Food Allergy Awareness Week kicks off today and goes through next Sunday. For my family, this week is no different from every other week we spend checking labels, asking for ingredient lists, packing safe snacks and carrying Epi-pens wherever we go. Every food allergy parent knows this is true. With that said, this week does offer an opportunity to educate others who don't have the same level of knowledge that we do as parents of food allergic children. Here is my plan for the week:
- Change my Facebook and Twitter profile pictures to help raise awareness. Already done and done!
- Post at least one food allergy fact a day on Facebook and Twitter.
- Wear something teal every day and tell at least one person what the color represents and why I am wearing it.
- Put on my food allergy awareness t-shirt as soon as I get it! Should be en route to my house now!
- Advertise the No Nuts Moms Group of Cleveland, which I am now a leader of, in an effort to reach other mothers of peanut and tree nut allergic children in the area who may not be aware of our group.
To kick things off, here are some fast facts provided by FARE to share as a part of this year's Awareness Week:
- 1 in every 13 children has a food allergy. That’s two in every classroom.
- Every 3 min, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the ER – that's more than 200,000 visits per year
- 8 foods account for 90% of all reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish www.foodallergy.org/allergens
- Food allergies can begin at any age and affect children and adults of all races and ethnicity. Learn more: www.foodallergy.org
- There was an 18% increase in food allergy from 1997-2007. Learn more about research on new therapies www.foodallergy.org/research
- What would you do if you saw someone having a severe allergic reaction? Learn how to respond: www.foodallergy.org/anaphylaxis
I would love to hear what all of you are doing in an effort to raise awareness! Share your ideas and suggestions in the comments below! Happy Food Allergy Awareness Week!