Peanut-Free Policy at St. Francis Response to Metuchen Families Advocating for Allergy Awareness

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A few weeks ago, St. Francis Cathedral School of Metuchen announced that it was going completely peanut-free. Given that statistics show a growing number of deadly allergies to peanuts and peanut products throughout the country (and the heat thrown on the issue by the salmonella outbreak caused by a peanut-product-producing assembly line in Georgia), this sounds like a great idea. However, area families who have been affected tragically by this issue have been speaking out on other ways to assure that there will be fewer and fewer victims of deadly allergy attacks.
 
Metuchen resident Denice Quinn lost her sister to such an incident. In response, her family members have become activist/advocates for stricter manufacturing legislation. "My sister, Kristin, is very involved in lobbying Congress. She has a child with severe allergies. We work to have large corporations properly label their food products. All companies are listing on their ingredients: "may contain peanuts". The manufacturer knows there are no peanuts [in the product and yet they do not want to be sued [so to be safe they list them]. My sister, Annie, ate many foods her whole life, that now suggest there may be peanuts [in them]. Allergy-afflicted children have a very limited food list as it is,  Companies need to be more honest to their consumers. . . our larger campaign is to have epi pens in all restaurants. . .
Epinephrine is a key component in proper emergency care for someone suffering from a severe allergy attack. Allison Inserro, a Metuchen resident, told us, "My son does not attend St Francis - he's 5 and has been in Community Nursery School since he was 2.5 (and they've been great); he's allergic not only to peanuts but also tree nuts, dairy, egg, wheat, barley, sesame, mustard, and more. He's had several anaphylactic reactions, ER visits and ambulance rides. Through my involvement with an allergy & asthma support group for parents I got involved in a statewide effort to improve the management of severe allergies in schools - the amended law requires public & private schools to allow students to have ready access to epinephrine and that delegates to administer the epinephrine be available during the school day and school-sponsored functions if the school nurse is not available . . . [to the best of my knowledge}, St Francis is doing all of these things."
 
If you are interested in helping Denice or Allison in their lobbying efforts, please contact us at info@metuchenmatters.com and we will forward your information to them.

7 Comments

Need to keep studying and testing, once we get it cured PB&J for everyone on me!

Now about my allergy to work.....

For anyone wondering why "teenagers" need their own breakout session, it's because teenagers are one of the highest risk groups. They throw caution to the wind and stop being as vigilant as their parents were when they were younger. Scary.

True. You don't know if they would have outgrown the allergy anyway, and they don't take kids whose "numbers" (IgE antibodies in the blood) are too high. My son currently doesn't fit the parameters for a milk study at Mt Sinai, but maybe someday he will.

The first two posters are both referring to a story like this one:

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20090316/new-therapy-may-knock-out-peanut-allergy

and this one:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/health/16peanuts.html?scp=2&sq=peanut%20and%20study&st=cse

and others like it. I don't think either mention that some children suffered anaphylactic reactions or had to drop out of the study.

For anyone interested in learning more, the 16th annual food allergy conference is being held May 9 in Tarrytown, NY (a little more than an hour's drive from here) by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.
Dr. Hugh Sampson, one of the nation's top anaphylaxis experts & who heads the food allergy clinic at Mt Sinai, will be among the speakers. The research updates are great, and there are Q&A sessions.

There are special breakout sessions for school nurses, dietitians, and teenagers.

www.foodallergy.org

Other sources of information:

Food Allergy Initiative
www.faiusa.org

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
http://www.aaaai.org/

Here's one article on the study. They don't say anything about how sensitive the 33 kids in the study were. The current testing ranks kids as least sensitive (#1) to extremely sensitive (#6). My child tests as #6.

The doctor in charge of the study even says there is no way to know whether these kids just outgrew the allergy. Also says that some people are too sensitive to undergo the treatment. Thanks but no thanks.

http://www.dukehealth.org/HealthLibrary/News/studies_show_children_can_complete_treatment_for_peanut_allergies_and_achieve_long_term_tolerance

It's actually miniscule dustings of peanut flour, dispursed in a hospital setting in case there is an adverse reaction. Promising, but a long way from certain.

New studies out there show the best method for treating these may indeed be slow daily exposure to the allergents.

Very interesting studies, they actually treated the peanut allergy folks by giving them smll daily doses of peanuts, slowly increasing them.

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Recent Comments

  • Anonymous: Need to keep studying and testing, once we get it read more
  • Anonymous: For anyone wondering why "teenagers" need their own breakout session, read more
  • Allison Inserro: True. You don't know if they would have outgrown the read more
  • Allison Inserro: The first two posters are both referring to a story read more
  • Anonymous: Here's one article on the study. They don't say anything read more
  • Anonymous: It's actually miniscule dustings of peanut flour, dispursed in a read more
  • Anonymous: New studies out there show the best method for treating read more

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