Wake Up Call to the Food Allergy Community

Pictured from Left: Erin Spaulding (Vice President of FAEN), Gina Lee (President of FAEN), and Robin Comey (Secretary of FAEN)

We had a wake up call last weekend at the CT FAAN Walk.  We were very proud to be sponsors of this great event.  We met wonderful people and joined together for a very worthy cause: our children.

At our booth, we had a free giveaway to anyone that showed us their Epipen.  We bought 200 tote bags for the occasion anticipating that everyone there would have them at the ready, but we were mistaken.

We were shocked as family after family came by the booth only to say, “Oh, our Epipen is in the car,” or, “Oh, we are not eating,”  or “We thought it would be safe here.”

I learned a very valuable lesson that day.  Education begins right here within the food allergy community.

We, as parents of food allergic children, need to be a consistent example to our children and to others before we can hope to effect change in people outside the food allergy world.  I could list link after link of tragic stories of children that have died because they did not have their Epipen. That is why we are advocating for the School Access to Epinephrine Act.   No one plans to have an allergic reaction.  Most of the time, reactions happen because a person eats something they thought was safe.  Accidents happen and there is no way to predict when and where they will happen.  The Epipen is only tool we have to buy our children time until emergency medical services arrive.  Even then, sometimes it is too late.  Please, please ALWAYS have your Epipen WITH YOU.

The life you save just may be your own child’s.

Follow the Food Allergy “Golden Rule”: 

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10 responses

  1. Thank you for your post! It is very true. I think we all assume people in our community already know the must-do’s. But this is not always true. We have our FAAN walk this weekend!

  2. I’m shocked. I assumed “we” all knew to ALWAYS have it near. Personally, we carry it everywhere… even if my son is just going outside in the yard to play… it goes with him. Our motto… My EpiPen is My Best Friend!… and my son knows this. If we make a mistake and leave it home to go somewhere, we head back home to get it right away… my son’s life is more important than a little hassle to go back and get it. Please… always carry it everywhere!

  3. I love that, “My Epipen is My Best Friend!” We, too, take it everywhere. I was also shocked….that’s why we really need to get the word out! :)

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  5. I am so glad that you posted this because we try so hard to educate and reach out to the community and then you have those parents who don’t take their kids allergies “serious”. Trust me the first time I ever had to use the epi pen on my daughter was completely unexpected through the middle of the night! You never know when you will have to use your epi pen! To this day we still have no idea what triggered that attack because we are very diligent!!!!!! When she was first diagnosed it was so hard to remember everything at 6 months old! We had bottles, food, diapers, etc….. I would put post it notes on my door and steering wheel! Now we have taught our 2 1/2 yr old to never go anywhere without it. Thank you for sharing this story because if parents don’t take it serious how can we expect other people?

  6. Hi Katie. Thank you for the question. You can read about the School Access to Epinephrine Act here:

    http://www.foodallergy.org/page/school-access-to-emergency-epinephrine-act1

    and here:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s1884

    Some states such as Virginia have enacted legislation in response to deaths of children in the school setting. You can read about it here:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/education/228601-emergency-epinephrine-in-schools-will-save-lives

    We (Food Allergy Education Network) support this legislation and encourage all to write their senators and representatives regarding this important legislation.

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