Kids Allergic To Cow’s Milk May Have Lower Weight, Height

Children who are allergic to milk are shorter and lighter compared to kids who are allergic to tree nuts or peanuts, according to a study that confirms childhood food allergies can affect growth. The study was conducted by the Children’s National Health System, presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology/World Allergy Organization.

The study of two groups of children, one strictly avoiding cow’s milk and the other avoiding peanuts and tree nuts because of clinically diagnosed allergy.

In measurements from a chart review of 1,098 clinic visits, they found that children with a milk allergy tended to have a lower weight and height, but not body mass index (BMI), compared to the peanut and tree nut allergic children.

The largest differences in weight were recorded when the children were 5 to 8 years-old and 9 to 12 years-old. Other allergic conditions, including eczema, and use of inhaled corticosteroids did not seem to effect weight.

“Correspondingly, persistent milk allergy was associated with a greater decline in weight and also BMI from the baseline visit when the children were 2 to 4 years-old,” said author Corinne Keet, MD, MS, PhD. “From our findings, this negative trend in growth appears to continue through pre-adolescence.”

Keet went on to note that the differences in weight, height and BMI are persistent and more pronounced for the patients with measurements at age 13 and above.

“Further study is needed to better understand the complex relationship between food allergy and childhood growth patterns,” said Keet. “Pediatricians and allergists need to work with their patients to ensure a diet that promotes healthy growth while acknowledging nutritional limitations due to allergy.”

‘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!

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!

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.

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:

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.

Single Treatment Could Eliminate Severe Allergies

A simple injection that gives life-long protection from severe food allergies could be just 10 years away.
Immunology researchers at the University of Queensland have successfully used gene therapy in animals to wipe the immune ‘memory’ of cells that react to the protein in allergens.
Team leader, Associate Professor Ray Steptoe said these immune cells, known as T-cells become very resistant to treatments, but gene therapy desensitises the immune system so it tolerates the protein.
While the research has focused on an experimental asthma allergen, Dr Steptoe believes it could be used to treat people who have severe allergies to peanuts, bee venom, shellfish and other substances.
This ground-breaking research has been funded by the Asthma Foundation and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Dr Steptoe said the next step is to work on replicating the results using human cells in the laboratory.
Once that is achieved, a safe and simple gene therapy injection for people with potentially lethal food allergies could be available in a decade.

Hear Grace interview Professor Ray Steptoe;

‎Associate Professor Ray Steptoe

Sydney Lights The Way For Food Allergy Awareness

On Thursday, May 18, Sydney’s Town Hall was illuminated in teal, the signature colour of food allergy awareness, making it the first building in Australia – and the first outside North America – to join the ‘Turn it Teal’ initiative.

‘Turn it Teal’, founded by Cleveland, Ohio native Stephanie Lowe in 2014, was created with the goal of lighting as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Week, an initiative intended to educate the public regarding the seriousness of food allergy.

TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness founder, Grace Farah said: “It was so exciting to see the stunning Sydney Town Hall lit in Teal. It’s a great initiative – people see the building lit and it starts a conversation, but it also shows our Aussie kids and families dealing with food allergies that Sydney cares and Australia cares”.

The focus now is to look towards next year and have people start to think about what building they can ‘Turn It Teal’ in their home town, city or state.

This year it was Sydney, but how great if next year, in 2018 we see Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide, W.A, Tasmania and the Territory ‘Turn it Teal’, but also New Zealand, the UK, Europe and Asia.

“I urge every person in the food allergy community to start thinking about their efforts for next year and how they can become part of this great awareness campaign,” said Ms Farah.

To find out more on how you can ‘Turn it Teal’ go to and suggest a site to light.

Sydney Town Hall First Australian Building To ‘Turn it Teal’

We are excited to announce that TRIGGER Awareness Food Allergy has joined with ‘Turn it Teal’ to bring this great awareness initiative to Australia.

In support of Food Allergy Awareness Week, the iconic Sydney Town Hall will be lit up in teal on Thursday 18 May, 2017, making it the first building in Australia – and the first outside North America – to join the ‘Turn it Teal’ initiative.

‘Turn it Teal’, founded in 2014 by Cleveland Ohio mother, Stephanie Lowe was created with the goal of lighting as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Week and the need to educate others about food allergy, a potentially life-threatening and life-altering disease.

“I’m so excited to have the stunning Sydney Town Hall, an internationally recognised landmark, be the first to ‘Turn it Teal’ in Australia”, said Ms Lowe. “Australia has one of the highest rates of food allergies in the world and it seems fitting that it is one of the first countries to come on board and Turn it Teal”.

Australian journalist and TRIGGER Awareness Food Allergy founder, Grace Farah said: “this is such a great way to raise food allergy awareness and I knew we had to bring it here to Australia. People see the building lit and it starts a conversation, but it also shows our Aussie kids and families dealing with food allergies that Sydney cares and Australia cares”.

“My heartfelt thanks to Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and her great team at City of Sydney for embracing the idea and making it happen”, Ms Farah said.

Stephanie Lowe said: “Food allergies are a global issue and my hope is that this will lead to many more countries and cities around the world participating in Turn It Teal”.

This May, many buildings will be lit up in teal including Niagara Falls, the Orlando Eye, US Bank Tower Los Angeles and Terminal Tower Cleveland, OH.

The Sydney Town Hall, the largest and most ornate late 19th century civic building in Australia, will shine in teal, the signature color of food allergy awareness, for six hours from 6pm to midnight on Thursday 18 May, 2017.

For more information about ‘Turn It Teal’, visit


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