Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When a school is not peanut free

Amanda just started 4th grade. Our school does not have a peanut free table for lunch and there are no limitations in the classroom as far as what children can bring for a snack.

Last week Amanda came home and said "Mom, every one at my table in class eats a peanut butter sandwich for their snack".

The next day I was in the nurse's office discussing why my child has to be exposed to something she is severely allergic to. "It's not a peanut free school". The school doesn't even try to put all the peanut allergic in one class so as to alleviate a lot of children in the class bringing in peanut products as a snack.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Accommodating students with allergies tall order

This is an interesting article recently published in the StarPhoenix. It's about asking students to not consume peanuts 2 hours prior to going to class and to only use unscented deodorant, shaving cream and no perfume because a student is very sensitive to these products.

As a mom of child with severe peanut allergies I disagree with asking students to not consume peanut butter. Yes I disagree. You can't ask people to not eat peanut products and you sure can't trust that they will. The deeper issue for me is that all children with peanut and tree nut allergies have to learn to manage their allergies and to be careful not to consume it. But they will always be around people who do eat it which gives the peanut-allergic child a choice to simply move to another spot. Think about airplanes. Many airlines do not ban peanuts on their flights and even if you call ahead and request that they serve an alternate to peanuts, someone can still walk on with a Reeces Peanut Butter Cup or something similar that is loaded with peanut butter.

As far as being sensitive to cologne, perfume, shaving cream and deodorant, well I think we are at one time or another sensitive to these allergens and again the student can simply move to another spot or take an over the counter medication. Being sensitive to perfumes is not life-threatening like being allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. It is simply an annoyance.

You can read the article here:
Accommodating students with allergies tall order

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Press Release out of Houston about a walk for Food Allergy

Houston, TX, August 29, 2009 --(PR.com)-- This September, more than 1,500 Houston-area residents are expected to participate in the 2009 Walk For Food Allergy: Moving Toward A Cure sponsored by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). The goal – to raise $225,000 for food allergy research and education and help the more than 12 million Americans who suffer from food allergies, many of whom live in the Houston area. The forth annual FAAN Walk will take place on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston, 1100 Bagby Street, at 10:00 a.m.

Four percent of the U.S population – or one in 25 Americans – has a serious food allergy, which is the leading cause of anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction that results in more than 50,000 emergency room visits each year. The incidence of food allergy is even higher in children, impacting one in 17 children under age three and 3 million children. Eight foods account for 90 percent of all allergic reactions in the United States: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, etc.), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.

“There is no cure for food allergies,” said Houston’s Volunteer Walk Chair Michael Lade and father of a food-allergic child. “Strict avoidance of food allergens is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction, so it’s essential to create awareness of this life-threatening health condition that affects millions across the country.”

Lade continues, “Food allergies not only affect the food allergic individual, but also the family, friends and classmates of the individual. Increased understanding of the severity of food allergies is essential for safety, acceptance and emotional stability of these children.”

KPRC news anchor Dominique Sachse again serves as Honorary Chair for the Walk in Houston. Country-music star Trace Adkins holds the position of the National Honorary Chair for the national FAAN Walk series. As an active member of FAAN, Adkins knows first-hand the serious nature of food allergies due to his daughter’s peanut allergy diagnosis following a severe reaction to peanut butter several years ago.

Last year, nearly 1,200 Houstonians participated in the FAAN Walk for Food Allergy: Moving Toward A Cure and raised $215,000 for food allergy research and education, ranking it as the top fundraising walk amongst 25 walks nationwide. The FAAN Walk is non-competitive – a distance of 2.5 miles – and participation is free. For more information and to register for the family-friendly walk, visit www.foodallergywalk.org/houston_tx.

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