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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.
Allergy safety is always a serious issue. At Halloween, however, it's particularly important to keep allergy safety in mind, as it is very easy for kids with food allergies to be accidentally exposed to unsafe foods. Today, we bring you some Halloween safety tips from our friends at Onespot Allergy in the hopes that your little ones experience only the fun, safe kind of "scares" this Halloween. And remember, even (and especially) in a Halloween costume, it's imperative that kids with food allergies always carry their medications and wear their medical alert jewelry.
So a few weeks back, I had my six-year-old daughter, Julia, tested for food allergies. She's always had a bit of a weak stomach, and I'd noticed it was worse when she had chocolate, but then she'd drink chocolate almond milk every day (a switch we made after she showed herself to be a bit lactose intolerant) with no problem. So I just wasn't sure: Is this a dairy issue? But she eats cheese just fine. Is it a chocolate issue? But her granola bars have little chocolate chips and she's never had a problem. Is it some additive or processed ingredient? What about those completely-devoid-of-redeeming-value orange fishy crackers and Cheeze-Its that always make her vomit yet which she continues to eat when I'm not around to remind her not to? Is it the "cheeze"? I couldn't quite put my finger on it, so in we went for the blood work.
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.
One in every 133 Americans has Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack itself in response to gluten exposure. This means people with Celiac cannot eat anything containing gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Some people with Celiac Disease also find that they cannot tolerate trans-dermal (through the skin) exposure to gluten, either, which means they must be vigilant about checking the ingredients in every soap, shampoo, lotion, and cosmetic before using it, as many of these common toiletries use gluten as a binding agent.
Okay, so someone in your family has a peanut allergy. You've taken all the necessary precautions; you've done your research. You know to read food labels closely, to carry emergency medication at all times, and to wear a medical ID bracelet. You are an expert allergy-free grocery shopper. You know exactly what foods are in your home at all times. You have successfully peanut-proofed your living space.
Ethan was diagnosed with an anaphylactic peanut allergy when he was eighteen months old. He had a severe reaction to just a taste of peanut butter. His face turned red and blotchy with severe hives. His face and his tongue immediately began to swell and he choked and gasped for breath. In this brief moment, everything about Ethan’s life and ours changed forever.
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