Hostess Mini Pound Cakes – undeclared walnut

May 14, 2007 at 12:03 pm (alert, food, kids, labeling, nut-free, walnut)

WALNUT ALLERGY ALERT
May 14, 2007

Interstate Brands Corporation (IBC) is recalling “Hostess Mini Pound Cake”
due to undeclared walnut.

The recalled product was distributed to retail stores in Alabama, Arkansas,
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois,
Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,
Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The product comes in 3.25-oz. individual snack packages with the code date
of May 28 53 122 printed on the center of the package just above
the “Hostess Mini Pound Cake” name, and UPC #4500041159.

Consumers may return the product to the store where purchased for a full
refund. Consumers with questions may call (800) 483-7253.

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A note from Ria Sharon of Checkmytag.com, and note from me on what it’s like to be an allergymompreneur

May 9, 2007 at 5:58 pm (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, Canada, Contributors to the Podcast, education, gear, kids, labeling, newspapers, peanut, Products, social issues, USA, Websites)

Most of our friends and family are amazingly thoughtful and ask, “Is this safe?” before they give our little guy anything to eat. A few just give me the box so I can check the label. But almost all will admit their discomfort with making the call themselves, partly because they are not sure what to look for when they are reading packaged food labels.

Next week is Food Allergy Week so we are making extra efforts to promote food safety for our food-allergic friends and loved ones. The Spring issue of our bulletin, Be Aware. Be Safe. is devoted to taking the mystery out of the new labeling laws. Please help us raise awareness and understanding of food allergies, by passing this .pdf along to your friends, co-workers, educators, and childcare providers.

Also, visit our Community page, http://www.checkmytag.com/community.html beginning May 20th to read personal accounts from the blogosphere on how food allergies have changed the daily lives of a growing number of families.

Thanks for helping to keep kids safe,

Ria

Ria is a very warm and helpful individual.  Please check out her site!  It is not just about “selling shirts” for her.

Someone recently accused me of only doing this blog to direct people to my allergyware.com site.  She didn’t say it accusingly, but rather matter-of-fact.  As if.  😦  Why do I make the shirts?  Why did I do it in the first place?  Because allergies are a “growth industry?”  Because I was looking to make a quick buck?  C’mon.  My kid could DIE if he eats a peanut.  There were no shirts at all out there for sale except from England, when he tested positive for peanut.  What would YOU do?

Honestly, it is issues like the above that I am using this hiatus to think over.  I don’t want anyone to think that it is my desire or motivation to profit from my son’s life-threatening allergy.  The fact is, I’m not a millionaire who can set up a fund to research the cure.  I do not have the time to volunteer a lot and do a lot of political stuff, plus I do not have the temperament for it.

What I am is a writer with a degree in accounting.  I am a business person by training and a story-teller by birth.

I write this blog and I sell tee-shirts because I buy the tees myself.  My kid also wears shirts by other allergymompreneurs.  He took his first field trip today with his medicine in a bag from allergykids.com (thanks, Robyn).

If you are so cynical that you think for the past five years I have enjoyed some kind of status as Allergy Tee Shirt Emperor, then you are forgetting the heartbreak and daily stress and agony that go along with safe-guarding a child who is too young to speak for himself.

Pushing six years old, he is finally getting closer to being able to speak up for himself to people about his allergy.  He still can’t read, give himself his epinephrine shot, or measure out his own Benadryl.  He is dependent on any adult in his vicinity to notice if he develops hives, has trouble breathing, his eyes swell up, etc.

So I made him shirts.  When he was recently fed a nut-containing brownie at school, I sent him to school the next day in an allergy shirt, in addition to talking to his teachers about what happened.  You know what?  Call me materialistic & opportunistic and any other “istic” that you want, but I FELT BETTER knowing his shirt said this in big letters:

cutelittlesamallergyshirt.jpg

(this was him four years ago, nearly exactly!)

This is him today, in a Nut Free Zone hoodie:

sam042607.jpg

I love this child.  He is not a model, a product spokesman, a clotheshorse, or a mannequin to hang shirts on.

HE IS MY CHILD.

If you think I’m doing this blog and doing my shirts for the money, or you wonder why I don’t do more: I am doing what I can, where I can, with what I can.

I love my children, all three of them, and I am doing my best.  This blog is filled with photos, links, articles, podcasts, recalls, news, you name it.  I am doing my best.  I doubt I will ever give up the blog, but for now I am not in the frame of mind to do videos or audio podcasts.  I probably will again.  I do not feel like I am “done,” you know?  But my time is sort of maxed out right now.

Now head on over to Ria’s site, or any of the awesome Allergy Mom (and Dad) sites listed in this blogroll.

Sorry for the tangent, but I think it deserves to be said: Allergy Moms who started Allergy businesses have their hearts in the right place. They should be commended, not distrusted!

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Playground bullying vs. teasing

April 28, 2007 at 10:51 am (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, education, food, kids, nut-free, Products, safety, school, social issues)

There have been a lot of blog posts in the allergic community lately about kids bullying allergic classmates.

This calls to mind a post I left on a local message board over the weekend, about being teased. Here’s an excerpt:

being made fun of

 

Submitted by lmharmon on Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:09 pm

 

Take this for what it’s worth, but being made fun of can be so character-building. I’m not saying it’s something I’d seek out for my kids, but it’s not the end of the world.

I was at least a foot and a half taller than every second grader at my new school, the beginning of second grade. Add to the fact that I had (first) buckteeth and then (worse) a headgear. I was called Radar Head, and openly attacked physically by little boys on the playground that were intimidated by my size.

Amazingly, I quickly made friends and endured the teasing with no lasting damage. I only recently even remembered being called Radar Head. I do remember the teasing a neighbor boy got on the bus for taking up for me! They accused him of being my boyfriend! Rolling Eyes Embarassed Very Happy

Oh, did I mention my mother dressed me funny? Knee socks and tartan skirts and other very feminine clothing, for me, the total tomboy. It was a nightmare.

But I actually enjoyed school a lot, became one of the most popular kids in school, was a cheerleader, etc.

The whole time, I was taller than everyone, and went through not only the headgear, but a functional appliance, braces, etc.

…I think I was the living dictionary of “awkward stage” all through those precious years.

My point being, on this topic, that being teased is something that will happen to most kids (some of us more than others!), and I think we actually grow from the experience.

As the mother of a child with peanut allergy, I have been called “Peanut Lady” in a moment of insensitivity by an administrator at my son’s school. Again…an opportunity for growth on my part, and education for him. (He was immediately apologetic, but how revealing that slip was of his heart, at least at that moment.)

The reason I post this today is because I want to make something crystal clear: teasing is not the same as bullying. Bullying can employ teasing, but name-calling and rough-wrestling (which is probably outlawed now that kids aren’t typically free to skin their knees on the playground) are common parts of child development. Most kids will be on both sides of that experience at some point before they begin adolescence. They had better be!

Bullying takes teasing too far. Bullying takes the wrestling and makes it mean. It is a kid who is three times bigger, and old enough to know better, pushing another kid around. It is the little girl who knows that the special needs child in her school is mildly retarded, who still openly mocks and makes fun of the differently-abled child. Words and actions can be used mildly, or they can be abusive.

Bullying is abusive. Teasing really is not.

If my kid gets called Peanut Boy (not likely at his current school), then that’s teasing, right? But if someone holds a peanut butter and jelly sandwich over his head unawares, that’s not teasing. That’s dangerous. And then we’re getting into bullying issues.

Personally, I think life is too short for bullying amongst adults, but even that occurs. I have experienced it with food allergies, very often. People are sometimes openly resentful that we do not eat nut products (why they take this personally, I will never know), sometimes passive-aggressive about it, testing us and trying to get us to “slip” and eat something that might endanger our nursing child, or via contact, cause a reaction in Sam. Why do they do it?

I can only presume it is for the same reason the playground bully chases a classmate around with a handful of peanuts in his hand: it’s a short-term power trip without thought for the long-term ramifications on others.

sam042607.jpg

Sam models his Nut Free Zone hoodie.

iamloved.jpgcutelittlesamallergyshirt.jpg

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“Care” provider

April 25, 2007 at 7:03 am (kids, shots, social issues)

I am my child’s advocate. Responsible for teaching them, guiding them, loving them, nurturing them, disciplining them, and, yes, protecting them, I believe I have reasonable expectations from my children’s physician. I expect a physician and his staff to be kind, caring, patient, and helpful. That’s about all I expect.

Suffice it to say, we are in a situation where that trust has been violated. Not by a direct act of the Dr., but by the direct acts of one particular staff member. This staff member is so troubled, that since I alerted management about the situation, she has become even worse.

Their response to us was basically “so what?”

That’s…bad business, at best, bad medicine, definitely. But this woman’s response…? Pick up any psychology text book, turn to “sociopath,” and there you’ll have it.

I feel sorry for her, for the whole organization, which proudly posts a sort of Code of Ethics that they obviously don’t adhere to.

In that vein, the one time I have seen “my” allergist, he referred to me as What’s Her Face in conversation with a staff member in the hallway. I should have known then that patients aren’t people and don’t deserve respect, in this practice. But I forgave it. I actually didn’t realize he was talking about me.

I suppose the thing that really screams RED FLAG is that we expected to be treated with civility and respect by everyone in that office. We did not expect to be run down, either behind our backs or in front of our faces. The woman mentioned previously mistreated my son, lied to me, and now is absolutely scary to be around. Well, she was always scary but now she is really Scary Mary, if you know what I mean. The corporate culture in that place is sick.

And I don’t go to someone who is sick to help me get well, you know?

I want to stop going there immediately, but we are waiting for insurance options to open up. Sad, isn’t it? And believe me, they understand that they’re the only allergist in town. It completely affects their “care.”

I’ve never been treated this way in my life. I have to pray before every visit into their offices. The kids have to pray. We have to pray for strength to make it through.

I just don’t think it has to be like that.

Additionally, I was disturbed that this situation was treated so dismissively by the same of group of doctors that manufacture and sell the air filters I promoted and had begun to sell from my website. I was so impressed with these air filters that I was willing to get into the business of selling them.

Now that the intregrity of their medical practice has proven to be what it is, I certainly can’t stand behind their consumer products. The whole idea just makes me sick.

I realize that medicine is a business, just like anything else. However, if the lady at the counter at McDonald’s is hateful, the manager will do something about it. Not for “revenge,” (which is the word their manager used to describe our concern – how caveman is that?), but for common decency, common sense, and for the betterment of the out-of-line employee as well as the health of the business. That’s the selfish side of customer service – I will take care of the business for the business’ sake, and by doing so, I must take care of the customer.

In a more sophisticated market, such as real estate, law, accounting, and, yes, medicine, a higher level of professionalism than what one finds at McDonald’s is expected.

Sadly, I’ve had better customer service there – and I rarely even go there – than I got from our allergist and his team. We went out of our way to make sure they understood our hearts. We were called liars, and they currently “work around” the problem. The work-around isn’t working, though. You can’t work-around the culture they’ve empowered and encouraged by condoning such abuse. Period.

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If your child has peanut allergy, he/she may react to SOY, as well

April 22, 2007 at 12:46 pm (Allergy News!, asthma, Blog & Websites, kids, medical, nut-free, peanut, Science, soy, tree nut, USA, Websites)

Dear AllergyKids’ Friends,

Soy Induced Anaphylaxis in Children with Asthma and Peanut Allergy
As many of you know, soy is one of the top eight allergens. What you may not know is that a child with a peanut allergy can have an allergic reaction after eating a food that contains soy, according to the Asthma and Allergy Resource Center.

How could soy cause an allergic reaction in my child with peanut allergy?
In scientific terms, soybean allergens are “homologous” to known peanut allergens and can be recognized by 44% of peanut-allergic patients.

What that means is that a child with a peanut allergy can have an allergic reaction and even go into anaphylaxis after eating soy. Because this cross-reactivity is rarely mentioned in the press, many parents are unaware of the potential health risks that soy may present to children with peanut allergies.

What are the Signs of a Cross-Reaction to Soy?
According to Ingrid Yman, PhD of the Swedish National Food Administration, these deaths initially appear as an asthma attack, with no or very mild symptoms for the first 30-90 minutes after the consumption of food containing soy. Then, the children suffer fatal asthma attacks.

What Can I Do to Protect My Child with Peanut Allergy?
According to Dr. Yman, PhD of the Swedish National Food Administration, “If your child is allergic to peanuts, you should consider eliminating soy as well as all peanuts from your child’s diet, even if your child has never reacted poorly to soy in the past. Some sensitive children have “hidden” soy allergies that manifest for the first time with a severe – even fatal – reaction to even the low levels of “hidden” soy commonly found in processed food products. Those at the highest risk suffer from asthma as well as peanut allergy.”

The Swedish National Food Administration study analyzed severe food allergy reactions of children that died after consuming soy. These children had known allergies to peanuts but not to soy.

What products contain soy?
Soy can be found in soy milk, tofu, soy sauce, baby formula and other soy products.

Soy is also used in many processed foods, as soy lecithin, soy lectin, soybean oil and other soy derivatives.

Soy is commonly used as animal-feed in livestock.

It is only within the last nine years that soy has become one of the top eight allergens.

Soy has recently been genetically engineered to contain new proteins and potential allergens.

Are there other facts that I may not know about soy?
According to Daniel Sheehan, PhD and director of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) National Center for Toxicological Research, soy-fed babies are taking part in “a large, uncontrolled and basically unmonitored human infant experiment.”

The British Dietetic Association now warns parents to avoid soy formula given the results of a 2003 study conducted by Dr. Gideon Lack from St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College, London, UK.

The French Food Agency will soon require warning labels on all soy foods, soy formulas and soy milk so that consumers will be aware of the risks that soy poses to children under the age of three, those with hypothyroidism, and women with a family history of breast cancer.

In January 2006, the American Heart Association reversed its position on soy.

Why haven’t I heard this before?
AllergyKids is one of the first independently funded food allergy organizations in the world. We highlight all food allergy research that relates to the health and well-being of children and their families.

Being independently funded, AllergyKids is able to avoid conflicts of interest that funding ties may present – the importance of which is detailed in the work of Dr. Susan Linn of Harvard University and Marion Nestle, former editor of the Surgeon General Letter on Nutrition and Health.

What can I do to learn more?
AllergyKids would like to highlight the work of Kaayla Daniel, PhD. In her book, The Whole Soy Story, Dr. Daniel details the cross reactivity between soy and peanut, specifically addressing in detail the risks that soy poses to children with peanut allergy and asthma.

In the United States, the Weston A. Price Foundation is spearheading efforts to address children with peanut allergy who were fed soy as infants and toddlers.

What else can I do?
If you believe that the consumption of soy products or soy formula may have played a role in the development of your child’s food allergies, please contact:

Sally Fallon, President
The Weston A. Price Foundation
PMB 106-380 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20016
Phone: (202) 363-4394
info@westonaprice.org

How can I support AllergyKids’ Independent Research?
To support AllergyKids’ independent research, even if you don’t have a child with food allergies, please consider purchasing products for your child or your child’s school or preschool so that we can continue to provide families with the tools to help protect children.

We invite you to follow the lead of Linda, a nurse in upstate New York who conducted a fund raiser with her association of school nurses and purchased custom-designed AllergyKids Kits for every elementary school in the district.

Please forward this email and encourage friends to sign up for our FREE newsletters
Please consider forwarding this email to your friends and family in an effort to spread this previously unhighlighted information about the risk that soy poses to children with asthma and peanut allergy.

If you would like to include this letter on your website or in your blog, please refer to AllergyKids as the source of this information and encourage your readers to sign up for our free newsletters which will continue to provide leading research.

If we can ever answer any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at http://www.allergykids.com or 1.800.671.1525.

As Robert F. Kennedy said, “Some men see things the way they are, and ask ’why?’”
For our children, we see things the way they should be, and ask ’why not?’

In our quest for a cure for these children, no truth is too complex. We must simply have the courage to pursue it.

With hope for our children,
Robyn O’Brien
Founder, AllergyKids
Mother of Four
1.800.671.1525

About Robyn O’Brien: Prior to launching AllergyKids, Robyn was in the process of applying for a PhD after drafting her first book, Sugar Mamas: Nutrition’s Impact on the Health and Well-Being of Mothers and Their Children. When her fourth child was diagnosed with potentially life threatening food allergies, she curtailed her personal pursuit in an effort to create greater awareness of the millions of children with food allergies.

Prior to motherhood, Robyn worked as an analyst on one of the nation’s largest mid-cap portfolio management teams. Her team was responsible for $20 billion in assets, covering everything from Enron, to Ebay to Martha Stewart. Robyn received an MBA in finance on a full scholarship and was a Fulbright Fellow.

In her efforts to create awareness of children with food allergies, she has received encouragement from Erin Brockovich and parents around the world.

Robyn asks that you please consider forwarding this email to others who are looking to protect the health and well-being of their families.

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Someone fed my kid a peanut at school

March 30, 2007 at 3:48 pm (education, food, kids, school, social issues)

Well, last week we had our first problem at my son’s school. A child mother brought in brownies for a birthday celebration, and even though my son had his own safe cookies to enjoy, another child told him her brownie was safe, and she shared it with him. It did contain peanuts.

The good news was that he did not have an anaphylactic reaction. He got two bumps on his arm. However, I wouldn’t have known about the incident at all if my son hadn’t told me.

What could have happened?

His teacher expressed concern, but the whole thing makes me wonder if we are doing the right thing sending our child to a public school. I don’t think you could ask for a better school than this. It is wonderful.

BUT, they compromised Sam’s safety.

Would it be conscionable to compromise any child’s life? Would it be okay to bring in a poisonous snake if only one child in class could possibly be poisoned by it?

I have been criticized for drawing these parallels, but I challenge you to draw a better one.

My kid was okay this time. But what if there is an increased frequency of incidents in the future, because they know this peanut didn’t kill him? What if he starts getting repetitively accidentally exposed, because no one else in the classroom has to be supervised in this way?

Flat-out, letting an allergic child eat a dangerous food is an act of disregard for that child’s safety.

We have had problems with there being lentils in the room, as well. I just don’t get that they are very concerned about the reality of this stuff being unpredictable and dangerous for Sam.

I’m not an alarmist. I’m a mother striving for a safe learning environment for her child.

I wouldn’t take your child out to sit on the highway for story hour, so PLEASE do not feed my child peanuts. It is the same thing. It is life-threatening, inconsiderate, and unwise.

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Peanut Allergies by Brenaya Hewlett

March 19, 2007 at 7:12 am (Canada, education, kids, medical, nut-free, peanut, safety, school, shots, social issues, USA)

“May contain traces of peanuts” “Made in a facility that also processes peanuts.” These are two sentences I hate the most.” The one sentence I love the most, “made in a peanut free facility” Chairperson, honourable judges, ladies and gentlemen and fellow students. I’m going to share with you how a person gets an allergy, what anaphylaxis is and how challenging it is to live with a peanut allergy. Do you like peanuts? Well I sure don’t because to me, they are criminals.

I got my allergy because I was born prone to allergies. I have significantly lower levels of enzyme which breaks down the chemical that causes bronchial spasms. I also have high levels of IgE antibodies that are activated during and allergic reaction. Allergies are hereditary instead of someone just getting it from one parent I got it from both of mine. Because both of my parents are already lacking enzyme to give to me they give me even more IgE antibodies. I got my peanut allergy after I was born. Since I was born prone to allergies that is what started it. When my mom was breast feeding me almost every food made her nauseous but she still needed her proteins so she overdosed on peanut butter and whole peanuts. Since I have low levels of enzyme my kids will have terrible allergies because I have practically none to pass on and way to much IgE to give. Studies show that over sanitized conditions in the west have caused immune systems to overreact to absence of other infections.

What is anaphylaxis? A dictionary defines this as “a term commonly used to denote the immediate transient kind of allergic reaction characterized by a contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of capillaries due to release of pharmacologically active substance classically initiated by the combination of an allergen, mast cell-fixed and cryophilic antibody known as IgE” you might now have understood any of that but in simpler words anaphylaxis is an immediate allergy reaction that completely shuts down every single thing in your body. It is a life-threatening reaction when cells in your respitory system swell causing suffocation, cardiac failure and loss of consciousness. It must be instantly treated with epinephrine to buy you enough time to get to the hospital. Statistics show that 1.5 percent of Canadian kids have deadly peanut allergies and 15 children die a year because their peers at school were eating peanuts around them.

It is extremely challenging to live with a peanut allergy. Just imagine living your whole life knowing you could just touch a door knob and die. Try a little experiment, be me for a week you cant eat anything with any type of nut in it. Each food that you do eat you have to read the ingredients twice to be sure. At the bottom of the list get used to seeing made in a facility that also processes peanuts, and if it does say that sorry you cannot consume. If you accidentally touch peanuts, scrub your hands arms and face for five minutes and air dry. if you smell peanuts cover your mouth and nose and run away until the smell is gone. It is harder than it may look!, And there is always cross-contamination. When you are at your friends house you cant eat anything. If they had peanut butter on the knife and then put the knife in the margarine and you ate it well it is now time to go to the hospital because you are in anaphylactic shock. To sum it up, peanut allergies aren’t just something that the victim takes cautions about but everyone needs to.

In conclusion, 73 percent of people don’t know enough about allergies to be around a person that has severe reactions. Today you heard how people get allergies, what anaphylaxis is and how annoying allergies are. Next time you meet someone with any type of severe allergy show some sympathy for them. If they go into shock get out the epi pen and pull off the grey cap at the tip and jab it in their thigh, believe me it might sound weird but you will be their hero.

Brenaya wrote this speech for school. Thanks for sending it in!

Oh, PS. Sometimes people write to me and say they are having trouble breathing. If you do that, PLEASE go to the emergency room or doctor as before you even finish your email! I would drive you, myself, but oftentimes I get emails from other countries from children saying they are having trouble breathing. As a parent (and a human being) it troubles me to think that you emailed me and then perhaps collapsed.

If you write me once because you are feeling sick, please write me later and tell me you are okay. I worry about anaphylaxis and asthma and what might be happening to you.

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CHILD magazine article on life with food allergies

March 16, 2007 at 6:35 am (Allergy News!, education, food, kids, magazines, nut-free, school, Websites)

This is a good one!  Thanks for all the emails

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Egg Allergy news

March 1, 2007 at 1:11 pm (alert, Allergy News!, egg, food, kids, labeling, safety)

Got this via email from a local allergy group, Allergy Awareness and Education Group, in Oldham Co., Kentucky.

AAAAI: Kids with Egg Allergy Take a Powder

By Neil Osterweil, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
February 27, 2007

Add Your Knowledge™ Additional AAAAI Coverage

SAN DIEGO — Children with allergies to eggs can lose their sensitivity with the help of a little powdered egg and an oral desensitization regimen, according to Japanese researchers.
Action Points
Explain to parents that oral desensitization regimens such as the one described here should be performed only under the supervision of qualified physicians, as serious allergic or anaphylactic reactions requiring immediate treatment can occur.

This study was published as an abstract and presented orally at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary as they have not yet been reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed publication.
Eleven of 13 allergic children were able to tolerate up to 4 g of powdered egg, about one-quarter of a medium-sized hen’s egg, reported Masuyaki Akashi, M.D, of the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo, and colleagues.

In their study “the reduced risk of critical allergic reaction with accidental ingestion of egg was observed in all patients,” Dr. Akashi reported at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology meeting here.

Although they typically recommend that young patients with egg allergies be kept on egg-avoidance diets until they reach school age, by which time the majority of children have lost their sensitivity, there are some children who never seem to develop tolerance, the authors said.

On the basis of clinical experience with oral desensitization therapy in the U.S. and Europe, the authors conducted a study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the technique with the 13 egg-allergic children.

The seven boys and six girls had a mean age of 5.5 + 1.5 years (range four to eight). Two of the children had bronchial asthma alone, two had atopic dermatitis alone, and the remaining nine had both.

Powdered egg, starting at a dose of 0.1 mg, was introduced gradually into the diets, and was increased every three of four days, in increasing small increments, over three to six months.

Whenever an objective allergic reaction occurred, the previous dose was given for an additional week, and the child was then started on antihistamine.

The main outcomes measures were tolerance to 4 g of powdered egg, and egg-white specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) and immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) levels in serum.

At the end of the study, 11 of the 13 children had developed tolerance to the full 4 g dose of powdered egg. One of the remaining two children could ingest up to 0.2 g of egg, and the other up to 2.4 g at six months.

All but one of the patients had at least some type of allergic reaction during the therapy, with major adverse events including abdominal pain, vomiting, and oral allergy syndrome, but there were no anaphylactic reactions.

“We conclude that our oral desensitization therapy could induce tolerance for 11 of 13 children with egg allergy safely,” Dr. Akashi said.

Dr. Akashi’s co-author, Yukihiro Ohya, M.D., director of the allergy division at Japan’s National Center for Child Health and Development, said that the lack of anaphylactic reactions and the cautious increase in doses gave them confidence that the oral desensitization regimen could be performed safely at home under close supervision by a qualified physician.

The authors had no relevant financial disclosures.

Complete AAAAI Coverage

Primary source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Source reference:
Akashi M et al. “Oral Desensitization in Children with Egg Allergy.” Abstract 291 presented Feb. 24.

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AllergyMoms.com conference

February 8, 2007 at 5:18 pm (Allergy News!, Canada, conferences, education, kids, medical, safety, social issues, USA)

Well, I missed the opportunity to meet some kick-ass Allergy Moms.  Here are some photos and info about ladies who are taking the matter of life-threatening food allergies into their own hands, serving our community and vowing to contribute to a change.

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Sara Shannon signing a letter she wrote to Senator Orie on ehalf of “AllergyMoms” back in Oct.

For those of you unfamiliar with Sara Shannon–she is the mother of the young Canadian girl who died of anaphylaxis in the fall of 2003.  The news story broke hearts around the world, and as I hear of it, the girl’s mother is changing lives as an activist to protect other children from a similar fate.

Listen to Sabrina explain life with allergies in the documentary she made about life with severe allergies, at age ten.

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Attendees of note:

Front row:
Robyn O’Brien, Gina Clowes, Sara Shannon, Susan Taichman-Robins, Maria
Acebal

Back row:
Anna McCartney, Maureen Polensky, Kristie Serio, Catrina VonderMeulen,
Teresa Newlands

Robyn (Boulder, CO)
Gina (Cranberry Twp,PA)
Sara (Ontario, Canada)
Susan (Philadelphia,PA)
Maria (Washington, DC)

Anna (Seattle,WA)
Maureen (Bucks Count,PA)
Kristie (Dallas, TX)
Catrina (Cincinnati,OH)
Teresa (Cleveland,OH)

As you can see, this conference was exceptionall well-attended!  I will be checking my email more closely in the future.  I’m so bummed that I missed this.

Speakers:

Pennsylvania State Senator Jane Clare Orie
Sara Shannon, Food Allergy Advocate, Ontario
Todd Green, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Terri Brown-Whitehorn, MD, Attending Physician, Division of Allergy & Immunology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP),
Susan Taichman-Robins Esq.,Pennsylvania Coalition for Food Allergy
Kristie Serio, Food Allergy Support Team (FAST) Texas
Anna McCartney, Food Allergy Education and Support Team ( FEAST), Seattle
Maria Acebal Esq., Safe@School Partners, Washington, DC
Robyn O’Brien AllergyKids Foundation, Boulder
Paul and Catrina VonderMeulen, Food Allergy Advocates, Cincinnati
Maureen Polensky, RN, Pennsylvania Coalition for Food Allergy
Barry Lank from Lank/Beach productions is Toronto
Gina Clowes, AllergyMoms
AllergyMoms Food Allergy Support and Advocacy Group

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