What food al­lergy suf­fer­ers don’t know can kill them

The Washington Times Daily - - Weather - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

DEAR ABBY: I am a 25-year-old woman with a food al­lergy. Last year I was a guest at a Thanks­giv­ing din­ner where the host in­sisted I could eat the food “since there was just a lit­tle in there.”

I un­der­stand that mak­ing sep­a­rate food is dif­fi­cult, but all I ask is that peo­ple let me know if a dish con­tains an in­gre­di­ent that will make me sick. At best, an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion is un­com­fort­able. At worst, it can be life-threat­en­ing.

Would you please print a mes­sage about al­lergy aware­ness be­fore the hol­i­days? If you do, per­haps some­one will be spared what I went through. -- NOT PICKY, RE­ALLY AL­LER­GIC IN ILLI­NOIS

DEAR RE­ALLY AL­LER­GIC: I’m glad to raise aware­ness be­cause ev­ery year there is at least one story in the me­dia about some poor in­di­vid­ual wind­ing up in an emer­gency room or dy­ing be­cause of an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion. Ex­po­sure to even a TRACE of a sub­stance that an in­di­vid­ual is al­ler­gic to is dan­ger­ous be­cause “just a lit­tle” CAN hurt you.

The symp­toms of a po­ten­tially fatal al­ler­gic re­ac­tion -- which have ap­peared in this col­umn be­fore -- are a tin­gling sen­sa­tion, itch­ing or me­tal­lic taste in the mouth fol­lowed by hives, a sen­sa­tion of warmth, asthma symp­toms, swelling of the mouth and throat area, dif­fi­culty breath­ing, vom­it­ing, di­ar­rhea, cramp­ing, a drop in blood pres­sure and loss of con­scious­ness. The symp­toms can oc­cur in as few as five to 15 min­utes af­ter ex­po­sure, but life-threat­en­ing re­ac­tions may progress over sev­eral hours. Some­one ex­pe­ri­enc­ing th­ese symp­toms should be treated at the near­est emer­gency room or hos­pi­tal.

This in­for­ma­tion was pro­vided by Food Al­lergy Re­search and Ed­u­ca­tion, an or­ga­ni­za­tion whose mis­sion is to raise pub­lic aware­ness about food al­ler­gies, pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion and ad­vance re­search. Its web­site is loaded with valu­able in­for­ma­tion on this im­por­tant sub­ject. Check it out at www.foodal­lergy.org.

DEAR ABBY: Last week I at­tended two events for my grand­chil­dren. One was a school con­cert, the other a dance recital. Both times, dur­ing the per­for­mance I saw elec­tronic de­vices turned on through­out the au­di­ence. It seemed that par­ents were en­cour­ag­ing chil­dren to play video games, watch movies or surf the In­ter­net in­stead of pay at­ten­tion to the show. It drove me crazy.

What are th­ese par­ents teach­ing their chil­dren? Not only are they miss­ing out on the ex­pe­ri­ence, but they are also be­ing taught ter­ri­ble man­ners. I held my tongue, but it was a strug­gle be­cause I wanted to slap the par­ents in the back of the head. (I’m old school.) Am I wrong? -- HOLD­ING MY TONGUE

DEAR HOLD­ING: No, you’re 100 per­cent right. Be­fore many per­for­mances, the di­rec­tor or prin­ci­pal will re­quest that elec­tronic de­vices be turned off. That’s what should have been done at the con­cert and recital you at­tended. Par­ents who al­low or en­cour­age their chil­dren to be­have this way aren’t do­ing their job, which is to teach them to be re­spect­ful of the per­form­ers and the ef­fort that was put into the show.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.