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!
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.”
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.
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 […]
While it is virtually impossible to predict allergic reactions and anaphylactic reactions can vary widely, co-existent asthma and exercise can be key factors in whether someone will be prone to more severe allergic reactions, Dr. Robert A. Wood, chief pediatric allergist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, says during a Food Allergy Research & Education conference.
“Failure to treat promptly with epinephrine unifies virtually every death that’s ever happened from a food reaction,” Dr. Robert A. Wood, the chief pediatric allergist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, says when talking to a food allergy group about anaphylaxis management. Speaking at Food Allergy Research & Education’s 20th annual food allergy conference in Arlington, Va., Dr. Wood says he gives the same message to other allergists, pediatricians, and parents: “It’s very hard to find reactions where epinephrine was given promptly where there was a bad outcome.” Driving the point home, the internationally recognized food allergy expert says that of the three recent deaths from food allergies: the college kid in Boston, the 11-year-old child in Utah, and the 8-year-old child in New Jersey; none of them received epinephrine promptly when they started to react.
Discovering food allergies and obstructive sleep apnea in my son when he was younger gave me a crash course in motherhood. I quickly learned how to manage both and be my child’s best advocate. Here are five key ways you can be your child’s too: 1) Trust your gut; 2) Get help and support; 3) Educate yourself and others; 4) Speak up, don’t be shy; and 5) Breathe. Trusting your instincts is by far the best piece of advice I could offer to any first-time parent. When my oldest child was a baby, he often woke up every 45 minutes–literally. Lots of things would get him back to sleep at night, but he often woke up within the hour.