Posts from ‘Food Allergies’

Sep
05

This past July, Lisa Chan, a Minnesota mom to a child with food allergies, was planning to approach her local city, Shoreview, to ask if they would help educate people about food allergies and (hopefully) prevent allergic reactions at the parks. As part of the process, Lisa researched if signs like this exist and asked other parents in the Minnesota Food Allergy Support Group Facebook group, which is where I first heard about this initiative. No one in the group had seen signs like this before, but that didn’t stop Lisa.

She shares her story below in this Q&A interview on the new signs she requested and were successfully installed. Thank you Lisa for sharing your story and inspiring so many families.

What do the new signs say?

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Nov
05

trunk or treatBy now you’ve likely heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project – a food allergy mom came up with the idea to help be inclusive of kiddos with food allergies. A teal pumpkin on a doorstep signifies the homeowner has either non-food treats or allergy-friendly treats. It’s a great idea and we’ve been keeping a teal pumpkin on our doorstep for the last three years.

This year our local food allergy group held an allergy-friendly trunk-or-treat event. A member of our group found a church parking lot who was willing to let us use their space. All of the participants agreed to only give out candy that was free of the top 8 allergens or non-food items.

I had never been a part of a trunk-or-treat before and needed to figure out how to decorate the trunk of my car. I had seen an example of a teal-pumpkin themed car on Oriental Trading website and was inspired. So I ordered supplies from them and the car turned out really great. I also used some of the FARE posters explaining the Teal Pumpkin Project.

toysThe week before the event, I actually heard from the folks at Oriental Trading company about their Halloween toy packages, which are perfect for handing out to trick-or-treaters. They offered to send some my way to use on Halloween or donate to our food allergy group. I loved that they had so many options and chose the Mega Deluxe Toy Assortment and Halloween bracelets. We used these to give out at the trunk-or-treat event and donated some to school for the kid’s Halloween party. Thank you to Oriental Trading for helping make it easy to support kids with food allergies and for being generous to share with our family and community.

Disclosure: I paid for all the vehicle decorations from Oriental Trading. The giveaway toys were provided for free in exchange for sharing information about them on my blog. My opinions, as always, are my own.

Oct
09

skin test allergyWe had a REALLY big event in our family last week – my eight year old Avery who has severe food allergies passed a baked milk challenge! Woot!

Avery has had food allergies since she was a baby, diagnosed at 12 months. Each year she has IgE blood testing to see if her allergy sensitivity increases or decreases. It’s one way to monitor if she will be able to outgrow any of her allergies. Her allergists have suggested that she may, someday, outgrow her milk and egg allergies – although the allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish will likely be lifelong.

The milk numbers have continued to drop each year and this year her allergist said he was comfortable with us performing a baked milk challenge.

It’s not uncommon for children with a milk allergy to be able to eat milk baked into food at a high heat. “Recent evidence suggests that 70–80% of children with IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy will tolerate baked milk products.5 Furthermore, children with milk allergy who tolerate baked milk products may outgrow their milk allergies faster than those who cannot tolerate baked milk,1” according to a published study, Predicting Food Challenge Outcomes for Baked Milk: Role of Specific IgE and Skin Prick Testing.

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Jun
30

epipensMany people are afraid to use EpiPens in an emergency because they have needles. But the fact is that EpiPens are super easy to use. They are called auto-injectors because they already have the medicine in them and you basically just need to point and push to give the medicine. No measuring medicine or dealing with syringes.

My daughter has severe food allergies and carries two EpiPens with her on a belt whenever she leaves the house. I make sure to train anyone who will be watching her on how to use the EpiPens in case of a food allergy reaction.

Last night we were using expired EpiPens to practice as a family and reacquaint ourselves with what it’s like to give an EpiPen injection. I also wanted to make sure everyone understood the new FDA instructions to hold the EpiPen for only three seconds. My daughter wanted to demonstrate for all of you how easy it is.

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Jun
14
updated patient instructions for EpiPen

Updated EpiPen instructions – click on the image to enlarge.

There is really big news for anyone who carries EpiPens, or spends time with someone who carries an EpiPen or EpiPen Jr.

Mylan reached out to me as a blogger via email to help get the word out. For those of you who like to double and triple-check your sources, you can also find this information on the FDA website and FARE just published an update as well: Updates to Instructions for Epinephrine Auto Injectors.

WHAT ARE THE NEW PATIENT INSTRUCTIONS?

The EpiPen device has NOT changed, but the instructions on how to use EpiPens have changed. I’ve highlighted changes in the image here (quick and easy way to see what’s new). Below are more details provided by Mylan (the pharma company which markets and distributes the EpiPen):

1. Hold patient’s leg and limit movement during administration

Lacerations, bent needles and embedded needles have been reported when epinephrine has been injected into the thigh of young children who are uncooperative and kick or move during an injection. In order to minimize the risk of injection-related injury when administering the epinephrine injection to young children, caregivers are advised to hold the child’s leg firmly in place and limit movement prior to and during injection.

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