What I Learned at the FAAN Conference

Sunday marked the beginning of Food Allergy Awareness Week and I’ve seen a lot of great information out there:

  • FAAN’s page dedicated to this week
  • MSNBC Video featuring Nicole Smith and her son
  • A Twitter party on Monday evening – search #FAAW to see what people are tweeting about this week.

I’m planning a few more posts of my mine own this week but, today, I’d like to share what I learned at last month’s FAAN conference in Baltimore.

It was my first FAAN conference and I found it to be very informative. It featured Dr. Robert Wood, Dr. Eyal Shemesh, Gina Clowes of Allergy Moms, chef Cybele Pascal and Eleanor Garrow and Chris Weiss, both from FAAN.

Here are some of the tidbits I took away from their presentations:

*A genetic predisposition to allergies can indicate a tendency towards developing an allergy but not necessarily point to a specific allergy. In other words, just because I was allergic to milk as a child doesn’t mean my child will also be allergic to milk (although in my case this is true). Rather my childhood allergies indicate that my child will development allergies of his own.

*Reactions usually occur immediately or within two hours. A second reaction that occurs two to four hours after the initial reaction is called a bi-phasic reaction. This second reaction can be more severe than the first, which is why observation in an emergency room is recommended when epinephrine is administered.

*The severity of a reaction is determined by the child’s sensitivity to the allergen in combination with the amount of exposure not by RAST numbers.

*Outgrown allergies can recur if avoidance continues.

*Coconut is not a tree-nut.

*Therapy is recommended for children who have developed severe anxiety about their food allergies. Ask the allergist for a referral.

*A 504 plan is a written management plan outlining how a school is to handle a student’s food allergies so that the student can participate normally in the school day. It falls under the Rehabilitation Act, which protects students with disabilities. The USDA recognizes food allergies as a disability.

*An IHP is an individualized health plan developed by the school nurse.

*An IEP is an Individual Education Plan. It applies to children with food allergies only when that child also has a learning condition.

*FAAN recommends that all food allergic children have at least a Food Allergy Action Plan on file at school. That form can be found here.

*Remember that your child is not his allergies and hopefully will outgrow them.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician or even an expert on food allergies. I’m just a mom to a toddler who is allergic to milk, eggs and peanuts. These are my notes from the FAAN conference.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.