Happy Halloween!!! Still time to enter the contest for AllergyKids giveaways!

October 31, 2006 at 5:15 pm (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, Contests, Contributors to the Podcast)

Click here and learn how to win lots of free goodies!!!!!


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Happy Halloween!!! Still time to enter the contest for AllergyKids giveaways!

October 31, 2006 at 5:07 pm (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, Contests, Contributors to the Podcast)

Click here and learn how to win lots of free goodies!!!!!

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Milk allergy alert

October 31, 2006 at 3:44 pm (Allergy News!, recalls)


October 31, 2006

Sara Lee Food & Beverage is recalling 12-oz. packages of “Sara Lee Premium
White Hamburger Buns” due to undeclared milk.

The product was distributed to retailers and grocery stores in North
Carolina and South Carolina.

The product is identified as 12-oz. “Sara Lee Premium White Hamburger Buns”
with the UPC Code 7294575177 and the production code SEPT 10 3452401226.

Consumers may return the product to the place of purchase for a refund.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at (800) 889-3556.

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Victims need not apply?

October 30, 2006 at 7:24 am (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, social issues)

Once in a while, someone (mostly online, where the REAL bravery lurks) will get aggitated, climb upon his or her high horse, and begin finger-pointing in the direction of children with life-threatening food allergies, and their parents.

“Victim” is a phrase often used as typed.  With quotations.  As if it’s not a legitimate thing.

When someone insinuates that a defenseless child, vulnerable to potential death from a sandwich or candy bar is not at a disadvantage when exposed to the substance that evokes the reaction, it makes me very angry.

If I point a gun at you, and then I shoot, are you not a shooting victim?  Or does that make you a “victim?”

Look, I get it that some people cling to their victimization and get off on it, finding it to the be the only satisfying demarcation of their existence.  Yeah, they get stuck.  Yeah, they need to move on, to learn to deal, to move forward gracefully.

So, why then, when this very group of affected people gets excited about something that helps them resume a normal life–like a candy bar that is nut-free–do other people get on the aforementioned high horse and start name-calling and finger-pointing and acting as though taking pro-active steps to eat safely and other measures are “being a victim”?

I can personally promise you that every child allergic to food that his/her classmates can eat WANTS to be a survivor, not a “victim.”  I can likely assure you that their parents, if they love them, don’t want them to be pitiful, stunted, emotionally weak little heaps of “poor me”-ness, either.  We want our kids to do better, to thrive, to cope, to take responsibility, to keep safe.

I started allergyware.com because my child was THIRTEEN MONTHS OLD when he had his first anaphylactic reaction.  A thirteen month old kid can’t take responsibility for his food allergy.  I also saw quite clearly how my intense reading, preparation, and above-par diligence as a new parent had not been enough to keep him from obtaining this life-threatening situation, which is something he’s not likely to outgrow.

Now, I don’t want my kid to grow up thinking he’s a “victim”–I want him to be strong.

But those of you bitching about Mars in Canada taking peanuts out of their Mars bars–and bitching at me and other food allergy parents for even mentioning it–need to get on your flipping horses and ride off to attack the next cause.

Don’t insinuate we’re wallowing in our “victimization” or censoring valid comments.  When you do that, you only bring division and fire people up and hurt children.  If you create ill-will toward what you say are false victims, you create victims.

Move on, live and let live and leave us alone, for God’s sake.

Or go stand outside the cancer ward and heckle the patients for being “cancer victims.” 

Yes, it IS the same thing.  Death is death.  And nobody asks for either cancer or death by anaphylaxis.

The fact that this sort of issue keeps coming up is one of the reasons I started Allergy News.  It’s a place where you can speak out–and, yes, even dissenting opinions are welcome.

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Allergy kids in isolation-ideas needed, please!

October 27, 2006 at 11:59 am (social issues)

Someone mentioned to me recently that his second-grader feels isolated at times due to his allergy.

Do you, or do your children, suffer from this, as well?

At work I frequently feel singled-out and poo-pooh’d because I can’t eat anything with nuts (I’m still a nursing mom and not taking any chances).  There is another man who can’t eat chocolate, so any time there is a birthday celebration (we do this once a month), he or I deal with mingled excitement, dread, let-down, and a silly amount of joy at being able to participate (or not).

As the years have gone on, I’ve gotten better about these feelings, and the people in my immediate family who originally told me point blank “You are tearing this family apart” at the mere suggestion that we go over the Thanksgiving menu to see what is safe for Sam have settled down, as well–finally coming to terms with the fact that Sam’s allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, and lentils is here to stay.  It’s been four years coming to this point, so it’s reasonable to expect the family to finally get it…

But what about school?  Laura Duke had to get a law passed in her state to keep her son’s school from isolating him, and that still didn’t stop them from menacing behavior, harassment, etc.

How have you dealt with this in your child’s school or other group?  Have you ever had to deal with someone or some body (school, church, scouts) etc. trying to put your kid into a bubble, or inadvertently making her or him feel “just weird enough” to not fit in?

It’s such a fine line.

How do you deal?  Please share your wisdom and experience.

(Just bumping this to the top.)

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Halloween Allergy Articles

October 25, 2006 at 8:25 am (Allergy News!, Photos, Websites)

Halloween Faces

Originally uploaded by mojeecat.

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October 25, 2006 at 7:59 am (Allergy News!, Products)

I now offer Dyson vaccuums for sale–as you know, I credit these to the continued improved health of my family this past year.  These plus the AllergyZone filters have helped so much.

I haven’t put any links on my site yet, but if you are in the market for a new HEPA vac, please get in touch.   I wouldn’t go out of my way to offer the Dyson if it weren’t a good investment–it has really helped our family.

This is the model we own:


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iTunes review

October 25, 2006 at 5:28 am (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free.)

If you are an iTunes user, could you leave me a review on iTunes?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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Some Halloween ideas courtesy of FAST

October 23, 2006 at 11:28 am (Blog & Websites, social issues)

For those of us dealing with food allergies around Halloween, here’s a link with some good ideas.

Halloween may seem like a problem for parents who have allergic children. Should the child be excluded from activities due to his or her food restrictions? As you will see from the following article, moms have found ways to avoid allergens on Halloween.


Many parents have found that their child would prefer to have non-food items for Halloween. NLM advises that parents “drop off safe little toys (stickers, cars, and mylar balloons) with some neighbors beforehand.”
Kathy L. does something similar. “Each year we go to our neighbors, who know our son by now, and give them all ‘safe’ treats to give him. We tell them what he will be wearing and go with him to insure that they remember. They appreciate the extra goodies, and enjoy being able to help. Our son gets a load of goodies, and we have relatively few worries.”
 Jennifer has found that this works for even the children who do not have food allergies. Her family hands out non-food items to trick-or-treaters. “We have started passing out little toy items along with candy. We have a store in this area that specializes in these kinds of little cheap toys. Last year we passed out plastic flies, spider rings, and ghoulish stencils. I have always tried to get a variety of items trying to be safe and fun for different ages. Nothing with peanuts or hard candy for the little ones, so this is just an extension of this. (Obviously, the little goblins didn’t get the plastic flies or spider rings.)”
Some parents have found that they can trade non-safe items for safe ones. Says Kathy L., “with older children, work out a bartering system, where they trade their goodies towards something they REALLY want.” 
KSB does something similar. “We always let our son pick out candy to give out which is safe for him. He goes to only a few houses in the neighborhood and for those who don’t have a safe candy for him, he is able to trade with the candy we are giving out. Also our next door neighbor started something neat. She makes special goodie bags for the kids she knows. For our son and his sister she gets halloween pencils, erasers, toothbrushes, stickers and coloring books (all from the dollar store). A great treat and no candy to worry about. One neighbor last year gave our son two of the state quarters rather than candy. Then he could go to the store and get something safe.”
Keep in mind that a trade system is not acceptable for children who have contact allergies, can get sick from inhaling their allergens, or are known to “sneak” food. As Kathy mentioned, this should be left to older kids who are responsible and know that eating unsafe food can make them sick.

Parties and School

Would you like to try something at home this year? If so, it might help minimize the risk of an allergic reaction. Says Kathy L., “Have a party yourself. If going to another child’s party, feed your children before going (or before going door to door) to minimize the risk of ‘nibbling.'” Since some families don’t celebrate Halloween, having your own party can be a way to include more children. Try a harvest party and ask the children to dress up like scarecrows or cowboys and cowgirls. 
Need a party idea? NLM says “A cute idea for a party is to make a safe punch, say with sparkling cider, cranberry juice, club soda, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar syrup to taste. Then for the ice, fill rinsed surgical gloves (nonpowdered) with water and freeze on a cookie sheet. When frozen, peel off the gloves and float the ice hands in the punch.” Look for gloves that do not contain latex, in case your child or a friend of his/hers is allergic to it.  If school is a problem KSB recommends “making safe sugar cookies and using a pumpkin cookie cutter and orange food coloring.”
If you need ideas for games and parties, check out Zoom’s website at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/zoom/. This TV show often has activities that are safe for allergics, and some games that require peanuts contain alternate ideas for those who have peanut allergies! The site map at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/zoom/sitemap/ there makes finding what you want easier. Specifically you may want to look at the game ideas: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/zoom/games/.
A helpful book with party and game ideas is Giant Book of Puzzles and Games by Sheila Anne Barry. It contains activities for all ages, from one player up to many.
Have a fun, safe time!

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A very Halloweeny mailbag edition

October 22, 2006 at 11:09 am (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, eczema, medical, Products, recalls, RSS Feeds, Science, social issues, Websites)

No allergy headlines in this Halloween podcast part 2, but we do have:


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