and infants in strollers/wagons, must be registered.

Also, welcome Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta. FA Kids of Atlanta was created to support families who manage food allergies, educate those who care for our children, and create a safer environment in the local area for food allergic individuals.

We are parents of food allergic children and advocates in our community, raising awareness on the importance of food allergy prevention and the seriousness in food allergy reactions.

Food Allergy is an immune system response. It occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food — usually a protein — as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. Food allergy symptoms develop when the antibodies are battling the “invading” food.

Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, and the amount of food necessary to trigger a reaction varies from person to person and can even be triggered by just a trace amount of an allergy-causing food. Symptoms of a food allergy may include:

Rash or hives
Nausea
Stomach pain
Diarrhea
Itchy skin
Shortness of breath
Chest pain
Swelling of the airways to the lungs
Anaphylaxis (a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction)

Over 12 million Americans have food allergies (that’s 1 in 25), and many experts insist that number is increasing. Just as an example: the incidence of a peanut allergy in children doubled in a five-year period (1997-2002).

Food allergies are most common in kids under three, where the occurrence is now one in 17 children. (My child falls into that category.) Food allergies are life-altering for everyone involved — not just the kids (I know this from experience!).

Only eight foods account for 90% of the food-allergic reactions in the United States: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. And for those who may be unaware, even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction; there are no cures for food allergies.

Traveling with Food Allergies on a Cruise

Our family is planning our annual trip to Walt Disney World in September. We are also excited to be going on the Disney Dream for a 3 night cruise to the Bahamas as part of the trip. While I am looking forward to it, I am also a little anxious as my youngest daughter has food allergies. We have been to WDW before and they are very accommodating. We also have a kitchen and cook many meals in to stay safe and save money. My worry lies in part two of our trip – the cruise.

In advance preparations, I called the Disney Cruise Line and told them of my daughter’s allergies. They noted our record and said there would be a meeting on the first day of the ship with the chef and the dining team. That made me feel a little better. I am still anxious until I speak with the actual Dream cruise staff. I know that we will have the same staff each night for meals and that we will discuss our meals in full detail each time.

I have since been talking to other families with food allergies to find out how their best cruise travel advice with food allergies. I posted a message on the Allergic Living forums and received wonderful advice from Jennifer. I am linking directly to the post as it is detailed and informative. Allergy Mouse has also been in touch with her and they posted her experience on their blog. I will be sure to blog about my experience after our trip as well.

Please share if you also have any travel tips for those with food allergies!