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kids-walking-into-schoolWhile parents of children diagnosed with food allergies battle to keep their kids safe, a new study shows that it is not only their children that are at risk for developing life-threatening anaphylaxis at school.

The study, to be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in Washington DC this week, looked at schools that participated in the EPIPENS4SCHOOLS program during the 2013-14 school year. The program, sponsored by Mylan Specialty, provides stock epinephrine auto-injectors to 59,000 public and private, elementary, middle and high schools across the United States for use during anaphylactic emergencies.

Among the 6,019 schools responding to the survey, 919 anaphylactic events were reported with 22% of the cases occurring in  individuals with no prior history of allergy. These children would not have had access to their own prescribed auto-injector.

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A generally happy time of year for most parents is often fraught with anxiety for parents of children with food allergies. Will my child be safe? Will she feel an outcast at the nut-free table? Will they use his auto-injector quickly and correctly if he suffers a reaction? Will the teacher follow the details of his 504 plan?

Here’s a message to all you moms and dads who have prepared by sweating every little detail, like quizzing the allergist, coaching their children, and engaging with the school administration: Take a deep breath, relax with your favorite cup of coffee (or glass of wine!) and know that you’ve done the best for your child. You are your child’s superhero!

Be Inclusive!While no superhero is infallible, this is not the time to second guess all that you’ve done. Rest assured that there’s always time to reengage with school administration if things aren’t going the way you anticipated.

Did a child show up to your child’s nut-free classroom with a PB&J? Was there a class celebration involving a food that you didn’t approve? Did someone question your child self-carrying an auto-injector when it was agreed prior to the school year? Speak up, and be confident in the knowledge that your fellow FA parents are doing the same, everywhere.

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Pretzel!Please note that we have removed two products from the Safe Snack Guide due to a disclosure from the manufacturer.

After a discussion with Lisa Guzzo, Consumer Relations Manager of Just Born Quality Confections, we have decided to delist MIKE AND IKE® and HOT TAMALES® from the Guide.

While these iconic products are manufactured in a facility that does not process peanuts or tree nuts, a small portion of their products are packaged by third-parties that may use equipment that is also used for products containing these allergens. Although the firm’s labeling policy includes voluntarily labeling for potential cross contamination of the “Top 8” allergens, we have decided to remove their products from the Guide in keeping with our policies. Consumers should address questions or concerns regarding Just Born brands by calling them toll free at 1-888-645-3453 or visiting them online at

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Epipen4SchoolsLogoOn February 23rd at this year’s annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in Houston, a study was presented regarding incidence of anaphylaxis in schools during the 2013-2014 school year, confirming the need for stock epinephrine.

Of 5683 schools that responded to the study survey, a total of 919 anaphylactic events were reported by 11% of the schools. Here’s a quick breakdown:

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We’re 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:

  • Nana Creme – Nana Creme is a Vegan, non-GMO, and Allergen-Friendly Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (“ice cream”), free of Gluten, Dairy, Nuts, Tree Nuts, Soy, and Eggs and made with REAL ingredients.
  • JTM Foods – Founded in 1986, JTM Foods is the largest producer of snack pies in North America, selling over 100 million pies each year. Sold under the JJ’s Bakery brand name, their pies use fresh dough and real fruit fillings made from scratch every day in their Erie PA bakery.

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NJ State house

Congratulations to the people of New Jersey with the signing of A304/S801 – NJ’s stock epinephrine bill – into law by Governor Chris Christie.

Epinephrine is the only drug used to treat anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction. “Stock” refers to epinephrine that is not specifically prescribed to an individual but can be used on anyone that is displaying symptoms of anaphylaxis.

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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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NoNoNo School

Click the image to download a full-page flyer to share with your child’s teachers, school nurse and principal!

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It’s that time of year again! The 2014 Holiday Edition of the Safe Snack Guide has arrived just in time for your Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Celebrations! This edition features a full page dedicated to peanut, tree nut and egg-free holiday-themed goodies to help you celebrate while accommodating those with life-threatening food allergies.

By restricting foods served at your classroom celebrations and holiday parties to products listed in the Guide, you avoid introducing these allergens which can cause contact reactions in children allergic to them. This is a great way of accommodating – not excluding – children with severe allergies to these foods. (We stress that the parents must always be the final arbiters of food given to a child with food allergies!)

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If you have a young child with food allergies, then you must know – or get to know – Kyle Dine. Kyle’s ability to convey a message of empowerment through song and entertainment is legendary within the food allergy and celiac communities.

Now Kyle wants to take that message to schools nationwide with a series of videos targeted at specific grade levels. But to do so, he needs your help to raise the requisite funds.

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