I am the very proud grandmother of two beautiful children. Ethan is 7, loves all things baseball, especially the Red Sox, is whip-smart, handsome and a great kid. Abby is 5, loves everything pink, Barbies, mermaids, unicorns, ponies and princesses. She is an ebullient red-head. Problem: they both are highly allergic to peanut. To anyone who doesn’t take food allergies seriously, I can tell you that both kids have been hospitalized, with my grandson experiencing anaphylaxis (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anaphylaxis/DS00009) three times. His throat starts to close up, his EpiPen (Epinephrine) (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602835) literally saving his life. I share this information to spread the word about the dangers of food allergies. Not only is Ethan allergic to peanut, but also to egg, certain fruits, molds, pollens and all fur-bearing mammals. Abby’s one known allergy is to peanut, but on a measured ascending scale of 1-100 in sensitivity, she is at 96. In spite of all of this, my son and daughter-in-law work hard to assure that their children grow up happy and healthy, well-adjusted and confident. It is no easy task.
What can you do to educate yourself? Go to the following sites:
PeanutAllergy.com http://www.peanutallergy.com/ A great site to learn about peanut and other food allergies;
FAAN Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network:( http://www.foodallergy.org) National organization dedicated to raising awareness regarding the dangers of food allergies;
Mayo Clinic Food Allergy references (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-allergy/DS00082): Broad information on all aspects of food allergies, including food labeling and first aid.
See the following PDF from FAAN, which outlines how to read food labels to avoid specific allergens:
Please know that food allergies are an increasing problem. There are many theories as to why, but for now, all we can do is work together to keep all of our kids informed and safe. Please join me in this effort.