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American-Thoracic-SocietyIn a study to be presented at the ongoing American Thoracic Conference (ATS) 2015, it was determined that many children suffering from asthma have a sensitivity to peanuts but their families are unaware.

“Many of the respiratory symptoms of peanut allergy can mirror those of an asthma attack, and vice versa. Examples of those symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing,” said study lead author Robert Cohn, MD, MBA. “This study aimed to evaluate the proportion of asthmatic children who also demonstrated a sensitivity to peanuts.”

The study researched the charts of 1517 children diagnosed with asthma at Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. Of the charts reviewed, 665 (43.8%) had IgE testing for peanuts, and of this group 148 (22.3%) had positive results.

Of the children with positive IgE tests, more than half (53%) of the children and their families did not suspect there was any sensitivity to peanut.

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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.

Click here for printable flyers from out Take 2 campaign

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Pretzel!We’re pleased to announce the addition of a new member to our Manufacturer Partnership Program whose products now appear in the Safe Snack Guide and Allergence, our product screening service.

Eleni's New YorkEleni’s New York specializes in beautiful hand-made, hand-iced sugar cookies baked from scratch in a dedicated peanut and tree nut-free facility. No conveyor belts, no automated decorating, no mass production, all done the old fashioned way, one cookie at a time.

The company also markets a line of Crisp cookies in a variety of flavors and Color Me! cookies that come complete with edible markers. (Click to learn more about Eleni’s and their products.)

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AllergicLiving LogoThe 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 ebookletPC, 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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Pretzel!

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:

  • popchips – The innovative popped snack company offers an extensive line of potato and veggie chips that are certified gluten-free, trans and saturated fat-free and free of preservatives and artificial ingredients. Several of the company’s products also recently received non-GMO verification and are manufactured in a facility free of seven of the top eight allergens.
  • Winona Pure – Winona Foods® of Green Bay markets a line of cooking oils under the Winona Pure® brand, all manufactured in a peanut, tree nut and sesame-free facility. Their specialized packaging allows them to offer Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Canola, Sunflower and Popcorn Butter flavored oils in a convenient spray without the need for chemical propellants or additives.

We issued a press release welcoming both national brands to the Manufacturer Partnership.

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Take 2 along everywhere... every timeBy 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.

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It’s spring time and that means it’s time for the Easter Edition of the Safe Snack Guide!

We’ve added a full page of Easter-themed goodies free of peanuts, tree nuts, and (in many cases) eggs. Some can be purchased at the corner market, others can be ordered on-line.

Once again, apologies to our readers who celebrate Passover. We are still searching for safe products that are nut-free and certified kosher for the holiday. If you know of any such products, please let us know.

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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 www.justborn.com.

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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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The label… although it provides important nutritional data, it’s wholly unreliable as a source of potential allergen information due to lax, ineffectual FALCPA labeling guidelines.

Complete disclosure of the potential for allergen cross-contact is a necessity for the millions of Americans suffering with food allergies and celiac disease. But in light of FALCPA’s shortcomings, assembling that kind of information means ignoring the label, rolling up our sleeves, and working directly with responsible manufacturers who are as concerned for the food allergy community as we are.

That’s why we established the SnackSafely.com Manufacturer PartnershipWe’ve assembled more than 40 manufacturers that provide us with detailed information regarding the processing of 11 allergens and 4 industry recognized certifications, and we provide that information to you in turn via Allergence, a free service.

Here’s an example listing of a peanut butter alternative from Don’t Go Nuts, one of our featured partners:

Allergence-Sample

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