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.

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.”

Celebrities have food allergies too

Sharing stories of celebrities and athletes who have to live with and manage their food allergies every day helps food allergic children relate to the world by reiterating the message that they are not alone and having allergies doesn’t mean you can’t live the life you want.

Here is a list of celebrities with various food allergies;

Ariana Grande is one of many celebs with shellfish allergies she is also allergic to bananas.
Kelly Clarkson is allergic to peanuts. In addition to her food allergy, Clarkson is also allergic to dog hair and goldenrod.
Actor and comedian Steve Martin is allergic to shellfish.
Actor and comedian Ray Romano is allergic to peanuts.
Movie star Drew Barrymore lives with her coffee and garlic allergies and says it “can be a major pain”.
Actress Zooey Deschanel is allergic to eggs, dairy and wheat.
Movie Star Halle Berry is reportedly another star with a shellfish allergy.
Jessica Simpsonis allergic to tomatoes, wheat, and milk.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is allergic to chocolate and flour.

Food Allergy Parents:

Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick (son allergic to peanuts)
Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin (son allergic to gluten and daughter allergic dairy)

Australia Puts A ‘Teal’ Spotlight On Food Allergy Awareness – Sydney, Brisbane and Perth set to shine next week for food allergy awareness week.

In support of Food Allergy Awareness Week (13-19 May, 2018) three Australian cities will light up in teal –the colour associated with food allergy awareness.

The iconic Sydney Town Hall, which last year became the first building outside of North America to join the ‘Turn it Teal’ initiative, will once again light up on Friday May 18, 2018.

The City of Brisbane joins the ‘Turn It Teal’ movement and will light up both the Story Bridge and Victoria Bridge on Wednesday the 16th of May 2018.

The City of Perth, Western Australia will put the spotlight on food allergy awareness by lighting the Trafalgar Bridge in teal Wednesday 16th and 17th of May.

‘Turn it Teal’ was started by a U.S.A mother, Stephanie Lowe with the goal of lighting as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Week.TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness has joined the initiative to ‘Turn it Teal’in Australia and beyond.
“This is such a great idea to raise food allergy awareness and I’m so proud of Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and we have other Australian cities indicating they’ll be on board next year” TRIGGER founder Grace Farah stated.
‘People see a building or a bridge lit, it starts a conversation but it also shows our Australian children and families dealing with food allergies that Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Australia cares.’
‘We want to express our heartfelt thanks to all the great folks at Sydney, Brisbane and Perth councils who have made this happen’.

This May ‘Turn It Teal’ will see many buildings lit up including the Empire State Building in New York, JFK Airport Air Traffic Control Tower, Seattle’s Pacific Science Center and Niagara Falls in the Buffalo/Toronto area.

For more information about how you can help your local area ‘Turn It Teal’ visit turnitteal.org or email us at info@triggerawareness.org
Please also help us raise awareness by watching and sharing this video.
https://vimeo.com/264526837

Thank You.

Turn The World Teal This May

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month, a great time to spread the word about food allergies. Understanding food allergies and identifying allergic reactions can and does help save lives.

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 Week, (May 13 -19) an initiative intended to educate the public regarding the seriousness of food allergies.

The lighting of the Sydney Town Hall last year made history, being the first building outside of North America to turn teal in support of food allergy awareness.

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 Australian kids and families dealing with food allergies that Sydney cares and Australia cares. This year, the hope is to see as many other countries, cities and towns come on board and turn their buildings teal and show their support.”

“How great would it be to not only see Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, W.A, Tasmania and the Territory ‘Turn it Teal’, but also New Zealand, London, Paris, Italy, China, India, the UK, Europe and Asia?”

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

Please also help us raise awareness by watching and sharing this video. Thank You.

https://vimeo.com/264526837

Survey of school nurses reveals significant progress in schools, but more needs to be done

Nearly all school nurses participating in an American national survey (96 percent) reported that staff at their school received training on handling severe allergic reactions to food. Over 80 percent asserted that their school had an emergency epinephrine auto-injector on hand to stop a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

The study findings, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, also underscore the dire need for these policies, with over one-third of the school nurses reporting at least one severe allergic reaction to food at their school in the last academic year.

“We were encouraged to see high rates of epinephrine availability in schools,” says senior author Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, who also is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “This is significant improvement over the last decade. We also saw that epinephrine was available more often when schools had full-time nurses. Greater nurse presence appears to be an important factor in implementing food allergy policies in schools.

The nurses in the current survey pointed to some areas in need of improvement;
Their responses indicated the least implemented policies: labeling of school lunch items with allergen information; specific food policies for after-school activities; and not having emergency epinephrine with students on field trips or other activities away from school.

Given these survey results, “we need to continue working together with families and schools to develop feasible policies that protect children with food allergies.”

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!

INFORMATION on triggerallergy.com IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE and any information or materials posted are intended for general informational purposes only. Any information posted on the web site is NOT a substitute for medical attention. Please see your health-care professional for medical advice and treatment.