For our friends Brody and Jacob who have a peanut allergy and in memory of Natalie Giorgi, 13, of Carmichael, CA.
MASON: Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies.
MADISON: More than 3 million people in the United States report having an allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, or both, according to statistics from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.
MASON: Peanuts can cause a severe, potentially fatal, allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) more than any other food allergy.
MADISON: What is anaphylaxis?
MILA: From Meidikidz & Kidshealth: Anaphylaxis is a very serious type of allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis can be caused by a wide range of foods, like peanuts, shellfish, dairy products and eggs. It can also be caused by an allergic reaction to wasp or bee stings, or by the antibiotic, penicillin.
Signs of Anaphylaxis
- difficulty breathing
- tightness in the throat or feeling like the throat or airways are closing
- hoarseness or trouble speaking
- nasal stuffiness or coughing
- nausea, abdominal pain, or vomiting
- fast heartbeat or pulse
- skin itching, tingling, redness, or swelling
MADISON: My friend Jacob carries an EpiPen® everywhere he goes.
MASON: What is an EpiPen®?
MILA: EpiPen® contains a medicine (adrenaline) that can help you feel better immediately if you have anaphylaxis. EpiPen® stops allergic reactions very quickly.
MASON: Peanuts are not actually nuts.
MILA: Based on my research from Food Allergy Research & Education, Inc. Peanuts are not the same as tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.), which grow on trees. Peanuts grow underground and are part of a different plant family, the legumes. Other examples of legumes include beans, peas, lentils and soybeans.
MADISON: Peanuts are main ingredients in many recipes. When eating outside of your home, always tell the waiter or an adult about your allergy so they can make sure your food isn’t prepared near peanuts in the kitchen.
MASON: Our school is taking safety precautions by
- Allergy awareness posters throughout the school
- Peanut-free zones in the cafeteria
- No food sharing
- Washing hands before and after eating
- No peanut products in the classroom for projects or experiments
MADISON: To prevent an allergic reaction don’t share your food at school, always wash your hands and make sure you know what you are eating.
MILA: Peanuts go by different names. Avoid foods that contain peanuts or any of these ingredients:
- Artificial nuts
- Cold pressed, expeller pressed or extruded peanut oil
- Ground nuts
- Mandelonas (peanuts soaked in almond flavoring)
- Mixed nuts
- Monkey nuts
- Nut meat
- Nut pieces
- Peanut butter
- Peanut flour
- Peanut protein hydrolysate
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