In a medical emergency, every second counts and this is especially true for children who live with food allergies.
(NAPS)—In a medical emergency, every second counts—and
this is especially true for children who live with food allergies.
According to AllergicChild.com, food allergies affect 6
to 7 million Americans. Eight foods in particular account for 90 percent of all
allergic reactions: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, soy and
Food allergies are the leading cause of anaphylaxis,
the immediate and severe reaction to certain foods that accounts for
approximately 30,000 emergency room visits annually. An allergic reaction from
food proves fatal for 100 to 200 people each year.
Most school-age children eat two meals a day
unsupervised by their parents. Without knowing it, children may consume ingredients
that cause allergic reactions, and in some cases it only takes a tiny amount
for a person to have a severe reaction.
Without proper supervision, children can experience
symptoms ranging from hives, swelling, nausea and loss of consciousness to even
In case of just such an emergency, the child’s personal
health information should be available to his or her caretaker and emergency personnel.
One simple solution is the MedicAlert’s Kid Smart® program. MedicAlert, known for its personalized lifesaving
services since 1956, has improved on a successful child-specific program that safeguards
and identifies children during an emergency.
By wearing a personalized MedicAlert bracelet, children
are provided with 24-hour child emergency ID and family emergency notification
services. If a child experiences a life threatening allergic reaction, it’s
important to dial 911 and notify them about the situation.
Emergency medical personnel are trained to look for the
MedicAlert bracelet, which provides the child’s personal identification number,
primary medical condition(s) including any allergies, and the 24-hour emergency
hotline number. A call to the hotline enables
responders to access vital medical information.
Through its Family Notification service, MedicAlert will call the
parents and tell them what’s happened.
David Cope, father of 18-year old Derek, can attest to
the comfort this program provides his family. Derek was diagnosed with being
severely allergic to beef and dairy products at age 2.
“If an emergency occurs and we are not there with
Derek, the paramedics or emergency staff will know instantly that they need to
administer epinephrine, control his breathing and get him to the hospital,” said
He signed his son up for the program after Derek
consumed a small amount (0.05mg) of a dairy product found in rice ice cream
labeled “dairy free,” resulting in an emergency room visit.
The program is just one step in safeguarding children
from such medical emergencies before and when they occur. There are other efforts
Inform your circle of friends, family, teachers,
nurses and other school or day care officials about the seriousness of your
child’s allergy. Provide pamphlets or discuss the facts of the allergy and how
to recognize the symptoms of a reaction.
Define a clear action plan that can be used during
anaphylaxis. This can be a detailed process
developed from scratch with your pediatrician or the simple plan out lined by the program.
Take control of your children’s diet and help them
take control of their own diet. Try to pack children’s lunches every day to help regulate their diet and continue to teach
them which foods to avoid, especially those with hidden ingredients.
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has joined with
MedicAlert to bring about awareness of the Kid Smart program.For more information, visit www.medicalert.org/kidsmart.
Did You Know?
MedicAlert’s Kid Smart®
Program can help identify children
who have a potentially life-threatening food allergy and ensure they get the
correct emergency treatment. For more information, visit www.medicalert.org/kidsmart.
MedicAlert Foundation pioneered
the first personal health record and medical identification service in 1956 as
a way to provide people with a simple but effective method for communicating
their medical conditions. MedicAlert bracelets and pendants alert emergency
personnel to a member’s primary health conditions. MedicAlert’s 24-hour
emergency response service also provides family notification so that members
can be reunited with their families. For more information visit www.medicalert.org.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”