Friday, June 1, 2012

Food Allergy Awareness on the Rise

CDC chart showing incidence of food allergy in children rising at alarming rates. 
Things are looking up for peeps with food allergies.  While the CDC reports on the rising incidence of food allergies, a highly scientific and statistically sound poll by Poker Chick shows awareness and food-allergy friendly policies have increased by 324% in the past year alone.  We're talking better labeling, more nut-friendly schools and camps, more routine Epipen training in those who work with children, and better awareness and training in restaurants.  This explosion in the level of awareness and accommodation in the world makes it much easier for a child to live a normal life despite severe allergies.

Oh, wait. You were looking for scientific proof to back up our data?

Behold.  This week alone we had a few excellent experiences:
  1. A mother, on her own, made an egg, nut, seed free cake for her child's birthday party simply because mini was attending.  While this has been done before, note in this case the person in question is not an old close friend of yours truly, simply a lovely member of her community who wants to be inclusive.
  2. We are sending mini to a day camp for the first time which is not only a half hour bus ride outside of the city, but a place where someone else will be providing mini's meals, for the first time in her little life.  While we'd be lying if we said we weren't having heart palpitations, the numerous calls from camp staff (nurse, head of her age group, head of catering, head of the whole camp) have reassured this mother completely that they are taking all concerns seriously, not mocking or judging this mother as "neurotic" (see earlier post on this topic) and making every accommodation one could possibly hope for.
  3. Just this week, Delta finally changed their allergy policy* to restrict peanuts on the whole plane vs. just clearing a 3-row area.  As a mother who watched her daughter start to sneeze repeatedly by the end of a 3 hour flight with said "3-row area", we are most relieved to hear this news.  It may even make us feel safe enough to try a *gasp* 5 hr. flight.
Thanks to our friends at Home Free for sharing that last bit of news.  You can read more about research they've done on food allergies on their latest blog.

*If you're looking at the link, scroll down to the section marked "peanut allergies"

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