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.
A current article in US News and World Report’s Eat+Run health and wellness section provides a valuable primer on how to plan a party when children with food allergies or dietary restrictions will be in attendance.
In “Planning an Allergy-Friendly Birthday Party”, author Tamara Duker Freuman describes her own experience planning a birthday party for her son and the strategies she developed to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all the children involved, including one with tree nut allergy and another following a vegan diet. She references SnackSafely.com and the Safe Snack Guide as go-to resources for finding appropriate treats for such occasions.
Are you a parent of a child with severe allergies? Make these New Year’s resolutions and be sure to share with family and friends!
Make no mistake about it… you are on the front lines of a war against anaphylaxis if you or your child have a severe food allergy. Don’t leave your only effective, life-saving weapon at home – because anaphylaxis takes no prisoners!
In yet another horrific tragedy that could have been avoided, 14 year old Emma Sloan died on the streets of Dublin Wednesday after ingesting a sauce containing peanuts at a restaurant.
Emma, who had a known peanut allergy, was having dinner with her family at Jimmy Chung’s Chinese buffet in Dublin’s Eden Quay. Emma’s mother Caroline explains what happened in this quote from the Irish Independent:
“Emma has always been very careful and would check the ingredients of every chocolate bar and other foods to be sure they didn’t contain nuts. She had a satay sauce. She thought it was curry sauce because it looked like curry sauce and smelt like curry.
“I’m not blaming the restaurant because there was a sign saying ‘nuts contained’, but it wasn’t noticed. After a while, Emma began to say, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’.”
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