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It's About Confidence

It’s about having the confidence in two areas. One is that we can keep ourselves safe in the community by our own action. Two, we need to be surrounded by people who, when necessary are trained and...
photo montage of text boxes, a red haired girl in orange outfit in cross walk, hands of white children holding nuts, and steam table food

February, 2024

Greetings,

It’s about having the confidence in two areas. One is that we can keep ourselves safe in the community by our own action. Two, we need to be surrounded by people who, when necessary are trained and equipped to help us.

The stories this month show what happens when these societal promises tragically fail, when they succeed and how the allergy community continues the work to ensure the safety of all who are managing diagnosed life threatening allergies, and those who could be taken by surprise with an undiagnosed allergy.

You’ve likely heard the story of a young dancer who did everything right, but because of eating mis-labeled food, died unnecessarily. This tragedy highlights the need for the food manufacturers to get serious about labelling requirements. There is also a story about even those with negative oral food challenges, will continue to avoid the food, even if doing so might increase their chances of developing the allergy. While restaurants are hesitant to stock epinephrine, college food services are taking a lead on stocking epi. As university food services demonstrate the safety of stocking epinephrine and training staff, the larger food service industry should sit up and take notice and consider stocking epinephrine as well.

Legislation and advocacy in many areas is key to ensuring community safety. Many states have laws that allow entities of all types and schools to stock epinephrine, training everyone when and how to administer epinephrine along the way. A few states, including New York, Wisconsin, and now Florida are beginning the work to amend these “allow” bills, to make them “required” bills. This will likely be a long haul, but it is a vital effort in building confidence that we can all be safe from life threatening allergies.