Under the direction of program director, Elizabeth Bailey, MSN, CRNP and Dr. Robert Anolik, the ninth annual Breathe Allergy and Asthma Conference presented by the Allergy and Asthma Specialists Educational Foundation was a spectacular success. Over 100 physicians and nurses attended the conference on Friday, March 15 at the Hilton on City Avenue in Philadelphia to hear lectures about the latest treatments for allergies and asthma. Continuing education credits were offered for both physicians and nurses.
It’s a scene that’s all too familiar in American schools: Bullies taunting and even physically attacking their victims. Bullies tend to target children who are different from their peers. This means that kids with peanut allergies and other food allergies may be at risk. In fact, experts suggest that as many as one-third of kids with food allergies experience some form of bullying. If your child has been diagnosed with a food allergy, here’s what you need to know to protect him or her.
Types of Bullying
Bullying can take several forms, and may be perpetrated by fellow students or teachers and staff. The most common form is verbal harassment, in which students with allergies are teased or taunted about their medical condition. Some students report being harassed about having to carry auto-injectors of epinephrine with them. Some bullies may even question whether the child has a real medical condition. Verbal harassment is highly damaging to a child’s self-esteem. Physical bullying can also occur, in which students may be confronted by their allergen. One student reported having peanut butter forcibly smeared on the forehead. Another found peanut butter cookie crumbs in her lunchbox.
Signs of Bullying
Children who are being bullied may become fearful of going to school. If they’re being bullied in a specific class, they may make repeated trips to the nurse’s office, feigning illness to get out of that class. Students might not want to ride the bus, suddenly start getting poor grades, drop out of after-school activities, or have unexplained injuries. Talk to your child if you notice any changes in behavior, emotional health, or personality.
Steps to Take
The first step is to encourage your child to talk freely about the incidents. The more you know about exactly what’s going on, the better you’ll be able to help your child. Tell your child what to do if bullying occurs. Then, set up a meeting with school administrators to discuss the problem and demand that action be taken. It may be necessary to ask your child’s allergy specialist to meet with school staff and/or students to explain that food allergies are life-threatening and must be taken seriously by the entire community.
The compassionate, board-certified allergy specialists at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM work with patients of all ages to help them understand their diagnosis and manage it effectively. We pride ourselves on our accessible approach to patient education, and we firmly believe that patient education can empower children and adults to live life well despite food allergies. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to get help from an allergy specialist in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.
For a long time it was thought that patients with egg allergies shouldn’t receive a flu shot. This was because the vaccine is grown in eggs, which means there is a very minute amount of egg protein inside the vaccine. However, allergy doctors now know that it’s far more dangerous to leave patients unvaccinated compared to the risk of having an allergic reaction from the vaccine.
You can hear more about this important issue by speaking with your allergy specialist and watching the accompanying video. The expert featured here explains the recent scientific evidence that supports the safety of vaccines for people with egg allergies.
If you have any questions about managing your food allergies, you can find the help you need at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment with an allergy doctor in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.
Nagging symptoms that persist for days or weeks can sometimes indicate an underlying medical condition. A chronic cough, for instance, may be triggered by asthma, infections, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). An asthma specialist may diagnose a chronic cough in adults who suffer from it for eight weeks or longer, and in children who have it for four weeks or longer. But you don’t need to wait this long before you see the doctor, especially if your chronic cough is affecting your quality of life. When the asthma and allergy specialist figures out what is causing your chronic cough, you can get started on a treatment plan.
Some patients with a chronic cough discover that they have cough-variant asthma. In this type, the primary symptom is the dry cough that doesn’t produce mucus. It’s important to note that this type of asthma doesn’t necessarily cause other classic symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath. If you are diagnosed with this condition, your asthma treatment plan will include avoiding your triggers and using asthma medications.
When you visit the doctor, be sure to discuss your full medical history. Your doctor will need to know about any recent infections you’ve had. It’s possible for a lingering cough to develop long after an active infection has resolved. This is particularly true of sinus infections, influenza, colds, and pneumonia.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when stomach acid flows upward into the esophagus. The acid irritates the esophagus, which causes the coughing. Patients with GERD may need to take medications. They can also follow certain lifestyle modifications, such as eating smaller meals, avoiding lying down for two hours after eating, losing weight, and avoiding alcohol.
The board-certified allergists and immunologists at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM provide state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment plans. If you’ve been experiencing a chronic cough or other signs of asthma, call our office at 1(800)86-COUGH. Our asthma specialists are available in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.