Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or 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.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

FAAN Launches Teen Allergy Awareness Site

I told you a couple of days ago that this is Food Allergy Awareness Week.

Buried down in the bottom of the press release from FAAN (the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) is a mention of That turns out to be a new web site that was just launched on May 1.

Here comes another press release:

The Web site, “Food Allergies in the Real World,” is designed to provide all teens with practical strategies for handling food allergies in social situations such as prom, dating, and going off to college. A study of 32 cases of fatal food-allergic reactions showed that more than half of the victims were kids aged 10 to 19. Interviews with family and friends indicated that the child did not expect to have a reaction, and that their friends were often unaware of the food allergy or didn’t know how to help once a reaction began. A recent study of teen behavior indicates that teens feel educating their friends would make their lives easier, yet they don’t want to be the ones doing the educating. “Our goal with this Web site is to give teens — tomorrow’s leaders —a place to go for information about how to manage food allergies, while living life to the fullest,” said Anne Muñoz-Furlong, FAAN founder and CEO.

FAAN’s teen Web site offers “real world” strategies and provides a network of teens facing the same struggles and feelings in their everyday interactions with school administrators, classmates, neighbors, friends, and family. The “Personal Stories” section presents actual experiences of teens and college students with food allergies, and recollections from their friends. The “Advice” section offers practical answers to tough questions from young adults who’ve lived through the same situations. New interactive features such as polling questions, a “Talk Back” feature in which users can share their thoughts, and a food allergy calculator that, based on national statistics, shows how many students may have food allergies in a school and reminds teens that they are not alone in their everyday struggles with food allergy.

“Food Allergies in the Real World” was crafted with insight from members of FAAN’s Teen Advisory Group comprised of 20 nationwide adolescents and young adults who have food allergies. Food-allergic teens live with a burden of responsibility that most adolescents never face. Because there is no cure for food allergy, these teenagers can never let their guard down and must rely on strict avoidance of allergy-causing foods, ongoing vigilance detecting common ingredients in unexpected places, and consistency in never leaving home without their life-saving medication, epinephrine (EpiPen® or Twinject™). Until there is a cure for food allergy, education is the key to avoiding a reaction. FAAN’s teen Web site will help these young adults to be prepared, in all situations, and avoid tragic results.

While milk or dairy allergies are seldom anaphylactic, the possibility exists. If you're a parent, encourage your teen to check out the site. It's even interactive. Under a Watch Out banner is this paragraph:

Keep in mind that products labeled as "non-dairy" are not always milk-free. Such products often contain casein, a milk protein. Remember, there is no shortcut to label reading. Taking a few minutes to check ingredients is better than spending time treating an allergic reaction!

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