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Food Allergy Awareness Week!

Submitted by on May 15, 2014 – 10:47 amNo Comment

Food Allergy Awareness Week

May 11 – 17, 2014 is Food Allergy Awareness Week!

The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) encourages citizens across the nation to get involved with Food Allergy Awareness Week, May 11- 17. Simply learning a few “FAACTs” about food allergies and sharing them with family, friends, and caregivers could save a life.

Did You Know?

  • Food allergies affect approximately 15 million Americans, including 6 million children.
  • A food allergy is an immune system response to a food the body mistakenly believes is harmful.
  • When a person with food allergy eats the food, his or her immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, including histamine, that trigger a cascade of symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal tract, the skin, and/or the cardiovascular system.
  • There is no cure for food allergies.
  • The prevalence of food allergies appears to be increasing among children under the age of 18, that is 2 students in every classroom.
  • Although food allergy desensitizations are being studied, these are not yet proven treatments, so strict avoidance is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction.
  • Trace amounts of an allergen can trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals.
  • Managing a food allergy on a daily basis involves constant vigilance.
  • Unfortunately, food allergy deaths do occur, even among persons with a history of mild reactions in the past.
  • 9-1-1 must ALWAYS be called with every anaphylactic reaction.

Anaphylaxis

  • Is a serious allergic reaction that comes on quickly and has the potential to become life-threatening.
  • Symptoms can develop rapidly after exposure to an allergen, often within minutes and usually within 30 minutes. However, it can take up to 2 hours for symptoms to occur after exposure to a food allergen.
  • Sometimes a second round (or “phase”) of allergic reactions can occur after the initial anaphylactic reaction. This is called “biphasic anaphylaxis”. A second reaction may happen as early as an hour after the first reaction or as long as 72 hours later (the average is 10 hours later) and can be less severe, as severe, or even more severe than the initial reaction.
  • Must be treated immediately with epinephrine (adrenaline).

Prompt administration of epinephrine is crucial to surviving a potentially life-threatening reaction. Epinephrine has very few side effects. It is prescribed as an auto-injector device (Adrenaclick®, Auvi-Q®, EpiPen®).

Learn more about FAACT at: http://www.foodallergyawareness.org/

FAACT’s mission is to educate, advocate, and raise awareness for all individuals and families affected by food allergies and life-threatening anaphylaxis. FAACT is also your voice for food allergy awareness, from keeping children safe at school to dealing with workplace issues or simply taking the family out for a bite to eat. Managing a food allergy on a daily basis involves constant vigilance. FAACT is here to support you in managing your food allergies – today, tomorrow, and into the future. For more information, please visit us at www.FoodAllergyAwareness.org or call (513) 342-1293, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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