Food Allergy Week

30 Apr 2017

Food Allergy Week aims to raise awareness of food allergy including potentially fatal food allergies. We’ll be sharing some positive and useful ways for spreading the word in your community. 

Do you, your child or someone you know have a food allergy? 

Teaching everyone to be food allergy aware is key to ensuring safe work and school environments.

It’s important for all Australians to recognise the signs and symptoms of a reaction. Awareness and open communication within the community helps reduce the risk of a reaction for those living with food allergy and to help manage potentially life-threatening emergencies when they happen.

For those with food allergy, not sharing food, washing hands, reading food labels, always carrying an EpiPen and knowing what to do in the case of a reaction are all important habits.

If you have concerns about food allergy book an appointment. Delaying correct diagnosis and treatment can have serious consequences for children and adults.

Is your allergy Action Plan and EpiPen up to date?

Food allergy now affects one in 10 infants and about two in 100 adults in Australia. Some children may outgrow their allergy, however some adults develop their food allergy later in life after eating the food without a problem for many years.

The severity of an allergic reaction can be unpredictable although someone who has previously had a severe reaction to a particular food is more likely to have another severe reaction to that food. Someone who has a previous mild reaction to a food is less likely to have a severe reaction but the possibility is still there. Someone who is allergic to a food but has not been prescribed an adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injector still needs to do their best to avoid the food as reactions do sometimes become more severe.

Childrens’ immune systems are changing and developing as they grow, allergy should be tested annually until the age of 5 and every 2 years after that. Update your child’s ASCIA Action Plan and share a copy with their school for reference.  It’s always a good idea to do a family refresher each year on how to recognise and manage an allergic reaction.

Research shows teenagers are at the highest risk of fatal anaphylaxis. A concerning 44% of 14-25 year olds admitted to not always carrying their EpiPen.

Teenagers and young adults with food allergy and asthma are at the highest risk. With uncontrolled asthma, more common in teens, the likelihood of a flare up in the classroom or playground increases substantially. Any reactions should always be seen to without delay.

Each term at school, factors such as stress, a change of environment or allergens and less strict asthma management over the holidays can trigger asthma. Year-round it is important to stay up-to-date with your asthma checklist. If you need more support on how to teach your child to be allergy aware, contact us to arrange a review and, if required, update their EpiPen script and management plan at the same time. 

Allergy can significantly affect a child’s development and performance at school. Ensure your kids have the best chance of succeeding at school and maintain your asthma checklist as well as sharing the information with your school.

If you, your partner, or your child has asthma it is important to keep it well controlled as prevention is the best treatment. Remember that if using a reliever (Ventolin or Asmol) more than 2 times a week, this is an indication of a need for preventer asthma medication (or a review), as is nocturnal waking or difficulty exercising due to cough or wheeze.

Did you know that in many cases we can help patients to better manage asthma by better managing their allergy. To see how we could help you, just ask us.

Be aware, paint a nail to show you care.

Food Allergy Week aims to raise awareness of food allergy including potentially fatal food allergies. Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) is calling on all Australians to unite during Food Allergy Week from 14–20 May 2017, and for individuals to Be Aware. Show You Care.

Paint one nail to symbolise that one in 10 babies born in Australia today will develop a food allergy and post a pic on your social media channels using #allergyaware

Visit the Food Allergy Aware website to learn more about food allergy, what to do in an emergency and how to #ShowYouCare

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