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COMMENTARY:

how to adapt to your child’s

FOOD ALLERGIES by Anthony R. Leone, II

I

t is a Sunday night, and we have returned home from a Halloween party with the kids. Emma Amelia eats a special treat after dinner—two small Reese’s Pieces peanut butter candies. Shortly after, as she is taking her bath, my wife notices a rash starting, then hives. The rash and hives quickly spread from head to toe. Emma Amelia is having an allergic reaction. My wife immediately gives her some Benadryl, and we rush her to the children’s hospital. Needless to say, mom and dad are terrified. The Benadryl seems to stop the reaction. Thankfully, she does not experience any tongue swelling, respiratory symptoms or anaphylaxis shock. Our 2-year-old is brave. She never sheds a tear. As we sit with Emma Amelia at the hospital, we wonder what is causing the reaction. We had used a new bubble 52 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

bath in her bath that night. She had those Reese’s Pieces, but we were certain that she had been exposed to peanuts in the past. After all, cereals, granolas and energy bars—all made with nuts—are staples in our house. The hospital immediately suspects a peanut allergy. Allergy testing confirms that Emma Amelia is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. day - t o - day w i t h f o o d allergies

This is only the start for a child and family living with food allergies. Food allergens are in many foods. The most common allergens of milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy are ubiquitous in society. Even if allergens are not directly in the food, many products are made on shared equipment or in facilities with these common allergens. In 2006, the Food Allergen Labeling

and Consumer Protection (FALCPA) went into effect to mandate that food labels identify these most common food allergens. This law requires the label to declare the allergen in plain language and say that it either “contains” the food allergen or parenthetically state the list of ingredients. These allergens must be listed if they are present in any amount, even in colors, flavors or spice blends. Additionally, manufacturers must list the specific nut (e.g., almond, walnut, cashew) or seafood (e.g., tuna, salmon, shrimp, lobster) that is used. The new labeling law helps, but what else can we do to keep kids with allergies safe? carry an epipen and benadryl at a l l t i m e s

Once a food allergy is identified, always be prepared for a reaction. An EpiPen can save a life, if your child has a reaction.

The Safety Report - Volume 5 Edition 1  

When you’re buying and using products, safety comes first. Let’s be honest, most products are safe. For the most part, when you purchase a p...

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