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New Year Resolutions for People with Food and Latex Allergies

January 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

New Year Allergyby Sonal R. Patel, M.D., M.S.

For many, January is a time to review the past year and set goals for what to accomplish in the coming months. For families with life-threatening allergies, this review may also include strategies to better prepare for an anaphylactic emergency.

“After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important to circle back with family and review the year—celebrate what worked, and modify what didn’t,” says Tonya Winders, president and CEO of Allergy & Asthma Network, the leading patient education and advocacy organization for people with asthma and allergies. “Use this opportunity to recharge the family’s understanding about allergies and how best to manage them.”

The Network suggests the following New Year’s resolutions for managing life-threatening allergies:

Replace fear with facts. Schedule an appointment with your allergist to review your food or latex allergy diagnosis: Do you know exactly what you are allergic to? Is it time for new testing? What is working or not working in your prevention program? Make a list of questions in advance and be sure to include food-allergic children in the conversation. Help them understand how to prevent exposure and respond to symptoms.

Practice prevention and build confidence. Educate your kids by reading food labels with them, both at home and the grocery store. Focus on words related to their specific allergies. In addition, talk with them about situations they find difficult to handle, such as being offered snacks that may contain allergens at school or parties; role-play to help them build confidence. Always be prepared for accidental ingestions.

Organize medications. With life-threatening food, latex, or other allergies, it’s important to carry two epinephrine auto-injectors with you everywhere, every day. Learn when an epinephrine auto-injector may be indicated and how it can be properly used and stored. Devise convenient and creative ways to keep them close at hand. Check expiration dates on your devices and put renewal reminders on your calendar. Make sure school forms are completed.

Build a safety net of family and caregivers who understand. Allergy & Asthma Network offers free resources to share with family and friends. Visit AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org for a wide range of information. Download or call 800-878-4403 for Understanding Anaphylaxis, Living Confidently with Food Allergy, or Living with Latex Allergy, free guides to help you manage your condition.

Increase community awareness: Become an advocate. States and towns across the country are passing laws and implementing new strategies for food and latex allergy safety in schools, healthcare facilities, restaurants, and more.

With some creative thinking, patients and families with life-threatening food and latex allergies can be more aware and prepared in 2018.

Why are we painting our pumpkins teal?

October 17, 2016 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

By Mommy MD Guide Jeannette Gonzalez Simon, DO

teal-pumpkinHalloween is a great time of year.  Kids get so excited about dressing in their costumes, going to a Halloween party, marching in their school Halloween parade and eating Halloween candy.  But what about the kids who can’t eat Halloween candy.  What about them?  Many kids have to abstain from trick-or-treating because they cannot eat the candy safely.  It can be for a variety of reasons.  They may suffer from celiac disease, diabetes, a nut allergy, other food allergies and intolerances or they may need to follow a special diet. Why should these children not be able to enjoy the festivities?

For many years, some parents kept their children from this celebrating this tradition to protect them from a possible anaphylactic reaction or severe allergic reaction.  Then the campaign called #THETEALPUMPKINPROJECT started.

Last year, I saw a few Teal pumpkins painted in my neighborhood.  It piqued everyone’s curiosity. Many just thought “oh how pretty.”  But what is the purpose?  In 2014 the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)  launched a national campaign called the Teal Pumpkin Project™.  The Teal Pumpkin Project raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.  This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!

It seems a daunting task at first.  Many say, “I don’t want to be the house not giving out candy or chocolate, the kids will hate us and egg our front door!”  In reality there are many really cool fun non-food items that you can hand out.  Kids would love to get glow sticks or glow bracelets.  They will undoubtedly put them on immediately and use them the rest of the night.  Bouncy balls, stickers, tattoos are all great options.  You can find a list of recommended non-gift treats here at FARE’s website.

To let the neighborhood now that you are participating in this event you can paint your pumpkin teal and also put up one of the FAREs downloadable signs on your window or front door. And YES, you can still give out candy if you choose too.


The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.