If you’ve followed our blog for any length of time, you know we’re big fans of two very different organizations dedicated to helping families cope with food allergies: No Nuts Moms Group and FAACT. Now we have even more reason to celebrate as Lisa Rutter – the founder of NNMG – has joined FAACT as Director of Education.
With the success of NNMG, Lisa has fostered one of the largest support groups for families of children with food allergies, with over 50 local chapters serving the US and Canada.
Once again, world attention is focused on the story of a 15 year old boy from the UK who died of peanut cross-contact. Rather than focus solely on the incident itself, we’ll highlight common sense strategies to help avoid tragedies like this in the first place.
William Luckett had had his first food allergy reaction at four years old and was diagnosed with a nut allergy at age six. At that time he was given a prescription for epinephrine auto-injectors which he never needed to use. Over time, with the absence of reactions, the family stopped filling the prescriptions.
In December 2012, William was visiting his father on the Isle of Wight and was having ribs for dinner, takeout from a local Chinese restaurant. He began experiencing classic symptoms of anaphylaxis: difficulty breathing and swelling of the lips. Despite his father’s efforts, William lost consciousness and was pronounced dead upon arrival at a local hospital.
We’ve made additions to the Safe Snack Guide just in time for end of school year classroom celebrations and to help with nut-free snack selections for camp.
We are pleased to announce that Earth Source Organics, makers of the Righteously Raw brand of chocolates, have joined our Manufacturer Partnership Program and their products have been added to the Safe Snack Guide.
Righteously Raw products are certified organic, vegan, kosher, gluten free, non-GMO, contain no refined sugar and are manufactured in a dedicated facility free of the top 11 allergens.
As we approach Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 11-17), we at SnackSafely.com would like to remind you to always take 2 epinephrine auto-injectors along, whether you have the severe food allergy or your child does.
Once again, a child’s death caused by anaphylaxis is receiving attention in the media, this time in the UK. The loss is yet another in a long line of horrific, preventable tragedies, but there are lessons to be learned from the details of the child’s exposure and the subsequent attempts at first aid.
Connor Donaldson, a 12 year-old boy from Greater Manchester with severe asthma and a severe peanut allergy, died October 19, 2013 after ingesting a few bites of curry the family had taken out from a nearby restaurant.
His mother had discussed the allergy with a staff member of the restaurant over the phone prior to ordering. She was assured that their dishes would contain no peanuts.
The food allergy community was abuzz last week with the news that Mary Baxley, a paraprofessional at Holiday Hill Elementary School in Jacksonville, Florida, received a 10-day suspension for bringing peanut butter cookies to celebrate a student’s birthday in a peanut-free classroom. But what should parents of children with food allergies learn from the incident?
A year and a half ago, Jack Irvine, a 15 year old with a severe tree nut allergy attending a go-karting camp in Melbourne, Australia, bit into an unwrapped cookie containing macadamia nuts. He died six days later due to complications of anaphylaxis.
During inquest proceedings currently underway, it was disclosed that the family filed standard forms notifying the camp administration of the boy’s allergies. Due to a staff shortage the day of the incident, the camp ordered lunch from a sandwich chain which presumably supplied the cookies.
Fiona Ellis, the counsel for the Victorian Karting Association, issued a formal apology to the family. “The Victorian Karting Association expresses its condolences to the family and friends of Jack Irvine,” Ellis told the Victorian Coroners Court.
Ellis went on to explain that the camp’s administrators did not have proper processes in place for dealing with allergic reactions or adequate first aid plans.
As we approach the season when families traditionally enroll their children for summer camp activities, we at SnackSafely.com would like to highlight some of the special considerations arising from this tragedy:
Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) sponsored an informative webinar on January 14 entitled ”Food Allergy School Health Plans: 504 vs IHCP”. Presented by Laurel Francoeur, Esq, who served on the Board of Directors of the New England Chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (the parent foundation of the KFA), the webinar is now available as a free one hour video on KFA’s site.
We sense love in the air, so it must be time for the 2014 Valentine’s Day Edition of the Safe Snack Guide! But before we go into specifics, first a reminder that with this issue we are introducing a change to the foods we list in the Guide.
Change to Treatment of Eggs
As we announced in a previous posting, with this issue we will be introducing a number of products that contain or are manufactured in facilities that also process eggs. This change will allow us to introduce many new products both with and without eggs.
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