If you have a food allergic child, you know how much fear and anxiety can present itself whenever you must travel on an airliner. Advocates for raising awareness of the dangers of anaphylaxis have worked diligently to change protocols and attitudes about peanuts and air travel. Lianne Mandelbaum, the “No Nut Traveler,” shares one story with a safe and happy ending.
By Lianne Mandelbaum January 3rd, 2017
Dear Head Flight Attendant on Air Canada Flight 85,
You may remember me as the mother of a boy who has a severe peanut allergy. We were on your Toronto bound flight on December 29th from Tel Aviv. I know you were aware that our flight, which took off at 7PM, was originally supposed to take off about seven hours earlier, but what I am sure you don’t realize is the unique stress that this delay caused our family.
With the start of 2017 the news media has been full of articles reporting the new guidelines, issued by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommend giving babies puréed food or finger food containing peanut powder or extract before they are 6 months old, and even earlier if a child is prone to allergies and doctors say it is safe to do so. However, many parents of peanut allergic children remain very skeptical.
When Nicole Lepke’s son was born, she listened to her pediatrician and kept peanuts away until the age of 2, but the toddler still developed a severe peanut allergy when he finally tried them.
Now, 12 years later, health experts have reversed their advice on peanuts, urging parents to begin feeding foods containing peanut powder or extract during infancy in hopes of reducing a child’s risk for allergy.
Perhaps this knowledge will help lead to answers in the future regarding causes and treatments for allergies of all types.
November 7th, 2016
A recent study published in BioMed Central Pediatrics (August 2016) reports that young children diagnosed with food allergy are at increased risk of also developing respiratory allergies during the first five years of life. This finding comes from reviewing the electronic medical records of children who received care from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) clinical network. Previous studies have suggested a similar association between food allergies and other allergic conditions, but those studies were smaller, less comprehensive, or based on participant reporting.
Despite the relatively small number of people in America at risk, the prevalence, and severity, of latex allergies has been growing steadily for several years. While changes have been made overtime to remove latex products from public places including hospitals, many individuals are unaware of just how common the material is.
Arachnophobia. Ophidiophobia. Acrophobia. These are the some of the most common fears people have. But for a Wilkes University sophomore, the thing that scares her most is the sound of balloons being inflated.
In a recent study in Colorado, non-nurse school staff was asked how confident they felt about recognizing and treating the symptoms of anaphylaxis. Only 18% felt very confident in their ability to recognize and treat a severe allergic reaction, but when asked to complete a survey, the staff members were able to answer correctly about 72 percent of 12 knowledge-based questions, and 87 percent were able to identify the correct sequence of actions to take. Let’s hope this holds true in school districts throughout the country and that even more school personnel can be trained.
Study shows 87 percent knew what to do in an emergency
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (November 11, 2016) – A study being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting found only 18 percent of non-nurse school staff surveyed felt very confident in their ability to recognize anaphylaxis symptoms. “Even though most of the non-nurse school staff weren’t confident in their ability to recognize and treat a severe allergic reaction, the staff members were able to answer correctly, on average, 72 percent of the 12 knowledge-based questions in the survey,” said allergist Angela Tsuang, MD, MSc, ACAAI member and lead study author. “In addition, 87 percent were able to identify the correct sequence of actions to take if a child is experiencing anaphylaxis. This tells us the majority of non-nurse staff know what to do in an allergic reaction emergency, and we should train a broader range of staff to increase confidence in these skills.”