The Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse Has Moved.

My old website can be found at www.stevecarper.com/li I am no longer updating the site, so there will be dead links. The static information provided by me is still sound.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on Smashwords.com or Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com or a whole lot of other places that Smashwords is suppose to distribute the book to. Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

I suffer the universal malady of spam and adbots, so I moderate comments here. That may mean you'll see a long lag before I remember to check the site and approve them. Despite the gap, you'll always get your say. I read every single one, and every legitimate one gets posted.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Allergy Anxiety

Which would be a bigger surprise to you? That 80% of mothers with allergic children "say Halloween causes a great deal of anxiety"? Or that 20% of mothers don't?

The survey, conducted by the MomCentral.com website, also found that 20% of moms get so hyper about the holiday that they are thinking about having their children give up trick-or-treating entirely.

Why? Probably because they are uncertain about how much they know and about what to do. As the survey found:

•61 percent of children have been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector; however, only 23 percent of them carry it with them at all times.

•One in five moms is unsure how they feel about their school's emergency plans in place to deal with a severe allergic reaction.

•While many moms feel they have good information on food allergies, they also expressed a clear desire for more: 78 percent of survey respondents say they would benefit from additional information on food allergies and how best to prepare for and treat allergy-related medical emergencies.

I've mentioned before that children and teenagers tend not to carry their auto-injectors with them. This is one of those parenting challenges that no outsider can solve. Getting your kids to carry reminders that they are different is a constant battle.

By now you may be guessing that I'm quoting from a press release that is related to injectors. You are quite correct. This one is by the maker of EpiPens.

Unlike all too many press releases, fortunately, they tone down the hype and focus on helpful advice.
Tips for an Allergy-friendly Halloween

For parents of children with food allergies, monitoring Halloween candy is just one way to avoid an accidental allergic reaction. Stacy DeBroff from Mom Central offers additional tips for enjoying an allergy-free holiday:

•Find Allergy-Free Activities: With a little research, you can find many festive activities right in your own backyard. Take the family pumpkin picking, on a hayride or for a scavenger hunt.

•Bring the Fun to Your Child: Consider hosting your own costume party for your child's friends. Invite everyone over for pumpkin carving, bobbing for apples, spooky stories, a scavenger hunt and other Halloween-themed games. This way, your child can still have fun and you can control all the goodies that are being passed out.

For those children who do go trick-or-treating, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) offers these helpful tips:

•Never Go Alone: Always accompany younger children trick-or-treating and have older children go out with friends.

•Inform Others: Make sure all the adults and friends in your group know about your child's food allergies and what to do in an emergency.

•Pack Medication: While out for Halloween, make sure you or your child is carrying an epinephrine auto-injector. Make sure your child's friends or other adults know how to administer this medication.

•Provide Safe Snacks: Provide your close neighbors and even your child's teacher at school with safe treats or even non-food items like stickers that can be given to your child.

•Check the Goodies: Carefully read labels or check the candy company's Web site to make sure the product doesn't contain something that can cause an allergic reaction. It's important to remember that the ingredients of 'fun size' candy bars may differ from the regular-size bars.

•When in Doubt, Throw It Out: If you can't find information on a treat's ingredients or are simply not sure if it's safe, then throw the candy away or stick it in a treat jar that is out of the reach of the child.

•Avoid Snacking: Eating dinner before trick-or-treating might curb your child's urge to sneak goodies from the bag.

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