Thursday, August 29, 2013

Food Allergies: Back to School Reminders, Chicago-area FARE Walk

From the desk of Shelly Flais, MD:

Shelly Flais, MD
Food allergies are on the rise; if your family is not affected by a food allergy, it is likely that your kids have a friend or classmate who is. Food allergy is a serious medical condition affecting up to 15 million people in the United States, including 1 in 13 children- roughly two in every classroom. The most common food allergies for kids are milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.

A friendly reminder as our kids return to school this month: if your child has a food allergy, make sure your home and school both have a current autoinjectable epinephrine device (examples include EpiPen and AuviQ) on hand in case of emergency, and that all caregivers are properly trained in its use. Your school should have a current Food Allergy Action Plan form on file for your child. Double check that your autoinjectable epinephrine device has not yet expired; yearly updated prescriptions are required. If your family needs new school forms or an updated prescription, please call our office.

The mission of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is to ensure the safety and inclusion of individuals with food allergies while seeking a cure. FARE works on both local and national levels to educate families, increase awareness of food allergies as a serious public health issue, advocate at all levels of government, and invest in research investigating causes and new potential treatments.

The FARE Walk for Food Allergy brings together families seeking a safe world for those living with food allergies. The Walk is a family-friendly event that takes place in communities nationwide to fund food allergy research, education, advocacy and awareness. The Chicago-area FARE Walk is coming up soon- it will be Sunday, September 29, 2013, and will take place in Lincoln Park. I will be participating with my family, as two of our four kids live with food allergies. As a parent, I am glad for an opportunity for my children to see that thousands of others experience the same challenges of food allergies just as we do.

For more information about the FARE Walk in Chicago, check out: http://www.foodallergywalk.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1061760

For more general information about FARE, its mission, resources, and more, go to: http://www.foodallergy.org/

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