Trigger Talk

TRIGGER is an independent, not for profit awareness initiative. Please help protect food allergy sufferers by watching and sharing the information provided. Our hope is that by raising awareness we can prevent avoidable accidents and help keep children safe.

Bear Grylls suffers almost deadly allergic reaction from bee sting while filming new series

The survivalist who is allergic to bee stings, was stung and quickly went into anaphylactic shock while filming his new series Treasure Island.

Sometimes, exposure to an allergen can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Allergies to food, insect stings, medications and latex are most frequently associated with anaphylaxis.

Grylls was on a boat taking a new group of contestants to an island in a remote part of the Pacific on the first day of filming when he was stung by a bee.

Despite initially trying to shrug it off, the allergic reaction caused his face to swell up and he lost consciousness.

Medics brought the former SAS servicemen back from the brink after they injected him with an EpiPen.
Mano Shanmuganathan, a brain surgeon appearing on the show says ‘The irony of Bear the survivalist being stung, having the potential of an allergic reaction, and needing to be treated with an EpiPen, was a bizarre moment’.

Students expelled after leaving teacher with deadly allergy in anaphylactic shock

An American teacher with a potentially fatal banana allergy was hospitalised after being attacked with the fruit by her students.

The art teacher, identified only as Mrs Woods, was working at Starling K-8 school in Columbus, Ohio when the cruel incident occurred last November.

The woman’s banana allergy is well known and so severe her classroom door bears a sign which reads “Banana Free Zone”.

It is accompanied by the clear message: “Mrs Woods is allergic to BANANAS! If you had one today, you must wash your hands before going into the art room. Thank you!”

But that didn’t deter a group of 12 and 13-year-olds from targeting her with a practical joke that seriously backfired.

The group of three students, two boys and one girl smeared bits of banana on Mrs Woods’ classroom door and doorknob, and later threw bananas at her once she was inside the room.

Within 15 minutes, the educator had gone into anaphylactic shock and emergency services was called.

Mrs Woods was rushed to hospital and thankfully recovered from her ordeal.

The students were charged with assault in juvenile court, were expelled and have since served probation.

Columbus City Schools spokesman Scott Wortman says the district hopes it was a “teachable moment” for the students involved and others about “the potentially life-threatening consequences of food allergies.”

Parents Of Children With Food Allergies Can Preboard Plane (USA)

A recent Department of Transportation ruling may transform air travel for passengers with life-threatening food allergies by extending to them the protections afforded other individuals with disabilities.

In September 2016, gate agents for American Airlines refused Nicole Mackenzie’s request to preboard a flight from Portland, Ore., to Charlotte, N.C., to clean the area around the seat assigned to her seven-year-old daughter, who has life-threatening nut and seed allergies.

The family filed a formal complaint with the federal Department of Transportation. Regulators determined that American Airlines had violated the Air Carrier Access Act — roughly the equivalent of the Americans With Disabilities Act, but applicable to the airlines.

The D.O.T. considers severe allergies a disability under the act if they impact a passenger’s ability to breathe or substantially impact another major life activity.

Regulators have reiterated that airlines must offer preboarding to passengers with severe allergies to give them extra time to wipe down seating surfaces.

New cell found in the Human immune system could control life-threatening allergies

A new cell type that could stop allergies before they begin has been discovered by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).

The finding gives hope to people who live with a range of allergic conditions including asthma, eczema and life-threatening anaphylaxis.

“By carefully studying the tonsils of children undergoing routine tonsillectomies, we identified a new cell type of the immune system that may help prevent allergies,” said lead researcher and PhD scholar Pablo F Canete.

“In allergic individuals, the immune system thinks that harmless particles like peanuts, dust or common allergens are a threat.

“The immune system then mounts a response which manifests itself from mild localised symptoms like a runny nose during hay fever season, to very aggressive systemic inflammation like anaphylaxis.”

For people with allergies, when the immune system overreacts to allergens – like pollen, dust or peanut butter – it produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E, (IgE).

The IgE antibodies then trigger a chain of events that result in allergic reactions.

“Our study shows this previously unknown cell prevents the formation of IgE, which is the key trigger of allergic conditions,” said Mr Canete, who is based in the ANU John Curtin School of Medical Research.

“The cell stops the very first step in causing an allergic disease.

“If you don’t have excessive IgE levels, you generally do not develop allergies.”

The discovery could create a new approach for future allergy treatments.

Australia shows it cares about food allergies

Throughout May, many buildings and bridges around the world lit up in teal for Food Allergy Awareness Month.
‘Turn it Teal’ was started by US mother Stephanie Lowe, with the aim to light as many prominent monuments and buildings in teal,
the shade associated with food allergy awareness.

TRIGGER FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS helped turn the initiative into a global movement in 2017 when the iconic Sydney Town Hall became first building outside North America to take part in the ‘Turn It Teal’movement.
This year, in Sydney, the iconic Sydney Town Hall shined for the third time on Mother’s Day.
Brisbane joined ‘Turn It Teal’ in 2018 and once again this year, illuminating both its Story Bridge and Victoria Bridge.
Perth came aboard last year and this year put the spotlight on food allergy awareness by lighting its Trafalgar Bridge in teal.
Melbourne is the latest Australian city to ‘Turn It Teal’ and lit up the grand Melbourne Town Hall in teal for several days.

TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness founder Grace Farah says: ‘The Turn It Teal initiative is such a great idea; I knew we had to bring it to Australia… we have had amazing support from the Australian community.’
‘When people see a building or a bridge lit up in teal it starts a conversation and raises food allergy awareness. It also shows our children and families dealing with food allergies every day that Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth care … that Australia cares.’

‘We want to express our heartfelt thanks to all the great people on the Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth councils who have helped light up some of their city’s iconic structures in support of the food allergy community.Thank you for seeing the importance of this initiative and paving the way for other cities and other countries to join in making this a global movement.
Other countries to participate this year included the U.K., Ireland, Dubai and Jordan.’

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month, a good time to help increase awareness of food allergies and help to protect those at risk.

This year, we have teamed up once again with turnitteal.org to turn the world teal, the signature color of food allergy awareness.

‘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 Month an initiative intended to educate the public regarding the seriousness of food allergies.

At TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness we are proud to have helped to make the initiative global with the lighting of the Sydney Town Hall in 2017,
being the first building outside of North America to turn teal in support of Food Allergy Awareness.

This year the stunning Sydney Town Hall will once again turn teal in support of Food Allergy Awareness on Sunday 12 May.
Last year two more Australian cities Brisbane and Perth joined the initiative.
This year both return, Brisbane will light the beautiful Story Bridge and Victoria Bridge on Saturday 4 May.

While the Trafalgar Bridge in Perth will ‘Turn It Teal’ over two nights Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 May.

Melbourne has become the latest city to join, and will light up the grand Melbourne Town Hall on Monday 13 May – Saturday 18 May.

TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness founder Grace Farah says:

‘The ‘Turn It Teal’ initiative is such a great idea; I knew we had to bring it to Australia.’
‘When people see a building or a bridge lit up in teal it starts a conversation and raises food allergy awareness. It also shows our children and families dealing with food allergies every day that Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth care … Australia cares.’
‘We want to express our heartfelt thanks to all the great people on the Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth councils who have helped light up some of their city’s iconic structures.’

For more information about how you can help your local area ‘Turn It Teal’ visit turnitteal.org or email us at info@triggerawareness.org

An 11-year-old may have died due to an allergic reaction to the smell of cooked fish

Fumes from cooking fish combined with asthma could have killed an 11-year-old Cameron Jean-Pierre on New Year’s Day in New York City.

The city medical examiner has yet to rule on what caused the death but his father Steven Jean-Pierre says that Cameron was at his grandmother’s house when the tragedy occurred.
Cameron became ill shortly after walking inside the home where fish was being cooked on the stove — the family suspects protein particles in the air caused the fatal reaction.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), people with fish allergies should avoid areas where fish is being cooked “as proteins may be released into the air during cooking” and cause an allergic reaction.

About 10 percent of people with fish allergies can have airborne reactions.

Celebrating Christmas with Food Allergies

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire may make the season bright but for children and adults with food allergies holiday parties and family gatherings can be a real concern.

Here are some tips that could help alleviate worries and allow families with food allergies to enjoy the upcoming holiday season;

PLAN AHEAD

Always, always carry the required medication in case of a reaction.

Check all the expiration dates for all medication and ensure you have an action plan in place.

Go over your action plan and food safety rules with your children so that it is fresh in their minds.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY:

If you are invited to an event at another family’s home then don’t be shy about having open dialogue with the host; i.e. inquire if they have baked or will be serving items with the allergen in question. If they are then offer suggestions of replacement ingredients, etc.

This is an opportunity to educate others; politely discuss your concerns about the food allergens, cross contamination and work on creating a safe environment including asking guests to wash their hands.

Play it safe: Bring your own food: This will reduce your concern about what foods are safe.

Create dishes or platters that can be shared among other guests and will make the food allergy sufferer feel less isolated.

Attach ingredient cards on your food to introduce awareness and encourage others to do the same.

Be vigilant, check labels, check ingredients and have the food allergy sufferer be prepared to say “no thank you” to foods that are not safe for them reiterating that safety always comes first.

There is also the option to celebrate in ways that don’t involve food; make crafts together, take a tour of local homes decorated with Christmas lights, sing Christmas carols etc

With a little prior planning and open communication, your family’s festive season can be a safe and happy one!

Teal Pumpkin Project offers safe Halloween for children with allergies

This Halloween, teal pumpkins will signal safe treats for trick-or-treaters with food allergies as part of the Teal Pumpkin Project, an awareness initiative jointly supported this year by leading food allergy organizations.

Over the past four years, households from every state have participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project, which encourages people to place a teal pumpkin in front of their home to show they have non-food treats available for children with food allergies and medically-necessary dietary restrictions.

“The number of children with food allergies as well as the number of anaphylactic reactions to food have risen dramatically over the last 20 years, and the prevalence of other diseases that cause adverse reactions to food continues to grow, as well,” said FARE CEO Lisa Gable. “Participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project has a collective impact, bringing people together to provide a more inclusive trick-or-treating experience for all. We are excited to join forces with other food allergy organizations who share our commitment to keeping children with food allergies safe and included and hope to see a teal pumpkin on every block in America.”

Virtually any food can cause a reaction. Many popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat, which are among the most common allergens. Additionally, many miniature candy items do not have labels, so it is difficult to determine whether these items are safe.

Taking part in the Teal Pumpkin Project is simple: paint a pumpkin teal, or buy one at any number of national retailers, and place it on front of your home to show you have non-food treats. Participants can offer treats, such as glow sticks or small toys, as an alternative to candy.

The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a local awareness activity by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee.

To learn more and add a participating home to Teal Pumpkin Project map, visit www.tealpumpkinproject.org.

U.K. Study – many parents admit to banning children’s friends if they have allergies

Children with food allergies are not being invited to parties and social events because their friends’ parents are terrified of killing or hurting them, new research suggests.

Supermarket Asda, which quizzed 2,000 adults for the survey and found 54 per cent of parents admit to banning youngsters with wheat or nut allergies from after-school events or celebrations.

Of those who are invited, 68% have gone hungry due to their friends’ parents finding it too difficult to cater for their needs, the research adds.

70% of affected youngsters have felt excluded and 68% have gone hungry at the event.
About 5 to 8% of children have a food allergy, with 58% of these having suffered a reaction and 60% being hospitalized as a result. But 47% do not know what caused their reaction and 26% are too shy to reveal they have special dietary requirements.

Jo Johnson, from Asda, said: “Armed with the right help and advice, all households can become an inclusive environment.”

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