Archive for December, 2004

Outgrown peanut allergy? Keep this in mind…

Posted by SB Anderson on December 26th, 2004

In recent months, we have read about research concerning people who have outgrown their peanut allergies. Once outgrown, the allergy may return unless the person eats at least a little peanut product each month. On the flipside, that means those who outgrow their allergy and steer clear of peanuts altogether (which is not uncommon because peanut has been the “enemy” until now) may actually find themselves with allergic reactions once again. Another important point this article makes is that if a child does not outgrow his peanut allergy by age 6, the chances are incredibly low that he will in the future. The most critical point: Giving peanut products to a child who has a peanut allergy could have dire consequences; and will NOT help the child outgrow the allergy. Read more here

Behind-the-scene efforts for FA kids are especially important in school

Posted by SB Anderson on December 26th, 2004

Managing severe food allergies includes a lot of behind-the-scenes efforts, especially when it comes to keeping FA kids safe at school and included in school work, activities, lunchtime and parties. This Arizona family illustrates some of those efforts made on behalf of their 9-year-old daughter. For details, read more here

More holiday tips – this time for celiacs

Posted by SB Anderson on December 15th, 2004

More tips for those attending holiday gatherings. This one focuses on celiacs, who avoid gluten. The suggestions are much like the more general tips offered by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. Check it out here

Ingredient names confusing? Get a straight answer here

Posted by SB Anderson on December 15th, 2004

Just a small note pointing out some of the ingredients that may confuse when trying to avoid a certain allergen. Whether you’re someone new to food allergies or a host trying to keep your holiday fare free of a certain allergen, this short piece may answer your questions. Is nutmeg safe for those with tree nut allergies? Are non-dairy products free of milk? Check it out here

Making holidays happy for those with food allergies

Posted by SB Anderson on December 15th, 2004

The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) offers helpful hints for both those hosting a gathering and those with food allergies who will be guests at a gathering. The tips are helpful, but in reality, those with anaphylactic allergies may not want to eat because of the high risk of hidden ingredients and contamination. I like their suggestion to eat something safe before attending and then focus on socializing. If you do bring a dish to share, be sure to put some aside for yourself, because it would be so easy for another guest to unintentionally contaminate your safe dish with a wayward serving spoon. More tips here

Reminder: gluten-free living on the rise

Posted by SB Anderson on December 10th, 2004

We’re heard it before, but here’s a quick note about the surprising prevalence of celiac disease. Just a little reminder about what has become a relatively common condition — one that is very complicated to manage.

School district welcome kit is for everyone

Posted by SB Anderson on December 10th, 2004

Kudos to the Peel District School Board (Toronto, Canada) not only for translating its welcome kit into 26 languages, so every family can understand what’s going on and how to communicate with their children’s teachers and school staff. But, barely mentioned in the release about the kit: included in the information is the scoop on peanut allergy and how it’s handled. How wonderful for everyone in that district. Read the details here

Letter to Editor enlightening

Posted by SB Anderson on December 9th, 2004

This letter to the editor not only introduces us to the Food Allergy Advocates of Medfield (MA), a new advocacy group to assist children who have life threatening food allergies. The letter, written by the group’s founder, also serves to enlighten those who don’t know much about severe FAs. Check it out here

Texas mom puts face on the challenges of milk allergy

Posted by SB Anderson on December 9th, 2004

What a good story! This Texas mom acknowledges the extreme challenges of living with a child who has an allergy to milk. This comment says it all to me: “You start out with, ‘Oh my gosh, no milk.’ But there’s 50 or 60 layers under that. It’s 24-7.” That is so true! Melissa Carley’s daughter is only 3 and she’s already formed a chapter of Families With Food Allergies, a support group for parents of children with severe food allergies. While readers get a fairly intimate look at the Carley family’s life, impacted in just about every way by FA; the story goes further. We learn about different school districts around the country that have an increased awareness of students with FAs and are designing policies to keep those students safer. The best example is the Massachusetts Department of Education. Read the story here

Dealing with asthma (as many with FAs do)

Posted by SB Anderson on December 3rd, 2004

This article is important because many with food allergies do have asthma. What caught my eye was the point that while most people think audible wheezing is the main symptom of asthma, most often it’s actually coughing. That misconception kept our pediatrician from suggesting that our little boys’ ongoing and oft-recurring barky cough was actually asthma (due to mold, dust and milk allergies — none of which had been diagnosed at the time). So, for that reason alone I think this article is worth reading. Other points of interest include reducing the risk, recognizing asthma attacks and treating them. My only concern is the suggestion to feed children fish early in life (to be sure they’re getting good omega-3 fatty acids). If your child is at risk of developing a fish allergy (and you may not be able to determine the risk), this would introduce one of the top eight most common allergens earlier than recommended by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network and other food allergy experts. Read the details here