Navigating the Holidays with Food Allergies

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The holidays are a time full of indulgent food and drink, parties and get-togethers. This makes it delicious but also especially difficult for those with food allergies or intolerances. Your normally well-controlled, practiced routine of avoiding your offending allergens is all of a sudden scrambled by holiday get togethers, office parties and travel schedules. Food allergies are especially hard to deal with for children, when eating a special diet when everyone else is eating the same thing could make them feel more separate and different from their peers. We found some helpful tips on CNN and wanted to share them with you. We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving – including the food, family and friends!

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President Signs Food Allergy Awareness Bill

By KIMBERLY HEFLING AP Education Writer
The deaths of two girls in Illinois and Virginia from severe food allergies have helped spur efforts to get schools to stockpile emergency medications that can save lives.

That effort has now reached the highest level: President Barack Obama’s desk. The president signed a bipartisan bill on Wednesday that offers a financial incentive to states if schools stockpile epinephrine, considered the first-line treatment for people with severe allergies. The medication is administered by injection, through preloaded EpiPens or similar devices.

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New Federal Food Allergy Guidelines in Schools

Article by USA Today below. See http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foodallergies/ for the full guidelines

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For the first time, federal health officials are giving schools recommendations on how to handle food allergies in students.

The guidelines, released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are voluntary but they could make schools safer for millions of children, advocates say. They also could mean more classrooms will ban food rewards, snacks and party treats made with nuts, milk, eggs and other common allergens – changes kids without allergies are sure to notice, too.

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Why are Food Allergies Increasing?

Food allergies As many of you guessed in our Facebook trivia giveaway, food allergies in the US have increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011, according to a 2013 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans currently have food allergies, and 1 in every 13 children is affected. That’s roughly two in every classroom!

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