Let’s end the constant stream of headlines that bring us news of yet another preventable death!
If your child self-carries, remind them to always Take 2 epinephrine auto-injectors along everywhere, every time! Perform spot checks! Nag them! Don’t let them out of the house without them!
If your child is too young to carry, make sure their caregivers always have access to two epinephrine auto-injectors and are trained when and how to use them!
Whether your child is 4 or 24, your job as protector doesn’t end until there’s a cure!
Click here for a set of flyers like the one above and post them at home to remind everyone to be vigilant!
In an all-too-familiar scenario, the Mirror reports yet another teen in the UK has suffered a fatal bout of anaphylaxis while dining out.
Dylan Hill, an 18 year old apprentice builder, collapsed on a street in Barnsley, South Yorkshire an hour after consuming a curry dish while on a date. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Dylan, who had a severe tree nut allergy and had suffered reactions before, did not have his epinephrine auto-injector on-hand.
Dylan’s father, Anthony Robinson said: “EpiPens aren’t practical for an 18-year-old lad who likes to wear skinny jeans. But it is there for a reason – people are not indestructible.
“He had known for years he had the allergy – I was always telling him to carry his EpiPen and inhalers, because he had asthma as well. He would say, ‘I know, I will’, but as he got older he didn’t really take it out as much. He got a bit lax and often went out without it. He was 18 and thought it wouldn’t happen to him and he would have time to get to a hospital if it did.”
Let’s take a moment to reflect and learn from this senseless tragedy.
Yes, it’s Food Allergy Awareness Week, a great time to educate others about the causes and dangers of anaphylaxis. But while awareness itself is a wonderful thing, it doesn’t mean a whole lot unless it motivates a change in behavior.
So pause for a moment and answer this one overriding question:
Did you remember to Take 2?
What we’re referring to, of course, is to always take 2 life-saving epinephrine auto-injectors along and having them on-hand wherever you go. Whether you’re relaxing at home, off to school, or just stepping outside to walk the dog, take 2 along everywhere… every time.
Why 2? Because a single dose may not be enough to halt the progression of anaphylaxis when you or your child suffers a severe allergic reaction. And you never want to be caught with too little epinephrine on-hand when a life depends on it.
So while you’re busy spreading awareness, be sure to heed the message. To help remind you and your loved ones, click here to download a collection of flyers from our Take 2 Campaign like the one below and be sure to hang them everywhere.
Because, let’s face it: awareness alone won’t stop anaphylaxis. Only epinephrine will.
The governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, signed a bill into law last week allowing for stock epinephrine in places of public accommodation throughout the state.
SB 126 provides the legal framework for placement of epinephrine auto-injectors in restaurants, malls, camps, and other public establishments for use when anaphylaxis – a potentially fatal allergic reaction – is suspected. The bill also provides the necessary Good Samaritan immunity for trained individuals who administer the drug in good faith.
Georgia passed legislation allowing stock epinephrine for schools two years ago. SB 126 also provides for the prescription of stock levalbuterol sulfate and albuterol sulfate (typically used in asthma “rescue inhalers”) for use in schools when a victim suffers severe respiratory distress such as wheezing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing.
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The May edition of the Allergic Living News Report – dedicated to Food Allergy Awareness Month – features a free, must-read e-booklet entitled: “18 Things You Need to Know About Food Allergy Reactions”.
This resource as especially valuable for families coping with food allergies as well as teachers, school nurses, restauranteurs, and everyone else that deals with the public in a setting involving food. Distributed as an easy-to-download PDF that can be viewed on your PC, tablet and phone, it provides a summary of important facts, strategies, and statistics to keep in mind should you or a loved one experience (or suspect) an anaphylactic reaction. The publication is structured in an easy-to-read read conversational format and covers many topics such as “Severe reactions: are they rare or frequent?”, “Define anaphylaxis”, and “When antihistamines don’t measure up”.
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Continue reading »
A study of the accidental exposure of children with physician-confirmed peanut allergy was published in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Allergy earlier this month.
The parents of 1941 children were recruited from Canadian allergy clinics and allergy advocacy organizations over a ten year period beginning in 2004, who completed questionnaires regarding the accidental exposure to peanuts of their children over the preceding year and the results were correlated.
“An Act relating to the maintenance and administration of epinephrine in schools and certain other facilities” was signed into into law by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad on Friday.
Senate File 462 provides for:
- Licensed healthcare professionals to prescribe epinephrine auto-injectors in the name of an accredited school or district;
- Schools to obtain stock epinephrine for administration by trained personnel;
- “Good Samaritan” provisions to indemnify such personnel from liability when administering epinephrine in good faith;
- Students to self carry and self administer epinephrine when necessary.
Unfortunately, the new law does not mandate schools obtain stock epinephrine and provides no funding for them to do so.
According to a study published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, allergies to specific foods can be passed via blood transfusions, though such cases are extremely rare.
The research was initiated after an eight year old Canadian boy with no history of food allergies suddenly experienced an anaphylactic reaction to salmon after receiving a transfusion of platelets as part of ongoing chemotherapy treatment. Four days later he had a reaction to peanuts.
Investigators traced the source of the platelets and found that a single donor had multiple severe food allergies including fish and peanuts.
Though extremely rare, researchers found that food allergies can be passed through an antibody that reacts against allergens, immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE is found in blood platelets.
By now you’ve probably read the Allergic Living article about two families that have filed lawsuits after losing their sons to anaphylaxis. The details are horrific, as they always are when a child is taken by allergic reactions.
In one case, a boy of 16 from Minnesota died from an anaphylactic reaction when it turned out the pancake he was eating at a restaurant was contaminated with milk. The family did not have his auto-injectors on-hand and had to rush him home, but by then it was too late.
In the other, an 11 year old Alabama boy died from a severe reaction to a supermarket cookie. Though an employee assured the family that the cookie contained no tree nuts, it did in fact contain walnuts. His mother administered Benadryl once the symptoms presented themselves and at some point afterward administered his auto-injector, but despite being airlifted to the hospital he could not be resuscitated.
These deaths are every parent’s nightmare, especially for those of us who are part of the community of kids with food allergies. But if there is anything to be redeemed from these tragedies, it is what can be learned to prevent them from happening to other children.
With no disrespect or judgement meant for the grieving parents of these boys, and knowing nothing more about the circumstances that lead to their reactions, let’s remind ourselves of what we can do to prevent occurrences similar to these in the future.
There’s a good reason why we refer to Erin Brockovich as “The Robyn O’Brien of Environmental Issues”.
Ms O’Brien – author, TED speaker, founder of AllergyKids Foundation, and leading advocate for clean, safe, affordable food – hits yet another ball out of the park with her editorial on the recent LEAP (Learning Early about Peanut Allergy) Study. In it, she excoriates the media, study’s authors, and quoted physicians for a lack of disclosure regarding the funding and selection of subjects for the study.
Here’s a sample from the article:
That’s like conducting a diabetes study on sugar and throwing out the diabetics before you start. It skews the results to suggest a false positive when if the food had been given to the entire population, without pre-screening, the results would have been entirely different.
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