Allergies come in all shapes and sizes ...
Just like allergy sufferers. And they are on the rise. For many people allergies can range from sniffling and sneezing to skin rashes to gastrointestinal issues. A certain percentage, however, have more than these uncomfortable symptoms to deal with. Anaphylaxis, a serious life-threatening reaction, causes approximately 1,500 deaths a year in the United States alone. Clearly, allergies are nothing to sneeze at!
Articles for Advocacy
Your Allergy Advocacy Association continues to recommend that “when in doubt, take it out.” This article discusses a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield that found the number of severe allergic reactions in children reported by hospitals have more than doubled between 2010 and 2016. The article includes signs and symptoms to look for in an impending anaphylaxis attack and suggests “If you think about using an EpiPen, go ahead and use it if you notice any of these signs and symptoms.” Most importantly, Dr. Anna Volerman of the University of Chicago Medicine says to make sure that your child has “a really strong understanding of the allergy, and feels comfortable speaking up and saying, ‘I’m allergic to X, is there any X in this food item?’”
Life-Threatening Allergic Reactions Rising in Children
APRIL 9, 2018
Anaphylaxis is the scary end of allergy, the kind of reaction that can kill. It can happen almost immediately after the exposure — being stung by the bee, eating the peanut — and it can move fast. In anaphylaxis, your immune system turns against you with a vengeance, revs up and releases histamines and other chemicals that set off a range of dangerous physiological changes.
The good news is that a recent survey found 81% of school nurses stock epinephrine to use in an emergency for any child. The bad news is epinephrine was much less likely to be available for after-school activities or for travel with student groups outside of school. This is especially concerning since up to 19 percent of anaphylactic reactions during the school day may occur outside of the school building or on field trips. Whenever your child is scheduled for outside activities, make sure they have their own EpiPen with them and speak with chaperones and coaches so they know what to do in an emergency. An EpiPen should be available for use on anyone, as many are not even aware they have an allergy, such as to bee stings. School nurses also reported that allergen labeling could be improved for school lunches.
Are Schools Ready for Severe Allergic Reactions?
Study Sees Key Gaps
April 4, 2018
A majority of school nurses report being trained to handle severe food allergy reactions, and most have stock (or unassigned) epinephrine available as a tool.
Underscoring the importance of those factors, a national survey of school nurses reveals that one-third of the nurses had to deal with at least one severe reaction in the past year.
It’s that time of year again! If you plan to send your child to summer camp, there is much research to be done. The author of this article suggests you make an in-person visit to the camp and to not go by “just what they say, but what you see and even how you feel” in order to choose the right camp for your child. She also provides some excellent questions to ask before you sign your child up for a camp.
Last summer a volunteer counselor at a local Boy Scout camp got stung by a hornet, and had no idea he was allergic. If an EpiPen had not been on hand, the results could have been devastating.
Advice on Attending Summer Camps with Food Allergies
By: Gina Clowes
Originally published July 19, 2016,
Follow these tips to research safe adventures for your allergic child.
From daytime activities to sleepaway journeys, summer camp can create lifelong memories and give parents a brief respite. Of course, adequate planning is essential when food allergies are on the table, but sometimes simple observation and a mother’s intuition play an even bigger part in assessing the safety of a situation.
A few years ago, my friend Jill began searching for a camp that could accommodate her daughter Maya’s multiple food allergies. She engaged in conversations with various camp directors, but still had reservations. Despite their assertions, Jill knew in her gut that these camps were not prepared for a child with severe food allergies.