Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Monday, September 8, 2008

You can help children with food allergies

To the Editor:

Have you ever had to look your child in the eye and tell them that they can't have the birthday cake from the grocery store like all of their friends have at their parties because it contains or might contain an allergen that could possibly kill them? Have you ever had to explain to your child why they have to take their own snacks to school or parties and can't eat the same things that their friends are eating? Have you ever taken your child trick-or-treating knowing that they can't eat the candy in their bag, but they still smile and say thank you? Have you ever seen the disappointment in your child's eyes when they see a new food product at the store and ask you to read the ingredients to see if they can eat it and you have to tell them that they can't?

If you have, you know how heartbreaking it is. If you haven't be thankful.

It's hard to imagine having to constantly worry about everything that your child eats or comes in contact with, especially when you can't be with them all of the time, until you have a child with food allergies. Then it just becomes everyday life.

More than 12 million Americans have food allergies. Around 3 million of them are children. Eight foods cause 90 percent of all food allergies reactions -- milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, pecans, etc), wheat, soy fish and shellfish. There is no cure for food allergies. Avoidance of the allergen is key. This requires reading labels on every food product, including things such as baking powder and sprinkles for cookies, checking for the food allergen as an ingredient. Foods manufactured where allergens are processes must also be avoided since there is a chance that they could be contaminated with the allergen.

Some allergic reactions are so severe that they cause anaphylaxis, which can cause death within minutes. It doesn't take a lot of the allergen to cause a reaction; even trace amounts are enough to trigger a reaction. The food allergen does not even have to be ingested to cause a reaction. Sometimes skin contact or inhalation can trigger a reaction. Even kissing someone after they have eaten a food allergen can cause a reaction. Peanut butter on a cafeteria table from a child's lunch could cause a reaction for another child who is allergic to peanuts.

Food allergies are life altering for everyone involved, including family, friends, teachers, classmates and peers. It requires education for everyone who is responsible for caring for the child with food allergies. It means explaining to siblings, family members and others involved what the child cannot eat and what to look for in case of a possible reaction. It also includes education on how to treat a reaction, knowing which reactions require epinephrine and a 9-1-1 call and which one do not.

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) was created to raise public awareness, provide advocacy and education and to advance research on behalf of everyone affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis. FAAN provides support to people with food allergies, parents of children with food allergies, schools and others.

On Saturday, Sept. 27 FAAN is hosting a Walk for Food Allergy: Moving Toward a Cure in Indianapolis. Every dollar that is raised funds food allergy research and education. We have hope for a cure, but until then all we can do is educate others. To learn more about food allergies, please visit www.foodallergy.org. If you would like to donate to the Walk for Food Allergy or would like more information about the walk, please visit www.foodallergywalk. org .

Terry and Jodee Wade


Thank you for

your support

To the Editor:

Thank you to everyone who attended the Pregnancy Choices Benefit Concert. We hope you were not only entertained and touched but learned what Pregnancy Choices is about and has to offer.

A big thank you to everyone who worked so diligently to make the event a success: The singers and musicians, the stage and technical crew and all the behind-the-scenes support. So many people gave of themselves, offering their time and talents, to make this idea of a concert into a reality.

Even though the concert is over, the center accepts volunteers in various capacities any time of the year. From our new young mother mentor program to washing and mending donated baby clothes to cleaning and handyman jobs around the building, we are thankful for any time and talents offered.

Likewise, we are always appreciative of the community's donations whether they are monetary or materials, such has baby clothes or diapers.

If you are in need of our services or are interested in donating, contact Pregnancy Choices at 847-4611 or visit our Web site at www.gcpchoices.org.

Tambra McGill

concert organizer


Michelle Brown

Pregnancy Choices director

GCTPC has a new

home in Bloomfield

To the Editor:

Due to the sale of our building, the Greene County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation office has moved. Our new location is 342 West Davis Street; our telephone number remains the same, 384-8769.

The Coalition wishes to publicly acknowledge the generosity of Rust Publishing, the owner of Greene County Daily World. For the past several years they have generously donated office space to our organization as well as Middle Way House. Their support of community services has been greatly appreciated.

Nancy Cummings

GCTPC Coordinator