February '08 Monthly Bulletin
Tip: Click on the Green links

Protect Allergic Kids (PAK) held its free monthly support group meeting on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at Nokomis Elementary School in Holbrook, NY from 8 pm to 9: 30 pm.  

The meeting was structured as an open forum offering parents, caregivers and professionals the opportunity to share stories and explore questions and answers
about life with food allergies.

PAK President and co-founder, Cristina Stainkamp,welcomed attendees and read the group’s disclaimer.

It was noted that Dr. Phil McGraw is planning a show on severe food allergies. If interested, click here for details.

A guest speaker representing Wildtree, Inc., Carol Ziegler (www.carolsmarket.com), spoke briefly about the company and an upcoming PAK fundraiser. Wildtree sells natural food products at in-home, taste-testing parties. Products are free of preservatives,
additives, MSG, GMO and dyes and attention is given to food allergies. To learn more, check out Carol’s website and attend PAK’s fundraiser on Friday, March 7, 2008

After the presentation, attendees spoke about their experiences and shared tips including:

-Rich’s non-dairy whipped topping may be found with frozen foods at Waldbaum’s and other markets.

-Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) reactions to plums,peaches and possibly nectarines may be an issue for people with tree nut allergies, perhaps because of the pits. Apple skins have also caused a reaction for some.  For a copy of an article from FAAN, please contact Cristina@protectallergickids.com.

-How and why to consider a 504 plan for food allergies prior to kindergarten for children with food allergies and special health needs. How various school
plans to help protect children differ such as IEP (Individualized Education Plan), IHP (Individualized Health Plan) and 504 and why multiple plans may be
needed. Check the Resources/Sample Letters page for sample plans because
standardized plans are not available.

-Watch for federal school guidelines, although still voluntary, coming in June 2008.

-Parents should be reasonable and respectful in advocating for their children’s rights in school. Cristina Stainkamp can accompany Members to meetings, if needed.

-“Peanut free” vs. “peanut conscious” terms explored.

-With education, children can be very perceptive and helpful in watching out for friends and family with allergies.  Help PAK promote Food Allergy Awareness Week in school from May 11 - 17th.  Come to our monthly meetings to learn how you can help the cause.

-Cross-reactions to bananas, latex and avocados may occur.

-Children’s Hospital of Denver recently opened an Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE) center.

-PAK has learned a lot about safe travel from members of the Food Allergy Support and Education (FASE) group in Port Washington.  See our Message Center for safe places to visit.

-With 504 plans, there is confidentiality for students.  It was requested that Mr. Paul Stellino (504 Plan Coordinator) of Sachem School District return as Guest Speaker.  He has confirmed that he will attend our March meeting

-The merits of designating “Food-Free Zones” in classrooms were discussed.

-Always check ingredients in foods and also check medicines, beauty and personal care products because allergens may be present.  According to the FDA, companies do NOT have to label for cross contamination.

-If you are looking for a Pediatric Gastroenterologist, call Dr. Bradley Kessler at #631-376-3966.

At every meeting, an assortment of books, handouts and resources are available for attendees to browse and take.

Does your child have severe food allergies?
You've come to the right place.