Thursday, November 7, 2013

In the news and eating out

Day 167 (dose is 200mg)
Nov 7, 2013

So the good news is that allergies have been in the news a lot the last few weeks. The CDC finally posted voluntary guidelines for schools (with some GREAT resources linked).  That will definitely be in our toolkit when we go to talk to the elementary school this year for P.  Some interesting commentary about kids being allowed to self carry, and clear definitions that an allergy constitutes a disability in the language of the ADA (because anaphylaxis) puts breathing, eating, life at risk.  That language is necessary if you decide to ask for a 504 plan (accommodation based on a disability).

Also cool - the Federal bill for encouraging stock epinephrine in schools passed!  This is awesome.  It encourages schools to have better plans in place, to stock unprescribed epis (25% of school allergy emergencies are for unknown (undiagnosed previously!) allergies.  This might save my non-food allergic kid one day (or yours!) when they discover they do indeed have an allergy.  It doesn't mandate anything, but it helps encourage schools to change (and to get federal funding for doing so).  It needs Obama's signature and then it will become law.  It passed the senate on Oct 31st.

Fun stuff - Halloween went off without a hitch, the kids were spiderman/batman and Doc McStuffins (a vet disney character).  We trick or treated with friends and neighbors, and had a ball.  Everybody was very careful about checking candy, and anything labeled as tree nut unsafe or not labeled went right back in the bucket to hand out (get it out of the house!)  It's just one more time of year where a little more caution is in order, but it went really smoothly.

Eating out - still having good luck (although every now and then waitstaff needs a little extra grilling).  West Park Tavern and JD's are forever on my love list for their extra care.  Not too happy to find out that Papa Murphy's pizza dough is listed as not nut safe, and papa Johns is now selling a cookie pizza that is not nut safe.  The word on the allergy blogosphere is that cross contamination is an issue (dough handling, pizza cutters, etc...)  So looks like both of those pizza options are no longer options.  We don't eat it very often but that stinks.  We're not sure that he'd react with the minute amounts of cross contamination but is it worth the risk?  :(  Panera has also pretty much turned into a CYA restaurant.  They have a great allergen list / book, but plastered on every page is the warning that everything might touch everything so run for your life.  (this is me being snarky and rolling my eyes).  This country is so litigious.  If this keeps up he's never going to be able to eat anywhere without a CYA warning.  Which means he might not take those warnings seriously as he gets older.  That bugs me.  All the store bakeries are out for the same reason.  Those CYA warnings on the labels of everything they sell.  They might run a really clean shop and the risk might be zero.  But when the labels say may contain... you lose customers that can't take that risk.  So maybe long term all the chain restaurants are going to be out (not sure that's a bad thing).  The local eateries tend to have better (less processed) food, and actually care and take extra precautions.

All is well - just have to remember to read the labels, every time.  Ask the waitstaff, every time.  Don't eat without the epis with us.  That used to be hard, which is almost amusing now.  We adjust.

Thanks for traveling this road with us!
Alli, D and the mini waltons