In the know Archive

Wow. Our food allergy community made fantastic strides in 2015 on many key issues, from state stock epinephrine laws and enhanced food label transparency to the many food allergy-related products that will help foster awareness and safety. While having busy families, hectic days and of course food allergies and other health issues, our food allergy community is sharing its special gifts to help make strides, increase awareness and transparency, and essentially make the world a safer place for our little ones. Here is my 2016 outlook!

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When the Auvi-Q first hit the market, I must say it soared in, hot and shiny. With its relatively smaller size, faster delivery and voice activation, I felt myself breathe a little easier. But now I know it likely was a false sense of comfort. And the repercussions of what could have happened are frightening. So when the maker of our formerly beloved Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injectors, Sanofi US, in an Oct. 28 press release issued “a voluntary nationwide recall of ALL Auvi-Q due to potential inaccurate dosage delivery,” the food allergy community was hit with a huge blow. In my mind, I’ve started thinking about what has happened as “the Auvi-Q effect.”

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As we move forward on our food allergy journey, I’m realizing our diagnosis remains the same but everything else continues to change: our safety measures, our outlook, our comfort levels, our village of helpers, our forms of advocacy, and especially our levels of awareness. Two years ago after participating in FARE’s walk to find a cure, I realized I needed to focus much more on my son’s awareness. After my family walked again this year, I was reminded that change is constant, and that we as parents need to be ready for it as it calls us and keep moving forward.

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A team of researchers have made a huge discovery in their search for the cause of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), which has become a more prevalent and pervasive food allergic condition. Nature Genetics published online the study team’s findings for what it describes as “a chronic inflammatory disorder associated with allergic hypersensitivity to food.” The cause for EoE up until this point has been a complex and gray area. These findings are a wonderful first step toward answers for the many families who are suffering from this debilitating and confusing condition.

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Parents who engage in empathic parenting by setting age-appropriate expectations while offering love and understanding will find their “sweet spot” for raising happy and successful kids, Dr. Laura Markham, the founder of Aha! Parenting, told a group of parents at at Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church in Ashburn, Va. With peaceful parenting, we’re setting reasonable limits while supporting and connecting with our children; we’re working to achieve cooperation without punishment, the renowned parenting expert said. “This means whatever your child is trying to master, you’re giving them the support to learn how to do it,” Dr. Markham said. Teaching our children emotional regulation through self-discipline and resilience is key, she continued.

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When I signed up to participate in FARE’s walk to say “FAREwell” to food allergies, I had two “C’s” on my mind: community and charity. But what I walked away with was much more. I realized that with play dates, preschool, parties, and so many events that require making sure those without food allergies are aware, I’d forgotten to make sure the most important person was fully aware: my son. I like to think of this awareness for not only others but for our children too as A-E-I-O-U: Awareness, Education, Inclusion, Outreach, and Understanding.

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With food allergies and developmental issues on the rise, many parents are finding themselves overwhelmed, especially at mealtime. For the parent with their first child or a child with food allergies, the introduction of solid food can be particularly stressful. Kelly Benson-Vogt, a speech and language pathologist and the owner of Pediatric Feeding & Speech Solutions, shares practical tips for navigating mealtime. Whether your child has significant eating hurdles or is the so-called picky eater, I hope her advice proves to be as helpful to you as it has been for my family.

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Kids With Food Allergies Foundation (KFA) recently posted that there are now four different epinephrine auto-injector devices on the market. What does this mean for me, a parent whose child has life-threatening food allergies? It means a few things. But most importantly, it means I need to educate and train myself on using the auto-injectors now, so I’m prepared and can respond promptly if my son or another child has a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction. It also means I need to make sure that, in addition to family and friends, my son’s teachers know how to use his epinephrine auto-injector device. KFA in its blog post stresses the importance of knowing the differences between the four commercially available epinephrine auto-injectors and making sure we get the one […]

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