Food Allergy Awareness Week May 10-16

By Heather Legg

In 1997, FAAN created Food Allergy Awareness Week to educate others about food allergies.

Spread the word about the 12th annual Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW), May 10-16, 2009. This year help those with food allergies “Take Action, Prevent Reactions.”

Mark the week by increasing awareness at schools, talking to your elected representatives, or planning a fundraiser. You can hand out fliers, put up posters, or display educational materials.

This is one of those events where you can do a little or do a lot, whatever works for you. Send in an allergy free snack and the recipe to your child’s class, give a talk at a local church, meet with school administrators and nurses to discuss allergy plans and spreading awareness within the school. Let the school know about this upcoming week and see if you can work with administrators or just your child’s teacher to help get food allergy information out, perhaps a project, poster contest or just sending home information (see the site for age appropriate information).

If you prefer things on a smaller scale, talk with your child about his allergy. refresh family and teachers on your food allergy plan.  If your child is young, remind him why he always needs to ask before eating something and to stay away if an adult isn’t sure. If you have older children, use this week to refresh them on checking labels, letting friends know of the risks and the importance of keeping their Epipen with them.

Go to the FAAN website (www.foodallergy.org) for lots of other great ideas and for matierials, from giving presentations to sending in informative supplies to your child’s class to joining Facebook (Join the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network Facebook group. Share your FAAW activities, pictures, and videos).

During Food Allergy Awareness Week, it’s a great time to thank those who help people manage food allergies and increase awareness. Remember to thank teachers, school nurses, babysitters, grandparents, and more. Some of the gifts offered on the site are clipboards, totes, pencils and charms for your crocs.

Use this week for yourself, for your family and for others. It’s a time to share awareness, safety measures and to get involved.

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