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Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.

Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008
My 5 Minutes of Fame
I thought I would end the week of Food Allergy Awareness with an article I have been meaning to post since March.

Back in February our allergist sent out an e-mail notifying the support group members that he had been in contact with a reporter for a local paper who was working on an article about peanut allergies in schools. Even though her article was about peanuts, I saw this as an opportunity to not only be part of an article about food allergies, but also as a chance to reach out to someone and help build understanding that there are other foods that can be just as dangerous as peanuts.

I called her and we had a nice conversation. She told me that I was not the only Mom who called her about other food allergies. At the end of our conversation, she said she may do a sidebar (I had actually suggested a series of article on food allergies – but what do I know?). In actuality, she ended up doing a full separate article on non-peanut food allergies. I was really thrilled to see both the attention on food allergies and the focus on the fact that peanuts are only one of many foods that can kill.

Here is the article. I have changed a few things, like taking out last names and specific towns. The newspaper is the Courier Post which is a South Jersey Newspaper.

Nuts aren't the only food allergy

Why do peanuts get all the attention?

Asking parents to pull peanut butter out of the lunch plan is certainly a challenge. Imagine if schools had to restrict foods made with egg and dairy products, too.
Children with allergies to those ingredients usually outgrow them by the time they enter school, and they usually have to swallow the offending protein -- not just touch it or inhale it. But the nature of allergies is changing, according to allergist Dr. W, and research suggests common products containing egg and dairy might be an issue for lunchrooms of the future.

Rose has a 2-year-old boy who is allergic to the protein in egg. Touching it -- even in the saliva of a fellow toddler who had an omelet for breakfast -- brings the threat of anaphylactic shock.

"If you look in your kitchen, almost everything is made on equipment with egg, in a factory with egg or with egg ingredients," the woman said. Consequently, the family avoids restaurants, seeks out vegan-certified food and reads every label that enters their kitchen. She's found egg in such unlikely places as microwave popcorn.
Dr. W said contact reactions like Rose's son's are rare. Another reason most K-12 schools haven't had to ban egg or dairy is that 80 to 90 percent of children outgrow those allergies by the time they start kindergarten.

"That's the current belief, although current research . . . shows it may be taking longer," he said.

Rose's son has already outgrown reactions to oat, beef, dairy and other products. But Rose, determined to be sure he can take part in life safely, is organizing a Mommy and Me class specifically for preschoolers with food allergies. She's already planning discussions with the school he'll attend as a future kindergartner.

Susan sends her 3-year-old daughter to preschool with enough instructions to outweigh her trepidation. The girl has a contact allergy to dairy, so teachers have to serve her first, wash their hands between touching anything and coming near her, and keep her at the head of the table to minimize interaction.

"I supply all her snacks for school so they don't have to read all the labels," Susan said. "I've tried to teach my daughter as much as I can - that she can't take food from anyone."
It's frustrating, she said, to see schools lay out policies and procedures to address peanut allergies when different products are just as threatening to other children.

"The key to getting more parents more willing to accommodate (children with allergies) is to educate them," Susan said.

I’m famous I tell you!!!

posted at 8:13 PM  

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Typette said...

That's awesome!!

It's a good quick article and gets to the point that people just need to be aware that there are more issues than just peanut allergies.

Honestly -- I myself was naive to it all -- besides the peanut allergies -- until I spoke to you about your children.


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