‘Peter Rabbit’ Team Apologizes for Making Light of Allergies

“Peter Rabbit” filmmakers and the studio behind it are apologizing for insensitively depicting a character’s allergy in the film that has prompted global backlash.
Sony Pictures says in a statement the film “should not have made light” of a character being allergic to blackberries “even in a cartoonish” way.
In “Peter Rabbit” which was released this weekend, the character of Mr. McGregor is allergic to blackberries. The rabbits fling the fruit at him in a scene and he is forced to use an EpiPen.
Charity groups posted warnings about the scene on social media prompting the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit to trend.
The studio and filmmakers say they regret not being more aware and sensitive to the issue.

Tips For Traveling With Food Allergies

One of the most difficult challenges related to food allergies is dealing with them while you travel. Let’s face it, part of enjoying life is taking a holiday now and then, but doing so with a child with food allergies requires some planning and preparation.

Here are a few tips we found;

Start planning early and research your intended desination.

Bring several copies of your action plan with you and if possible have them translated into your destination country’s language.

Research the food policies of various airlines.

Locate the hospital nearest to where you will be staying, just in case.

Pack extra medication in your carry on bag and bring non-perishable foods your child can eat.

Clean your child’s hands regularly on the flight and during the trip;

Pack a stack of reading books, crayons and paper (to keep them occupied:)

Remember, a holiday is supposed to be fun for everyone and as ‘worry free’ as you can make it. With solid preparation and planning it can be done!

Urine Test Could Indicate Food Allergies, How Severe They Are

Researchers have discovered that a large amount of identifiable substances are contained in the urine of patients who have food allergies, which could help lead to early diagnosis of allergies through less-invasive testing.

Currently, to check for food allergies, a blood test or skin test, which involves inserting a needle in the skin, is needed. But in a recent study, researchers from the University of Tokyo identified compounds in the urine of mice that can not only indicate whether a food allergy is present, but how severe the symptoms will likely be.

“Urine tests wouldn’t be burdensome even for small children,” said Takahisa Murata, an associate professor at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Tokyo specializing in animal radiology, who led the team of researchers. “I want to develop testing methods that are easier to evaluate if there is a food allergy and to what degree the allergy symptom is.”

Tis the season to celebrate and be safe

The Holiday season can be a challenging time for food allergy sufferers and their families, but with some careful planning, communication and vigilance, food allergies are manageable and the festive season can be enjoyed.

One key to a successful celebration is communication; communicating with your guests who may be coming for dinner and bringing dishes, is just one example; suggest dishes they can bring or alternatives instead of bringing food – ask them to bring flowers instead, etc.

Communicate ahead of time with hosts who have invited you to their event ensuring they are fully aware of the allergies involved and what is required to keep loved ones safe. Never assume that just because they know you have an allergy that they know what to do.

Remaining vigilant is also key- ensure you have your medication at all times and that the medication is up to date. Make sure you have an action plan and know what to do should a medical emergency occur.

Follow the rule; ‘If in doubt leave it out.’ If you are unsure of the ingredients of a particular dish its best to err on the side of caution- simply don’t risk it. Many food allergic people opt to take their own food to events to avoid cross contamination or confusion.

Finally, make sure you take the time to thank your guests or hosts for their efforts to make the event allergy friendly. Though people are aware of the existence of food allergies, many people are simply not cognizant of how truly dangerous they can be and if they care enough about you and your loved ones to be patient and make adjustments to their plans, always take the time to let them know how much you appreciate it.

Happy Holidays!

Many food-induced anaphylaxis cases in children occur under adult supervision

Montreal researchers found that at least a third of childhood severe food allergy reactions occur in kids who are under adult supervision. And, in most cases, those adults are not the child’s parents.

Scientists from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre collected data from four Canadian emergency departments, looking for incidents of pediatric anaphylaxis – severe allergic reactions in kids that required medical attention.

They found that, in 31.5 per cent of the incidents, the children had been under the supervision of adults. Another 20 per cent involved kids who were unsupervised; in the last 50 per cent of cases, it was not known if the children had been supervised.

In those incidents involving supervised children, the supervising adult was not the child’s parent in 65 per cent of the cases.

The study’s lead investigator, Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, says the study also found that the majority of allergic reactions occurred at home,

“It was a little bit surprising because I think that we have that false sense of security that as long as we are at home under adult supervision, with an adult that we know, we’ll be fine. Apparently, that’s not the case,” he said.

The study also looked at the role food labelling played in the accidental allergic reactions. They found that one third of the incidents were attributed to a food labels issue.

“But when we asked specifically what were the issues, apparently it’s not because the food labels were not clear. The majority of reactions were because we don’t read the food labels,” Dr. Ben-Shoshan said.

He said the fact that food labels are being ignored suggested supervising adults are not being properly instructed on the need for vigilance.

The Need For A Balanced Diet When You Have Food Allergies

The first duty in preparing safe meals for children with food allergies is avoiding the offending ingredient or allergen(s). However, by avoiding these ingredients, a real risk exists that food allergy sufferers may be missing out on important nutrients that help maintain good health and stronger immune systems.

A balanced diet is essential. Discovering what important nutrients may be missing from your child’s diet as a result of the allergy and replacing it with an alternate source is recommended. Just one example of finding alternatives to ensure proper vitamin and nutrient absorption is the following; if the allergen is milk- which is rich in protein, calcium, Riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamins A, D, B12, which are essential for bone mineralization and growth. You can replace milk with meat, fish, poultry, legumes, eggs (fortified milk substitutes), leafy greens and other calcium-fortified foods.

Of course, you should only use these replacements if they are also safe for your child and if you are not sure, have your child tested. Each sufferer is different and discussing your nutritional needs with your allergist, family physician and/or nutrition expert is imperative.

Asthma and food allergies predictable as early as age one

Children at one year old who have eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD) and are sensitized to an allergen are seven times more likely than other infants to develop asthma, and significantly more likely to have a food allergy by age three.

This new finding from the Canadian CHILD Study will help doctors better predict which children will develop asthma and allergies, according to a paper published by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

It has long been known that infants with eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD) are more likely to develop asthma and allergic rhinitis in later childhood, a progression known as “the atopic march.” But predicting precisely which children with AD will go on to develop these conditions has been difficult.

The CHILD researchers did find that having AD alone, without sensitization to an allergen, did not significantly increase children’s risk of developing asthma.

“Over the years, the clinical community has struggled to explain the atopic march,” said Dr. Malcolm Sears, founding director of the CHILD Study, a professor of medicine at McMaster University and a researcher at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Study : ‘Surprising’ Numbers Of Adults Are Developing Food Allergies

New research suggests almost half of all allergies suffered by adults begin in adulthood, and allergy rates among both kids and adults continue to rise.

The findings, which were presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting shows that almost half of all food-allergic adults surveyed reported one or more adult-onset food allergies.

“Food allergies are often seen as a condition that begins in childhood, so the idea that 45 percent of adults with food allergies develop them in adulthood is surprising,” says Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, ACAAI member and lead author of the study. “We also saw that, as with children, the incidence of food allergies in adults is rising across all ethnic groups.”

Teal Pumpkin Project offers safe Halloween for children with allergies

For children with food allergies, Halloween can be a tricky holiday, but the Teal Pumpkin Project aims to make the holiday safer and easier to navigate.

For millions of children with food allergies and their parents, the Halloween trick-or-treating tradition can sometimes be fraught with anxiety because many candies that are handed out contain major food allergens such as milk, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat.

FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety and inclusion for all trick-or-treaters by encouraging people to provide non-food treats on Halloween. A pumpkin painted teal, the color for food allergy awareness, signals that children will find a fun, non-food treat that anyone can enjoy.

Join FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project to help create a safer, happier Halloween for all.

Visit these websites:
www.tealpumpkinproject.org
www.foodallergy.org

STUDY: Life Saving Epinephrine Isn’t Administered Often Enough

Less than fifty percent of children who experience anaphylaxis receive epinephrine before treatment in an Emergency Department, despite the medication being the first line of defence against the condition.

According to a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, when youths experience serious allergy attacks, known as anaphylaxis – parents, teachers, caregivers, emergency responders and others often don’t administer epinephrine.

The research found that only 36 percent of patients experiencing anaphylaxis received epinephrine before arriving at the emergency department. There is a need for more education, showing caregivers “how to use the auto injectors and walking them through what signs to look for,” said Melissa Robinson, an allergist and lead author of the study.

Approximately 65 percent of the patients surveyed had a known history of anaphylaxis and half of this group had been prescribed epinephrine in the past. However, among the patients who had been prescribed epinephrine, only 70 percent had the medication with them at the time of the allergy attack.

Robinson and her team also noted that there was a major difference between the patients who arrived at the emergency room after being given epinephrine and those who hadn’t. Children whose caregivers had administered an EpiPen were 60 percent more likely to be discharged from the hospital rather than admitted.

Robinson speculates that a major part of the problem is that parents and caregivers often don’t recognize recognise symptoms of anaphylaxis quickly enough (or at all). Some of the most common symptoms include hives, trouble breathing, and vomiting, all which occur within two hours of being exposed to an allergen. She suggests administering epinephrine when two body symptoms react to the allergen (for example, hives and vomiting indicate that both the stomach and skin have been affected).

“If you’re not sure to the point where you’re thinking about it, I tell parents it’s better to give it than to wait,” Robinson said.

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