HomeLatest news from Food Allergy Canada – September 2020

Latest news from Food Allergy Canada – September 2020

September 18, 2020

Help #MakeFoodAllergyCount by writing to your MP to support our budget submission. Register now for the fall session of our Allergy Pals/Allies peer mentorship program, check out our new video for youth on allergic reactions, and join us in congratulating Kyle Dine, our youth program coordinator, on winning AllerGen’s 2020 Michelle Harkness Mentorship Award. Plus, get answers to your questions on managing food allergy and COVID-19, including tips for back-to-school.

Everyone’s voice is needed to make an impact: Write to your MP to support our budget submission

Thanks to those of you who have written or met with your Member of Parliament to support our budget submission. If you have not already done so, we need your help to #MakeFoodAllergyCount.

Last month, along with the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI), we submitted our 2021 pre-budget submission to request a modest commitment from the federal government to initiate the National Food Allergy Action Plan. A small investment now is critical for creating a better food allergy future and driving real change.

Everyone’s voice is needed to make an impact: Write your MP.

Help us elevate the conversation by writing to your MP to ask them to support out pre-budget submission and encourage the Standing Committee on Finance to invite Food Allergy Canada and the CSACI to present an oral testimony during the consultation hearings. Send your MP an email/letter.

Together our collective voices will help drive change.

Having local candidates hear directly from people impacted by food allergy is very powerful. Share your food allergy story, or simply ask them for their support to make food allergy a priority.

Connect with your MP:

Last call: Register your child for our Allergy Pals/Allies online mentorship program

The 8-week fall session for Allergy Pals/Allies begins soon on September 26th! Sign up your 7-15-year-old now for this free program so they don’t miss out on an amazing experience connecting with other children living with food allergy.

These online sessions are fun, engaging and have received outstanding feedback from previous participants. Learn more about the benefits of this program in the video below and register your child today!

Watch how this program has impacted Benjamin’s life.

New! Video on allergic reactions for youth

Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis can be confusing and using an epinephrine auto-injector may seem scary, especially for youth. Research has told us that epinephrine is underutilized in anaphylactic reactions for a variety of reasons including the two reasons we just noted.

To help increase confidence in youth around recognizing signs and symptoms and when to use epinephrine, we created a new video featuring members of our Youth Advisory Panel. You’ll hear firsthand accounts of their own reaction stories and the lessons they learned.

Watch the video below, and share with others! It’s an important message for everyone to understand.

Learn more:

Congratulations Kyle Dine on receiving AllerGen’s 2020 Michelle Harkness Mentorship Award

Join us in congratulating Kyle Dine, food allergy educator and leader of our youth programming, on receiving AllerGen’s 2020 Michelle Harkness Mentorship Award (MHMA) for Mentoring Excellence.

The MHMA awards honour outstanding individuals from the Canadian allergic disease research, education and advocacy communities who have made a positive and significant difference in the lives of others.

We are incredibly grateful for Kyle’s leadership and dedication to mentoring youth with our Allergy Pals/Allies mentorship program and Youth Advisory Panel. His exemplary leadership continues to make a significant impact to youth with food allergy across Canada. Watch Kyle’s thank you video below.

Your questions answered on COVID-19 and food allergy

Back-to-school during COVID-19

Backpack prepared with school supplies and mask for the return to school.

Going back to the classroom is different this year for school communities. In our Back-to-school, COVID-19 and food allergy article, find  out why greater hygiene may be helpful for all attending in person and hear what’s on the minds of several parents  of students with food allergy.

Plus, visit our Back-to-school with food allergy during COVID-19 section for other helpful  suggestions, including managing face masks and allergic reactions, hand washing tips, and other helpful tips and resources for you and your school.

Wishing you and your family a happy, safe and healthy school year.

The “triple check” and other label reading reminders

Woman reading food labels

Reading and checking ingredient labels is an important part of the day-to-day management of food allergy. During the pandemic, this practice has become even more important as we may be purchasing groceries online or spending less time in the grocery store.

Remember to do the “triple check” for products you purchase in-store and online. Manufacturers may change ingredients without telling consumers, and ingredient labels may vary from what is listed on the product versus product page on a website. Be sure to also check for allergens in non-food products, like hand sanitizers and cleaning products.

Ask the allergist – answers to your COVID-19 questions

Dr. Julia Upton
Dr. Julia Upton

Check out Dr. Julia Upton’s answers to your top questions on managing food allergy during the pandemic, including:

More resources on managing food allergy

Nurse talking to mother and daughter

Visit our COVID-19 and food allergy section for more resources, including the Canadian Paediatric Society’s recommendation for the early introduction of allergens during this time, and FAQs from the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology on allergist appointments and more information on staying safe.

If you have any questions or need support, connect with us on email at info@foodallergycanada.ca, phone at 1 866 785-5666, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Stay tuned! Next month we’ll be sharing tips on how to celebrate Halloween safely with food allergy during COVID-19.

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