Staying Allergy-Safe over the Holidays

Dining together with family and friends can be the best part of the holiday season. But if others are unaware of the dangers of anaphylaxis it can create some tense moments if your child has food allergies. Here are some great tips from Gina Clowes, the founder of AllergyMoms.com, on how to educate others while protecting your family.

sleeping santa cake
Sleeping Santa Cake

Staying Allergy-Safe over the Holidays

By Gina Clowes
December 5th, 2015

A food-filled family gathering need not be a minefield for those with allergies. Here are six key steps to safe celebrating.

I grew up in a huge Italian family where love was spelled F-O-O-D. About a year after my son was diagnosed with more than a dozen food allergies, I hosted Christmas Eve. Every table of my house was filled with pasta, cookies and candy. But unlike past family gatherings, this was not a happy holiday.

One niece roamed the house leaking her bottle of formula everywhere; another toddler left a trail of Honey Nut Cheerios. My sister fed her baby a jar of green pea baby food – the very food that had caused my son’s most recent allergic reaction – and left a dirty spoon on my kitchen table. My home became a minefield.

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Food Labeling Modernization Act to add Sesame to list of Major Food Allergens

Sesame seeds and oil
Sesame seeds and oil can be in many processed food items.
They are also popular for use in home cooking, especially for Asian dishes.

Food Labeling Modernization Act to add Sesame to list of Major Food Allergens

By Cookson Beecher
November 30, 2015
Food Safety News

For the estimated 300,000 to 500,000 people in the United States who are allergic to sesame, the recently introduced Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2015 comes as good news.

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Allergist in the News: Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo

Dr. Krisi Jarvinen-Seppo
Dr. Krisi Jarvinen-Seppo

Allergist in the News: Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo

Director of the Center for Food Allergy at UR's Golisano Children's hospital

Mt. Sinai’s loss is Rochester’s gain! Read all about our recent interview with Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo, Director of the Center for Food Allergy at UR's Golisano Children's hospital. She brought us up to date on all the services the one-year old Center can provide, as well as the latest research she and her team are conducting.

By Suzanne Driscoll
November 13th, 2015

We had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo last week at UR Medicine, and were very excited to hear about the relatively new Food Allergy Center she helped to set up one year ago. Originally from Finland, Dr. Jarvinen-Seppo was recruited from Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City to expand and centralize the treatment of food allergies at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Her clinical interests are focused on various types of food allergy, including immediate-type allergies, eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease, food protein-induced enterocolitis, allergic proctocolitis, atopic dermatitis, and anaphylaxis, although she also sees patients with other allergic disorders such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, urticaria and angioedema.

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There's a patch that could fix your allergy problem

Girl putting Viaskin peanut patch on her arm
Viaskin Peanut Patch

There's a patch that could fix your allergy problem

By Lydia Ramsey
December 7, 2015

An estimated 1.5 million children in the US are allergic to peanuts, an allergy that can often be so severe that the child who's allergic can't be in the same room as a peanut without their body freaking out and shutting down. 

To counter that extreme reaction, researchers are working on a patch that works to lessen that severity. And it's just become the first of its kind to enter phase 3 clinical trials, the last human trial needed before the FDA gets a chance to evaluate and (hopefully for the company) approve it.

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Why Do Humans Have Allergies? Parasite Infections May Be the Trigger

Young Girl Sneezing Among Yellow Flowers
When a walk in the park is your worst nightmare. (BigPappa/iStock)

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine are trying to find out if the antibodies we all have to fight parasites might be attacking harmless triggers as well. Could the “hygiene” hypothesis, that we now have fewer parasites to fight so the immune system attacks allergens as well, be the reason there is such a large increase in allergies? 

Protein analysis suggests that antibodies that evolved to fight parasites might be turning their focus to otherwise harmless agents.

By Brian Handwerk
October 29, 2015

Peanuts. Bees. Pets. Trees. For most people, these things are harmless parts of everyday life. But for allergy sufferers, plenty of seemingly innocuous items can be unbearably irritating and even lethal. Now scientists have uncovered a possible molecular reason why humans evolved to have allergies, and it could lead to new ways to treat the troublesome condition.

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