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Lately, we've talked a bit here on the Lauren's Hope blog about creating an allergy-friendly or chocolate-free Halloween: wearing medical alert jewelry while trick-or-treating, talking with teachers and caregivers, planning special food and non-food treats, and so on. For kids with food allergies, epilepsy, type one diabetes, special needs, and chronic health conditions, there are a lot of considerations this time of year, however, there are lots of things we can also do to keep everyone -- those with medical conditions and not -- safe this Halloween.
Those of you who follow the Lauren's Hope blog may recall me writing earlier this fall about my six-year-old daughter, Julia, and how she was recently diagnosed with a chocoalate allergy (specifically, a cacao allergy). When I tell people Julia is allergic to chocolate, the most common response from adults is something completely reasonable and calm like this: "Chocolate? She's allergic to chocolate?! I would DIE." So, I've learned to phrase it differently, especially when Julia is within earshot. I say, "Julia is allergic to chocolate, and boy, removing it from her diet has made her feel so much better! And she's trying lots of great new flavors now!" or something similar, and that's helping my daughter stay positive about it while giving adults the cue that I'd appreciate them doing so too.
A few weeks back, we shared some information about asthma here on the Lauren's Hope blog. As we usually do when we post about a specific condition, we asked our fabulous readers to write in and share their own stories with us. This time around, we heard from Jennifer McGlothlin (right), who explained that she wears Lauren's Hope medical ID bracelets because she lives with asthma that doesn't quite present the way most people expect.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Although bullying is in the news regularly these days, many people aren't truly clear on what constitutes bullying and why these anti-bullying programs are in place.
Halloween is a fun time, filled with treats and crafts and excitement. For adults and children with chronic conditions such as food allergies, type one diabetes, autism, or epilepsy, however, Halloween is sometimes a little scary, and not in the fun way. Protecting our kids and ourselves from the very real dangers of this fun season can be a real challenge, which means planning ahead is essential.
In the US alone, at least 25 million people live with asthma, a chronic lung condition in which the passageways through which air normally travels to and in the lungs become inflamed and constricted. This chronic condition causes a sensation of tightness in the chest of varying severity, and it also creates shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and gasping. While asthma generally presents in childhood and continues throughout a person’s life, some people do develop asthma later in life.
Recently, we had an incredibly fun FREE STUFF FRIDAY contest featuring a guest post from Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me. We asked you, our fantastic readers, to share your best travel and safety tips as contest entries, and we received more than 100 responses! With so much terrific information in those comments, we decided to compile the suggestions into one comprehensive list of travel and general safety tips for people with medical conditions. As many of our entrants came over from Six Until Me, there was a ton of great information about TWD: Traveling While Diabetic! So let's start there!
As the incidence of food allergies continues to grow in American kids, a related trend has appeared: food allergy bullying. It's certainly tough enough being a kid, and a kid with food allergies, without having to contend with bullying as well. According to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), however, one third of kids with food allergies experience bullying because of their food allergies. Worse still, an estimated half of these incidents go unreported to parents, who are therefore often unaware of the problem, which means kids continue to be bullied.
Summer is (finally!!) almost upon us after a particularly long winter, and for many, that means it’s time to start traveling. For people with tree nut and peanut allergies, this can be particularly challenging because airlines still serve peanuts and some meals that may contain nuts. Although allergy advocates are working to change the airline status quo, in the interim, the onus for safety falls squarely on the traveler.
If you or your child have a food allergy, you’re far from alone. Current estimates are that about 2 percent of adults and 6 percent of children are affected by allergies, which arise when the immune system reacts after a certain food is eaten. Common symptoms of food allergies include skin rashes or digestive problems, but may include anaphylaxis, in which the breathing passages swell. This can be fatal if it is not treated.
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