Home » About Us » Blog » Do One Thing

Archive for the ‘Do One Thing’ Category

8 Tips for Keeping Food Allergy Kids Safe at Halloween

October 21, 2018 •  no comments.

 •  Blog, Do One Thing, Uncategorized

We’ve heard from too many parents who have lost a child to a life-threatening allergic reaction. The month of October tends to be one of the months in which too many of these deaths occurred.

So I reached out to a mother that contacted me and asked her to share her thoughts. She lost her son Joseph to a life-taking reaction to milk on Halloween. She remains a powerful advocate, especially leveraging her voice this time of year in the hopes that no one ever suffers the same loss and heartache.

So we asked her, “How can we make a healthy and safer time for all children?”

So many children face illnesses that remove them from enjoying Halloween. Many are diabetic, have food allergies or other food intolerances. We are looking at a current generation that has reached a higher level of disease management and health care. They did not ask for it.

I believe Teal Pumpkins had been designed to help food allergy children, but it helps all of them.

We lost Joseph on Halloween 2014 due to his life-threatening allergy to milk protein. As we ALL prepare on the upcoming days, I would like to ask you to remember these things.

We’ve added to her list to help ensure that all children are safe this Halloween and always.

  1. We are ALL responsible for preparing a safe day. No one wants to harm a child, let us hold empathy to offering a choice when they ring.
  2. Ask before you offer. When a child runs ahead of their parents or family or friends to be first at the next door, let us ask ” Are you allergic to anything”. Then offer a choice.
  3. Think ahead to having a choice. A few nonfood items can make a great substitute to a moment that can add value for many.
  4. Be prepared. Carry epinephrine and your cell phone.
  5. Know who will be with your child, are they prepared to help, do they know the signs? Stop ahead of Halloween to have a one on one with whomever is with your child, even if you have spoken about this before. Tell the story of my son, Joseph.. If a reaction takes place have the tools needed and use in this order. If you suspect an allergic reaction, call 911 and use epinephrine fast.
  6. Read all labels. Not all labels are the same. Some products come in bigger sizes and are labeled one way, others come in smaller sizes with an entirely different label. Read the labels every single time.
  7. Have wipes on hand to wipe down faces, little hands and anything else your child may come in contact with.
  8. Know the signs and symptoms which you can review here.

julianneJulianne 44, born in Brooklyn NY, os a mother of two beautiful boys. Anthony age 18 and her youngest son Joseph, who she lost to a life-threatening allergic reaction to milk on Halloween 2014 at the age of 7. Julianne had been part of the food allergy family since 2007. As a full time working mom, with a child of food restrictions she knows the battles. She is a fighter for truth with an enormous amount of compassion for others. She continues daily to help others with food allergies in memory of her little boy, Joseph.

 

10 Tips for Talking to Your Child’s School About Food Allergies

August 19, 2016 •  no comments.

 •  At School, Blog, Do One Thing, Uncategorized

Written By Daniella Knell for SunButter

Daniella2Sending your child with food allergies off to school can be overwhelming. Trusting others to keep your kid safe is probably your #1 priority! For me, educating myself and others was the only way I could create a safer learning environment for both my children and their caregivers.

As food allergy parents, we constantly wonder, “What if something happens?” In my opinion, a more productive question is, “Does the person taking care of my child know what to do if and when something happens?”

It is all about education.

That’s the key to making sure that your answer to the above question is, “Yes, my child is in good hands.” When people don’t understand food allergies, they don’t know how to protect people who have them. The first step is educating—educating yourself, educating your child, and educating others. This guide will help you educate those around you most effectively.

1. Attitude

To effectively educate others, you will need to partner with your school. Know that your attitude sets the tone. This will make or break how your school will or won’t work with you. If you go in with a steamroller approach with demands, you’re likely to meet resistance. Have you ever heard the saying, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar?” Approach your school with a positive, understanding attitude and you are more likely to see positive, understanding results!

2. Resources

Find Educational Resources YOU Trust. You can direct others to these resources and use them to bolster your position. They will also help you remember that you aren’t alone! Here are links to some of my favorites.

  • FAACT – Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team FAACT is currently my favorite because I find them the easiest to navigate and LOVE their primary focus on education. TheirSchool Curricula Program offers ready to share presentations for the classrooms, beginning with K thru 3.
  • FARE – Food Allergy Research & Education FARE’s ‘Be A Pal: Protect a Life’ program spotlights Alexander the Elephant and his circle of food allergy friends. I still use portions of this program when presenting to preschool and early elementary school children.
  • KFA – Kids with Food Allergies KFA hasan entirepage dedicated to keeping kids with food allergies safe at schools, including free guides and handouts!

3. FAAP

Find a Food Allergy Action Plan (FAAP) YOU Like. Your allergist fills out this form outlining actions to be taken by a caregiver in the instance your child has an allergic reaction while in their care. Here is one place you can start: Children’s Physician Network Food Allergy Action Plan

4. Management Plan

Figure out WHAT KIND of Management Plan Your Child Will Need. IHP? IEP? Or 504? If your child has life threatening food allergies, they may be considered as a qualified student with disabilities under the Americans with Disability Act (ACT) Amendments Act of 2008.Section 504 of the Rehabilitation ACT of 1973 requires that the school district to provide a “free and appropriate education” (FAPE). Then again, this will depend on whether they are attending a school receiving ANY federal funding, and laws can vary from state to state. DON’T be overwhelmed! Your allergist can help you out!

The following links will offer your more information regarding 504 Plans, IEPs and IHPs.
FAACT 504 Plans
FAACT Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
FAACT Individualized Health Plans (IHPs)

5. Gather Resources

Find some books and videos you like. My favorites include: the ENTIRE No Biggie Bunchseries, The BugabeesThe Princess and the Peanut, and the Alexander the Elephant Who Couldn’t Eat Peanuts – Gets a Babysitter

6. Create a School Food Allergy Binder

Put together useful Resources and have a copy available to share with the nurse and teacher. I would also include some kind of handy labels you can use to mark ‘SAFE’ snacks or a snack box for your child. Any kind of label will work. Here’s an example of the ones I personally designed: S.A.F.E. Food Allergy Labels.

7. Flyers

Find samples of food allergy flyers on line which you like. Just type in ‘peanut free’, ‘allergy free’ pics in your favorite search engine and you will find ALL kinds of different flyers you can use. Have these different options available to share with school personnel.

8. Meet with People

Meet with the Principal. Meet with school nurse. Meet with your child’s teacher. This is your opportunity to meet with everyone and explain your concerns. Let the individuals know you’re wanting to partner with the school to create a SAFE and enjoyable learning environment for everyone. It will be at this time you will find out what previous experiences these individuals have had in managing food allergies. You may be pleasantly surprised. You may be disappointed. Most importantly, you will be prepared to decide what direction you need to go in moving forward with your school.

9. Have Your Child Meet with ALL of the People They Will Meet

This is the opportunity to show your child all the individuals around them whom are working to keep them SAFE. Don’t underestimate the NEED for your child to need to feel this comfort. They don’t WANT to feel singled out, but they also need to feel SAFE.

10. Get Involved!

Set up a time to go in and read stories, show a video, whatever it is you want to do to make learning about food allergies FUN! In the beginning it may be nerve racking.

Daniella Knell, owner of Smart Allergy~Friendly Education, is mother to two children with food allergies. You can find her displaying her public speaking skills in local schools and hospitals, blogging, and presenting allergy~friendly smoothie videos. For allergy~friendly ideas for your household, visit Daniella’s website, FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.