Educational opportunity

Posted on: Tue, 02/09/1999 - 9:19pm
Mark's picture
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Joined: 01/19/1999 - 09:00

I had a wonderful opportunity yesterday afternoon to address a high school business class of about 25 students for an hour and a half. They invited me to talk about Vermont Nut Free Chocolates. I started the talk with a lecture on food allergies and specifically peanut allergy. I explained the possible reactions, the importance of maintaining strict avoidance, and the risk of cross-contamination in packaged foods, restaurants and other unsuspecting places. I showed them the epi-pen and explained how to use it. I was also sure to mention the possible link to eating peanut products during pregnancy and lactation with the development of this allergy in children. The class was very attentive and asked good questions. I feel that it honestly made a difference in their thoughts and feelings about this allergy.
Mark

Posted on: Wed, 02/10/1999 - 2:12am
Colleen's picture
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Joined: 02/04/1999 - 09:00

<p>Hi Mark: Your post reminded me of an educational oppurtunity that I had this past summer.<br />
I was taking a "Child Safe" First Aid course. There were 10 or 12 parents in the class altogether. As we were going through the different scenarios in which you might find a child not breathing, I mentioned anaphalaxis. The instructor quickly acknowledged it as a possible cause and went right onto the next topic. During the break I asked her if she was going to be discussing Allergies/Anaphalaxis at all in any detail, and she said that it was not part of the outline of the course but she would be happy to do so. I could tell that most of the parents/childworkers in the class had NO idea about this topic before, and I felt at the end there were 10 or 12 more people in my community that had some information and knowledge about it. Some had infants still who had not yet tried peanut butter and it made them aware that they need to not just assume that its ok to just hand their child a peanut butter sandwich with out giving it another thought.<br />
I remember being quite shocked though that this would not be part of a "child safe" first aid course as between food allergies and bee stings it is become rather common.<br />
Thanks for reminding me about this experience Mark. I am going to contact the organization responsible for the first aid program and see what I can do to get Allergies/Anaphalaxis included as part of the course. Little by little we will get people educated on this!</p>
<p>------------------<br />
Colleen</p>

Posted on: Thu, 02/11/1999 - 1:02am
Nicole's picture
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Joined: 01/21/1999 - 09:00

<p>Hi Mark ~</p>
<p>Your post was inspiring! It's a good reminder that we can all make a difference in our own cities. It's so much easier to 'hope' it will just go away but the fact is, there seems to be an increase in nut allergies and it isn't going away. </p>
<p>Was this your first time addressing a crowd? I would like to hear more about what issues were discussed. Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>Nicole</p>

Posted on: Thu, 02/11/1999 - 8:11am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

<p>Colleen, your remark about the Child Safety class reminded me when I took my CPR class and I brought up anaphylaxis. What scared me and I didn't realize the dangers until I went to practice on the "dummy" is that what would happen if our "peanut allergic" child was rendered unconcious for a variety of reasons and was not breathing. Someone comes up to administer CPR and they have just eaten peanut butter and start giving mouth to mouth. I asked the instructor what would you do in that situation and he said you better have a mouth shield so contact isn't made. Not everyone is going to have a mouth shield in their possession. Has this ever come up before? </p>
<p>By the way Mark, good for you on getting the word out on food allergies!</p>

Posted on: Thu, 02/11/1999 - 4:22pm
Colleen's picture
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Joined: 02/04/1999 - 09:00

<p>Connie: I never even thought of that!-someone<br />
giving mouth to mouth,that had just eaten peanut butter. I know about mouth shields as my husband has one (he is a paramedic). But obviously most people don't carry one on them. How to avoid exposure this way? All I can think of at this time is having a Medic Alert Bracelet stating SEVERE PEANUT ALLERGY, but still someone would have to see that before starting CPR. We don't have a bracelet for our son but are going to be getting one. FYI, apparently best place to where one of these if on the left wrist. The reason for this is that the way the stretchers are situated in the ambulance,(at least in Canada) the attendants are most likely to check the patients pulse on the left wrist. This suggestion came from a friend of mine, who is a paramedic as well as being peanut allergic.<br />
For many peanut allergic patients I suppose the mouth shield even wouldn't be enough to prevent airborne exposure. There is way too much too worry about with this allergy!!!</p>
<p>------------------<br />
Colleen</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/12/1999 - 4:42am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

<p>Hi Colleen,</p>
<p>This allergy is mind boggling isn't it? My son has a Medic Alert bracelet and it says "Anaphylaxis to All Peanut Products." It's interesting about which wrist to place the bracelet on. I was told by Medic Alert to place it on the dominant side because it is harder to get it off with the less dominant hand. When he first got his (about two years old), he was like a puppy with a new collar and couldn't stand to wear it and it was just loose enough for him to keep slipping it off. I moved it to his right wrist and he couldn't manuever it very well with his left hand. (We have since tightened it to where it can still be turned over and read, but can't be slipped off his wrist). I like your point too. It makes sense!</p>
<p>Regarding the CPR and Peanut Butter, I have no answer! It is just one more thing to worry about. With your husband being a paramedic, has this ever come up with him? Along those same lines...we live in a society where you meet someone, you shake hands. I used to be an executive secretary (just retired to be a full-time mom) and the first thing I did was greet people before they saw the boss. I can recall eating peanut butter crackers at my desk just before clients would come in and shake their hand. Then it dawned on me...would if they are allergic to peanuts (by touch) and I just sent them into orbit! Do we teach our children NOT to shake hands with others? What would be the protocol? I guess I could go on forever with "what ifs"...Sorry! It's hard to quit when I'm on a roll. </p>
<p>Any help would be great.</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/12/1999 - 6:46am
Colleen's picture
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Joined: 02/04/1999 - 09:00

<p>Hi again Connie,</p>
<p>There are just endless scenarios in which are kids could be at risk, aren't there?<br />
Regarding my husband being a paramedic, they always use bag-valve masks when they are on duty. With these they squeeze the bag with their hand which then blows air into the patients airway. The paramedics mouths never get anywhere near the patients. He does have a mouth shield for his own personal use in case he ever runs into someone needs CPR when he's not working. I haven't asked my husband about it, but I'm sure it is something he has never thought of.<br />
For me all of this reinforces a couple of things. 1)to ALWAYS be prepared for an emergency ie. having at least 1 EpiPen (and Benadryl)with us at all times<br />
2)give my son all the information I can about how to recognize that he might be having a reaction and what to do about it(at his age 4, telling us or whoever's care he is in) We have gone through this on many occasions before, like what would he do if he was at Preschool and started to "feel funny"? He has had 3 reactions in the last year and a half and is very aware that if his tongue starts tingling that that is an indication. I have tried to teach him to trust his instincts, and if he thinks that he is having a reaction he probably is and to make SURE someone knows immediately. This is all so hard sometimes to lay on a 4 year old, but since we can't change the way things are we can at least give them everything we can to keep them safe and teach them to be able to help themselves (and then pray that that will be enough!)</p>
<p>------------------<br />
Colleen</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/12/1999 - 11:56am
Valerie's picture
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Joined: 01/27/1999 - 09:00

<p>Just in case the CPR scenario isn't enough to worry you, has anyone thought about the risk of receiving blood transfusions? What if the donor eats peanuts and then donates blood? I asked my allergist this question and I also posed it to the physician on the Asthma and Allergy information and Research site. You can see the response I got @<br />
[url="http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~aair/nut-corr.htm"]http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~aair/nut-corr.htm[/url]</p>
<p>It sounds to me as this could be a legitimate concern. You can really drive yourself crazy thinking of different scenarios!</p>

Posted on: Sun, 02/14/1999 - 5:38am
Valerie's picture
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Joined: 01/27/1999 - 09:00

<p>Here is the above link again. Chris e-mailed me and told me how to do it so people can just click on the address. Hope it works!</p>
<p> [url="http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~aair/nut_corr.htm"]www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~aair/nut_corr.htm[/url] --------------<br />
Valerie</p>
<p>[This message has been edited by Valerie (edited February 14, 1999).]</p>
<p>[This message has been edited by Valerie (edited February 14, 1999).]</p>

Posted on: Sun, 02/14/1999 - 11:04am
Nicole's picture
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Joined: 01/21/1999 - 09:00

<p>Hi Valerie ~</p>
<p>Thank you for the great link. I've bookmarked it!</p>
<p>:-) Nicole</p>

Posted on: Wed, 02/10/1999 - 2:12am
mrmyles's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/29/2001 - 09:00

<p>Hi Mark: Your post reminded me of an educational oppurtunity that I had this past summer.<br />
I was taking a "Child Safe" First Aid course. There were 10 or 12 parents in the class altogether. As we were going through the different scenarios in which you might find a child not breathing, I mentioned anaphalaxis. The instructor quickly acknowledged it as a possible cause and went right onto the next topic. During the break I asked her if she was going to be discussing Allergies/Anaphalaxis at all in any detail, and she said that it was not part of the outline of the course but she would be happy to do so. I could tell that most of the parents/childworkers in the class had NO idea about this topic before, and I felt at the end there were 10 or 12 more people in my community that had some information and knowledge about it. Some had infants still who had not yet tried peanut butter and it made them aware that they need to not just assume that its ok to just hand their child a peanut butter sandwich with out giving it another thought.<br />
I remember being quite shocked though that this would not be part of a "child safe" first aid course as between food allergies and bee stings it is become rather common.<br />
Thanks for reminding me about this experience Mark. I am going to contact the organization responsible for the first aid program and see what I can do to get Allergies/Anaphalaxis included as part of the course. Little by little we will get people educated on this!</p>
<p>------------------<br />
Colleen</p>

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