Starting on Saturday May 10, to the following Saturday May 16th, Food Allergy Awareness Week is taking place, ensuring consumers safer ways to avoid the high or low profile foods that spark your family’s allergic needs. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) created the Food Allergy Awareness Week in May of 1997 in order to use the media coverage to educate.
This year’s theme is “Take Action, Prevent Reactions.” Schools, communities, and outreach organizations will be taking part in trying to spread the word about this growing hidden danger.
FAAN’s goal for 2009 is to get proclamations from all 50 states that legislation will declare Food Allergy Awareness Week to promote it on a larger scale. With 4 percent of the population suffering from food allergies and around 50,000 emergency visits per year, this is becoming a widespread problem. So far communities across the country have been helping to get states on board and the FAAN has already convinced Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Nebraska, Illinois, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Texas to sign on to proclamations. To make and send a proclamation, find a template on the FAAN website and send it to your governor for approval.
In terms of education, there are educational DVDs and children’s books aimed at making sure school-aged children are aware of the dangers of bringing banned foods to school and making sure to keep their lunches to themselves if they happen to have an allergy. There are also cookbooks for the healthy and safe at-home chef in order to keep those food allergies at bay.
By reminding consumers with allergies to “CAP It,” the FAAN tries to get people to remember three simple steps to keeping healthy: Carry your medicine; Avoid your allergen; and Plan ahead to prevent reaction. The CEO of FAAN, Julia Bradsher, says that although food allergies are a pain, they need to be managed, “Food allergies can be challenging to manage, but we know that reactions can be prevented by taking a few simple steps….Adults and children with food allergies and their families can empower themselves every day by taking steps to safeguard against reactions. By sharing their knowledge with others during Food Allergy Awareness Week and throughout the year, we hope to reduce the number of reactions and save lives.”
With over 30,000 members worldwide, FAAN is developing quite a fan base and they hope to become better known in your state when new proclamations are announced. Affecting around one of every 25 Americans and countless friends and families, food allergies are lurking inside millions of people from the playground to the boardroom, so take action now and stay safe.
FoodFacts believes this is an important endeavor and is pleased to help promote this worthy cause.