Living Confidently with Food Allergy

| Posted On Jun 14, 2013 | By:

Living Confidently with Food Allergy v2If you have been told that your child has a food allergy, it can be overwhelming and you probably have a lot of questions running through your mind about what your child can and cannot eat, what other caregivers should and need to know to keep your child safe, what you do if your child has a food reaction, and what will life look and feel like for your child and your family as you try to adjust to this new reality.

But there are resources out there to help.

A new handbook, Living Confidently With Food Allergy: A guide for parents and families, has just been released.  This handbook is the product of a two-year-long North American collaboration lead by Anaphylaxis Canada and written by Dr. Michael Pistiner, Dr. Jenny LeBovidge (child psychologist), and Anaphylaxis Canada’s Laura Bantock, Lauren James, and Laurie Harada. This is a free, easy to use, evidence-based handbook designed to give parents the tools they need to keep their children with food allergies safe while addressing their emotional needs.

The handbook is meant to provide to families important information about food allergy, suggest ways to educate their child and others, and offer helpful tips and support. There’s a Frequently Asked Questions section right up front, and then sections dedicated to important and common topics like managing a food allergy at home, how to recognize and treat a food reaction, food label reading, play dates and parties, and more. To help you understand and build skills, there are a number of real-life exercises. The authors have also compiled a list of trusted resources about food allergies that you may find helpful. You can download activity sheets, exercises, and resource sheets from www.Allergysupportcentre.ca  and www.AllergyHome.org/handbook.

As is the case for most online tools and resources, this handbook should never replace specific advice from your child’s doctor. You should always speak with your child’s pediatrician directly if you have questions or are worried about your child.

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About Dr. Michael Pistiner

Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSc joined Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in 2011 as a pediatric allergist and is an instructor in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics where he is a member of the Council of School Health, Section of Allergy & Immunology, and a member of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology where he is a member of the Adverse Reaction to Food Committee. He is a food allergy educator and advocate and serves as a voluntary consultant for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, School Health Services. He also serves on a team assembled to implement a law designed to increase food allergy awareness in Massachusetts eating establishments and is a medical advisor for Kids with Food Allergies Foundation. Dr. Pistiner has received awards from the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network in 2009 and 2010, as well as the American Medical Association Young Physician Section Community Service Award (2010) for his work on the Food Allergy Awareness in Restaurants Act. He is co-creator of AllergyHome.org, an allergy education website, and has recently authored "Everyday Cool With Food Allergies," a children’s book designed to teach basic food allergy management skills to preschool and early school age children.

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