Something happened last week that happens to those of us managing food allergies for ourselves and for our children. We come upon someone who simply has no idea what anaphylaxis is, or what food allergies are, and they need a simple explanation.
What is Anaphylaxis as it relates to Food Allergy? Anaphylaxis is defined by the NIH as:
Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by your body’s immune system. Allergic reactions to food can sometimes cause serious illness and death. Tree nuts and peanuts are the leading causes of deadly allergic reactions called anaphylaxis.
Read more here:
An epi-pen, if given early, can help save the life of a food allergic individual. An epi-pen contains life-saving epinephrine. After injection, call 911 immediately.
A video on how to use on epi-pen (injectible epinephrine) can be found here:
What is a food allergy? This is a quote from the NIAID guidelines (see below for link):
A food allergy is an adverse health effect arising from a specific immune response that occurs reproducibly on exposure to a given food. Food allergens are the parts of food or ingredients within food (usually proteins) that are recognized by immune cells. When an immune cell binds to a food allergen, a reaction occurs that causes the symptoms of food allergy.
Are There Food Allergy Guidelines? Link to the NIAID Free Handout: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States Summary for Patients, Families, and Caregivers can be download and read here:
What do I Tell Parents and Caregivers about Food Allergies? Here is a wonderful form from Kids With Food Allergies Foundation that spells out a protocol if you have a child with food allergies;
My child has a food allergy and requires an epi-pen at school. What forms do I need to give to the school? Your Doctor may have another form that he/she likes to use, but here is a sample from FARE: