Free Download: Emergency Plan in case of allergic reaction #handlingsplan #Emergencyplan #allergi #foodallergy @FoodAllergy @AochAF

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When you have a child who suffers from food allergies, especially anaphylaxis, it is important to have an emergency care plan that you can easily disperse at vital locations (school, relatives, birthday parties, camps, etc). Talking to your caregivers and making them understand the importance and urgency of your chid’s allergy crucial, but also supplying them with information (on paper)  that they can rely on in an emergency situation is a must when maintaining your childs safety.  The plan outlines recommended treatment in case of an allergic reaction, along with your child’s allergies and emergency information.

Download and print them here, both swedish and english versions available!

Cow’s milk allergy vs. Lactose intolerance, not knowing the difference can be life threatening! #milkallergy #mjölkallergi #foodallergy via @AochAF @FoodAllergy

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Milk allergy should not be confused with lactose intolerance. A food allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a specific food protein. When the food protein is ingested, it can trigger an allergic reaction that may include a range of symptoms from mild symptoms (rashes, hives, itching, swelling, etc.) to severe symptoms (trouble breathing, wheezing, loss of consciousness, etc.). A food allergy can be potentially fatal.

Unlike food allergies, food intolerances do not involve the immune system.  People who are lactose intolerant are missing the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. As a result, lactose-intolerant patients are unable to digest these foods, and may experience symptoms such as nausea, cramps, gas, bloating and diarrhea. While lactose intolerance can cause great discomfort, it is not life-threatening.

Allergy to cow’s milk is the most common food allergy in infants and young children. Symptoms of a milk allergy reaction can range from mild, such as hives, to severe, such as anaphylaxis. Therefore it is advised that people with milk allergy have quick access to an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen®, Jext or Anapen®) at all times.  To prevent a reaction, strict avoidance of cow’s milk and cow’s milk products is essential. Always read ingredient labels to identify cow’s milk ingredients.

Approximately 2.5 percent of children younger than three years of age are allergic to milk. Nearly all infants who develop an allergy to milk do so in their first year of life. Most children eventually outgrow a milk allergy. The allergy is most likely to persist in children who have high levels of cow’s milk antibodies in their blood. Blood tests that measure these antibodies can help your allergist determine whether or not a child is likely to outgrow a milk allergy.

Sensitivity to cow’s milk varies from person to person. Some people have a severe reaction after ingesting a tiny amount of milk. Others have only a mild reaction after ingesting a moderate amount of milk. Reactions to milk can be severe and life-threatening (read more about anaphylaxis).

Information courtesy of foodallergy.org, To read more visit FARE’s website.

Please read Elsa’s story (swedish) who lives with a cow’s milk allergy, her family deals with misperceptions AND the extreme lack of knowledge (even amongst medical professionals)of lactose intolerance and milk protein allergy.  Elsa has suffered from at least 30 anaphylactic reactions in her young life, due to exposure to cows milk. We must help raise awareness and educate on misperceptions!

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Help raise awareness to your childs allergy with an allergy bracelet.

 

Travel Tools catered to children with food allergies #summertravel #foodallergy #matallergi #semester via @AllergyEats

Travel can be more than complicated with kids, and when you on top of that have children with food allergies – planning a vacation can be exhausting.  Vacations are suppose to be a time of relaxation and rewards for a family, and as an allergy parent and as many of you know this is not always the case when it comes to traveling with family members who have food allergies. It takes at least 10 times the amount of time/planning depending on the severity of the allergy. The careful planning of the flight alone is nerve wrecking as well as often filled with disappointment, bewilderment and sadness.  With food allergies so prominent in todays society, its so nice to run across companies and organizations that do everything in their power to ease the planning and add to the fun for allergy families. Here are just a few of our favourites:

Piggehlin: Barnens Resebyrå

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Piggehlin was started by a mother of food allergic children. They understand the importance and trust that need to go into companies that can help your food allergic child have normal experiences just like everyone else.  Some of the guided trips offered this summer include : Disneyland,Paris – Legoland, Denmark – Astrid Lindgrens Värld, Sweden. They also plan “generation trips” to Berlin, Germany – Zermat, Switzerland. They can custom plan any vacation for you to help relieve the stress that comes with planning for travel with food allergies. Contact info@piggehlin.se for more information. www.piggehlin.se  

Pixie Lizzie: Disney Food Allergy Travel Agent

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From experience, we already know that Disney goes above and beyond for visitors with food allergies. Every staff member at every hotel and every restaurant is extremely knowledgable in food allergies, and take every precaution in serving visitors with food allergies and helping them have an experience as magical and normal as any other Disney Vacationer. Pixie Lizzie travel agency will help you get there, as well as help you with every dining accommodation you may need to cater to your allergy.  Contact PixieLizzie here!  www.pixielizzie.com.

Make sure to also check out www.allergyfreemouse.com for dining information once on location.

AllergyEats – Guide to Allergyfriendly Restaurants in the U.S.

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AllergyEats is a comprehensive, user-friendly guide to allergy-friendly restaurants across the United States. It is a peer-reviewed directory of restaurants – rated by people with food allergies, for people with food allergies.  We highly recommend using this tool when traveling to the United States, a country known for dining out frequently. The database has over 600,000 restaurant listings across the U.S. – from large chains to small mom and pops, from gourmet to greasy spoons. They’ve laid the groundwork by providing you with menus (including gluten-free), allergen lists, certifications, nutritional info, phone numbers, website links, and more, where available, as well as other relevant information from restaurants.  They also have a mobile app!  They even have a Disney version of the site!

And don’t forget to stock up on helpful tools to during your trip like a allergy bracelets, and a thermometer to regulate the temperature of your epinephrine/adrenalin device . Visit our Tictail shop here! Or order via our shop page.

 

More contaminated paprika spices in Sweden… spice scandal on the horizon? #nötallergi #jordnötsallergi #nutallergy #peanutallergy via @Aftonbladet @Livsmedelsverk @Nyhetsmorgon @AllergicLiving

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“Kan vara början på omfattande matskandal”  (This could be the beginning of a new food scandal) Was the quote we heard on Nyhetsmorgon just a little over a month ago, when news broke of the popular spice paprika – this one from Santa Maria – being contaminated with almond protein.  The following week, Coops Fajita Mix containing paprika was recalled as reported by DN.se.  This is all too similar to reports in North America, UK and Canada regarding contaminated paprika AND cumin spices , as stated in previous posts.  Just the recalls in the US alone is massive, see the list at: AllergicLiving.com

What I am having a hard time wrapping my head around, is why the lapse response to a known scandal/epidemic worldwide?  Why is Sweden taking this so lightly?  Why is Livsmedelsverket not ordering action being taken on the matter from ALL spice distributors/manufacturers in Sweden, when there are thousands of reports of the same type of recalls way back in November 2014 in North America, and more recently the UK (article in the Independet)?  I mean the spices are originating from the same area, the same areas that reportedly had bad crops this year in terms of production of their popular spices curry, cumin and paprika – this is why they reportedly “filled out” the spices with ground peanut and almond, to keep up with the demand.  WHY IS NOBODY acknowledging the scandal?  Am I an overprotective crazy allergy mom who is reading too much into this,  probably, maybe? But even if I am, why would I take a risk, when there are documented reports – that all these spices stem from the same region(i.e. same type of contamination risk)???? Since the problem is not yet resolved, why should I rely on just the swedish Livsmedelsverket, when reports from the US are saying that people suffering from nut and peanut allergies should take caution and avoid these spices until we have solid information that the problem is no longer an issue? I don’t get it!?  Canada just had a new recall in the same massive spectrum surrounding cumin and nut contamination on March 20, 2015.  This issue is not going away, wake up SWEDEN!

This is what Sandra Flodström, kommunikationschef at Santa Maria had to say.  Mind you, I spoke with this woman on January 23, 2015 and they knew NOTHING of the recalls in North America. Which gets me worried as a parent of a nut allergic daughter, how certain are we when we consume spices?  I was more aware of the recalls globally than the biggest supplier of spices in Sweden :/. They did a random check on paprika(after my phonecall?), and found this undeclared almond protein.

While Sandra Flodström at Santa Maria, did take it very alarmingly when I called and said they would look into it,  I was not met with similar responses from other spice manufacturers, such as Garant/Axfood.  Where I was told not to believe everything I read on the internet(!) – this is just what a mother of a nut allergic child wants to hear!  And here we are, two months later… and El Dorado/Spice Master/Garant/Axfood recalls their paprika spices due to undeclared almond proteins. Coincidence? I think not.

At least a dozen allergic cases have been reported(severity unclear) by the FDA in the US,  but if you follow the allergy communities globally online, you can read hundreds of cases of allergic reactions due to consumed spices within the realm of this recall.

To help avoid accidental exposures, the FDA is now recommending that “consumers who are highly allergic or sensitive to peanuts to consider taking precautions with any product – not just those that have been recalled – that contains ground cumin.” Read more about how the epidemic began and escalated at Allergic Living.com

Death due to milk allergy at U.S. restaurant #advocacy #epipen #allergyawareness #anafylaxi #anaphylaxis via @MailOnline @AllergicLiving

A sad event in Minnesota, reminds us how important it is not to let your guard down. How important your adrenalin device(Epipen) is, and how risky it can be dining out when you have life threatening allergies.

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Cindy Johnson, mother of 16-year-old Scott Johnson, says she asked staff at the Minnesota Nice Cafe in Bemidji if their gluten-free pancakes were also dairy-free during a rare dining-out last June for the teen, who’d suffered from the deadly allergy since birth.

They were assured by staff at Minnesota Nice Cafe that everything would be fine, that the grill would be cleaned prior to preparing Scott’s meal, and that they were milk protein free.  Shortly after eating two pancakes, Scott knew something was wrong.  Sadly, this day Scott had left his medical bag with his lifesaving Epipen and nebuliser at home.

Cindy rushed her son home. But when they got there, the epinephrine and nebulizer failed to calm Scott’s short-circuiting immune system.  It was too late.  Doctors told the Johnsons the dairy exposure had led to anaphylaxis so severe that Scott’s heart had stopped. Three days after the family breakfast, Scott died.

This sad story, reminds us all in the allergy community how important it is to ALWAYS carry your adrenalin device with you, how quickly to act, and to be cautious when dining out. Unfortunatley in the allergy community, we are treated with disconcern and lack of understanding from dining establishments regulary.  It is extremely important to never dine out with out your adrenalin injector, and to continue to raise awareness and advocate for those living with life threatening allergies.  It only takes one mistake…. life threatening allergies (anaphylaxis) is not just peanuts.

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Please don’t judge or treat people’s food allergies as a choice they make.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Johnson family.

UPDATE March 25.2015 via Allergic Living 

Making vacation plans? Swiss Airlines a step ahead of competitors #allergy #allergi #travel via @FlySWISS @ABC @NBCNews

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As the mother of a TN and PN allergic 7 year old,  I have had MAJOR issues flying overseas with her over the years.  We even had a couple years we didn’t even fly overseas to visit my family due to the insecurity we felt with airlines/airline staff as well as the neglect for understanding and empathy of those flying with a life threatening allergy. We do fly more often nowadays, but not without MAJOR planning and precautions.  And with thick skin, and a cool temper the day of traveling – as we know from experience that  discrimination rules out empathy  in most airline travel cases for us.  And as we have read in all the major allergy communities, and even on major news networks,  almost all families traveling with severe allergies share the same sad stories of discrimination and poor treatment by airlines and airline staff all due to lack of training and understanding of how serious and nerve wrecking it is to be on a flight midair with a life threatening allergy. (read related post here)

This being said, SWISS Airlines seems to be taking a step forward in the communication and understanding to at least of what it is to have allergies.  Far from what we would ultimately be pleased with, but at least a step in the right direction.

They are the first airline to be deemed “allergy friendly” according to the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation. They have taken the first precautions in accommodating the allergy community (however, not yet taken into consideration the severe life threatening allergy sufferers) by: all Swiss flights will offer lactose- and gluten-free food and beverage alternatives, a choice of pillows stuffed with synthetic materials as an alternative to down-filled versions, and unscented soaps in the lavatories.

And while the airline does not serve peanuts, it cannot claim to be peanut-free because some food items might be prepared using peanut oil. However, “pets are not a problem on board as we have a special air filter that pulls particles and animal hair downwards and out of the cabin,” said Klatt-Walsh.

While Swiss has met ECARF’s two-page criteria for airlines, “we are not an allergy-free airline, but allergy-friendly,” said Sarah Klatt-Walsh, director of in-flight products and services for Swiss International Air Lines.  To read more click here.

In summary, we feel that at least Swiss is recognizing allergies seriously, and not dismissing them as “problem passengers” as most airlines today unfortunately do.

To help in this mission to make airline travel safe for all passengers, please take the time to read Flying with nut allergies – a call to action by Amy Wicker for AllergySafeTravel.com.

For a summarized list of airlines, and their allergy friendliness: notallergi.se, allergicliving.com.

Get help in raising awareness for your child’s allergy at school via local Astma & Allergy organizations #anafylaxi #anaphylaxis #Allergironden via @AochAF

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I feel I am not alone in this ordeal of the constant fight with the school system to fully understand the altitude your child’s allergy and what an anaphylactic shock REALLY is.  How crucial it is for your child to always carry their adrenalin devices with them, and how important it is for ALL faculty members to understand and know the signs and triggers of anaphylaxis.

Today I found support in my local Astma and Allergy organization in Stockholm, via Lena Ericson.  She told me about a class offered to school and daycare employees via Centrum för Arbets- och Miljömedcin (CAMM). This is aimed towards educating attendees on how to handle allergic reactions and what to look for, and how to make the schools environment more accommodating to those attending the school that have allergies.  This is a tool that all schools should use, the information just has to get out that it’s available.  And its free of cost! Not only does it offer a sense of security to parents with allergy kids, but should also build up a security amoung staff that they feel competent in the event of an allergic reaction(on school grounds OR undiagnosed cases!) Click below for more information.

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Has your school done Allergironden? This is a tool that aides schools (in Sweden) understanding for a safe, allergen-free environment at school with a checklist and annual visit.  With approximately 1 in 5 children suffering from some form of allergy, this is crucial and beneficial for every school.  Studies show that children who suffer from allergies perform less academically and physically at school.  We can help prevent this, check if your school made the list!  If not contact your local Astma- och Allergiförening for more information on Allergironden.

Checklista ska säkra skolan för allergiker via SVT