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August 2008

Peanut Treatment Update & Food Allergy Flashcards Review

Bo's new daily dose of peanut treatment is now about equal to 1/3 of a peanut. He eats this every day mixed with applesauce. So far he has not had any type of allergic reaction to these initial doses of peanut.

Today Bo happened to be in the lab at the same time as our friend that we mentioned in our last post, whose son had an anaphylactic reaction to his initial very low peanut allergy treatment dosage. Her son and Bo have become buddys and we are happy to report that he has now been able to increase his daily dosage level without an allergic reaction! We look forward to watching his progress in the peanut allergy desensitization program.

Our Local Subway is Now Peanut Free
We checked in with the owner of our local Subway and found out that he had stopped carrying the peanut butter cookies due to so many customers mentioning food allergies. So we are thankful that Bo now has an additional restaurant choice here in our home area. Be aware though, that each individual Subway location decides what cookies and other foods to carry, so we only let Bo eat at this particular Subway location.

Helpful Food Allergy Awareness Flashcards
We recently had a chance to review a food allergy education product. The Beyond A Peanut - Food Allergy Awareness Cards teach peanut and tree nut allergic children and those who provide care for them, that staying safe with a food allergy goes beyond the allergen itself. The 36 color coded flashcards on a metal ring provide comprehensive safety information developed in an easy to learn format. The cards were developed by the mother of two children with life-threatening peanut allergies with support from the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) in New York. The flashcards introduce critical concepts to those living with food allergies, including: cross-contamination, the importance of label reading and always carrying emergency medication. They even highlight specific concerns to be aware of with certain types of food, such as, ice cream and baked goods.


While these flashcards are specific to nut allergies, it is reported they have proven to help raise awareness and understanding of food allergies overall. We believe the Beyond A Peanut - Food Allergy Awareness Cards are a valuable, easy-to-use resource for family members, babysitters, teachers, classmates and friends of those with nut allergies that will be used over and over again as a reference. Job well done Beyond a Peanut!

Bo's Parents

When Is "Over-the-Top" Justified?

Bo's new daily dose of peanut flour treatment is now equal to about 1/6 of a peanut. We are thankful that so far he has not had any type of allergic reaction to these initial low doses of peanut.

When Is "Over-the-Top" Justified?
As a parent of a peanut allergic child, if you've ever been told you were being "overprotective" or "over-the-top" with your actions to protectic your food allergic loved one, read on for some validation. A friend of a friend's son was recently accepted into the same peanut allergy desensitization treatment study at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock that Bo has been participating in for the past year. In fact, they moved from the west coast to TN, to live closer to the study since it requires two hospital visits per month for the first year.

Anyway, on day one of the study he was being given peanut flour in very low, incremental doses to determine his allergic reaction threshold. Quickly, he developed stomach cramps, hives, itchy throat and slight wheezing at the dosage equivalent of less than 1/50th of a peanut (visualize a few grains of sand in a cup)! Benadryl and Epinephrine were administered by the medical staff to stop his allergic reaction from progressing. He has now successfully started his daily peanut dosages at a very low dosage.

Clearly, given the low amounts involved that induced an allergic reaction, we are talking about this young boy having a peanut allergy sensitivity that would be considered a "cross contamination" risk level. In other words, this is a child whose mother, has rightfully been obsessed with protecting her peanut allergic child from bakery products and items "manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts", despite the fact friends and sometimes even family members told her that she was being over protective. Obviously, there are food allergic individuals and situations that warrant so-called "over-the-top" protective behavior despite the social stigmatism and anxiety. So hopefully their story helps validate some of the diligence, precautions and even anxiety that food allergic families deal with as part of their "normal" daily lives.

Bo's Parents