Yesterday, we enjoyed a wonderful link to Anne Russell’s article, “Food Allergies and Prescribed Injectable Epinephrine: Know. Practice. Carry. Use”. Well, I have more interesting information to share on the holiday topic…findings from a recent online Winter Break and Anaphylaxis survey showed that 55% of those surveyed experienced an anaphylactic reaction during the winter break at holiday parties and events! To add insult to injury, less than 60% of families were properly managing or prepared for an allergic reaction!
Anne Russell truly challenged us to be ready for the Holidays, by addressing our fears and providing invaluable information and direction regarding epinephrine auto-injectors. In theory, we know what we need to do, but she tackled the honest truth…we hesitate. Mylan, the makers of Epi Pen®, took it a step farther and commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a survey on the topic of Anaphlyaxis during the holidays. Specifically to help us better understand if food parents were executing the suggested techniques to reduce risk of a life threatening food allergic reaction. The report was quite interesting to me and FARE-formerly called The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network contributed to the story (see below for the full report) with suggestions for staying safe during holiday events and parties.
What struck me significantly is that I had personally witnessed many of the items the report addressed, such as parents not having access to life saving epinephrine or not ensuring hosts were aware of their child’s allergens. Today, I will be assisting my child’s classroom with a holiday party. I made grape caterpillars (a sneak peek from my upcoming snack ebook) and used Enjoy Life Miniature Chocolate Chips so that if any children had food allergies I have covered as many allergens as possible.
What makes me incredibly nervous during these parties is that the parents of the other food allergic children will not be present to vet out the safety of food items being given to their children. One child has told the teacher she has a peanut allergy, goes into great depth about how she avoids peanuts, yet her parents will not provide the school with direction or an Epi Pen®. I have attended parties where other parents will share their child has a food allergy, but they don’t carry their Epi Pens® since their child has a “mild” allergy. After I’ve made sure my hair hasn’t fallen out, I share, in my most gentle voice, that if the physician prescribed epinephrine then it must be important enough that they should ask him or her about if they should be carrying it all the time. At this point, they ask me what how my family manages food allergies and thus, the conversation begins!
Read the full report below, including FARE’s tips on staying safe…one tip suggested tag team parenting during parties. My husband and I employ this technique as we take turns being “in charge” as we put it. This report reminds us of how important it is to stay diligent during festive times and it is a great pairing with Anne Russell’s article. To be honest, I would share both stories with families and friends to help keep them on board.
Photo courtesy of Epi Essentials.com
The bottom line: always carry your epinephrine, take suggested steps to creating a safe and fun environment while always being ready and able to handle an anaphylactic reaction!
Incidence of Anaphylaxis During Winter Events Highlights Importance of Adding a Preparedness Checklist to Holiday Planning (via PR Newswire)
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Findings from an online survey released today by Mylan Specialty L.P., the fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical business of Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL), reveal that, of those surveyed, more than half (55%) of children with life-threatening allergies…