smartiesWe’re happy to announce that we’ve added a conversation heart product to the Valentine’s Day 2015 Edition of the Safe Snack Guide.

Smarties Love Hearts are marketed free of peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, wheat, and soy by their manufacturer, providing a readily available option to families coping with these food allergies. [NOTE: We earlier made the assertion that these were corn-free which was NOT correct. Our sincere apologies.]

Special thanks to our readers Sarah Albert and Elizabeth Arras for taking the time to suggest this product!

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Cupid Pretzel

The Valentine’s Day 2015 Edition of the Safe Snack Guide has arrived with an entire section devoted to goodies for that special someone with a peanut, tree nut or egg allergy. It’s also a great resource if you are planning a classroom celebration where children with food allergies will be present.  (As always, we stress that the parents should always be the final arbiters of any food given to a child with food allergies!)

UPDATE: Thanks to our readers Sarah Albert and Elizabeth Arras, we’ve added Smarties Love Hearts – a conversation heart product marketed as safe for peanut, tree nut and egg allergies – to this edition of the Safe Snack Guide.

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MCRI

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute of Parkville, Australia today announced results of a test they conducted of a novel new twist on an existing peanut allergy therapy.

The treatment combines traditional peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT) with a probiotic, lactobacillus rhamnosus. A fixed dose of the probiotic is provided daily along with daily doses of increasing quantities of peanut protein as is customary in OIT.

60 Children were enrolled in the test, with half given the treatment and the other half a placebo. Of the 28 children given the treatment, 23 (80%) were able to include peanut in their diet at the conclusion of the 18 month course of therapy.

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Take 2 Soldier

We’re fighting a war out there… a war against anaphylaxis. If you have a severe allergy or care for someone who does, you’re on the front lines. So put on your helmet, be vigilant, and don’t forget your only weapon against the enemy: your epinephrine auto-injector.

Take 2 along everywhere… every time.

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MI reaction

A common preservative used in baby wipes, named “allergen of the year” in 2013 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society, can now be found in a popular mouthwash.

The New York Times ran an article on methylisothiazolinone (MI), a preservative that deters the growth of bacteria but can cause severe rashes and skin irritations in people who are allergic to it. A European consumer safety group warns that MI should only be used in rinse-off products because there are “no safe concentrations” for leave-on products.

In spite of the warnings and a trend by personal product manufacturers to remove MI from products like baby wipes and lotions, Colgate-Palmolive uses MI in its Colgate Total Lasting White mouthwash.

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fda

Last November, Adams Flavors, Foods and Ingredients – a Texas-based company – issued a voluntary recall of a number of their spices due to peanut-contaminated cumin. Since then, the problem has escalated into the largest series of allergen recalls since the U.S. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) took effect in 2006.

Hundreds of thousands of seasoned beef, poultry and pork products have been pulled from the market, and hundreds of products from many companies have been recalled.

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niaid

A study by researchers of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), may shed light on why women suffer more frequent and more severe instances of anaphylaxis than men.

Anaphylaxis – a life threatening allergic reaction triggered by foods, medication, and animal stings and bites – occurs when immune cells release enzymes that cause tissues to swell and blood vessels to widen. Clinical studies have shown that women experience anaphylaxis more often than men, though the mechanism for this has not been clearly understood.

NIAID researchers found that female mice experienced more severe and longer lasting anaphylactic reactions than males. They discovered that Estradiol – a type of estrogen – enhances the effect of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), an enzyme that causes a number of symptoms of anaphylaxis.

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Pretzel!

We are pleased to announce the addition of two new members to our Manufacturer Partnership Program whose products now appear in the Safe Snack Guide as well as Allergence:

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Now that the end of year craziness is over, it’s a great time to share New Year’s resolutions with teachers, school nurses and administrators regarding your child’s food allergies. Feel free to share this list with them as a reminder of their critical role in ensuring your child’s safety.

New Year Baby Teacher

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No doubt you’ve already broken a New Year’s resolution or two if you’re like us. (Though we do vow to get to the gym more often… eventually. No, really!)

Here’s our New Year’s resolution list for parents and caretakers of children with food allergies. These are much too important to break, and we hope you’ll join us in resolving to make 2015 a safe and happy year – with no mention of “child” and “anaphylaxis” in the same headline!

Parent's New Years Resolutions

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