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Filtering by Category: Food Allergies

DVDs that Teach about Allergies

Kathy Thornburg

Any time mainstream media picks up an important issue and covers it in video form, you can't help but watch it through the cracks of your fingers over your face. You know what I mean?

Sometimes, when people talk about food allergies in the media, it's either extremely offensive or just plain factually incorrect. BUT sometimes food allergies are presented in a clear, informative, and positive way that helps spread awareness and understanding to a new and wider audience.

When I saw this All About Allergies DVD at my local library, I snatched it up right away, knowing that I needed to watch this and let you all know if it's any good. Here, you'll get a brief description for each episode along with any online resources available related to each one.

All About Allergies is a PBS DVD consisting of five episodes. All episodes are around 15 minutes long- some being a couple minutes shorter. I would say that overall the episodes are valuable, but some are better than others. Daniel Tiger is our favorite of the episodes on this DVD and seems to portray food allergies in the most positive and clear way. Arthur is a bit more dramatic and a little scary for very young viewers. The character with allergies is about 10 years old and  deals with issues that small children might not need to deal with for some time. Peg + Cat is about environmental allergies (Peg is allergic to clover) and WordWorld is about being allergic to peaches (just like Daniel Tiger!). 

Daniel Tiger- 2 episodes

In the first episode, Daniel eats peaches and has an allergic reaction (his tummy hurts, he itches, and he has a rash on his face). The family immediately took him to the doctor to get him checked out. The doctor gave Daniel advice on how to stay safe and educated him about food allergies. Daniel and his mother work together to bake muffins for a school event the next day. The episode ends with a real life story of a young child eating lunch safely at school.

The second episode takes off where the first one began when Daniel brings safe muffins to school to celebrate 100 days school. He tells his teacher about his allergies while his parent stands next to him. Daniel plays with his friends in the play food center at school and they talk about the difference between being allergic to a food and not liking a food. There are multiple engaging songs and another real life story- this time about a crossing guard helping kids get to school safely. Both episodes focus on how we all help each other out. There was no mention of testing for allergies and no talk about emergency medication. Daniel is only given an oral medication at the doctor's office. Of course, you can't fully cover everything in just one 15 minute episode, but you may like to follow up watching this episode with a talk about what medicines keep your child safe during an allergic reaction and how important it is to keep it near all the time.

You can watch clips from this episode HERE.

Arthur- 1 episode

This episode titled, "Binky Goes Nuts," is about one of Arthur's classmates who develops a rash and goes to the doctor for a skin test that reveals an allergy to peanuts. His mother is very fearful. The doctor explains anaphylaxis and gives them things to read to learn more. Throughout the episode, Binky (who says he is almost 10) has nightmares about his allergies and is not happy with how his mother is reacting to the news. She emails all of the other families in his class and tells Binky he shouldn't go to the candy store. He is embarrassed at first but then is encouraged by a friend who also has allergies. In the end, Binky decides to take his allergies seriously and prove to his mom that he knows how to make safe choices so that she can trust him more with managing his food allergies.

You can watch this episode for free HERE.

PBS also offers additional free resources and printables to go along with this episode.

Peg + Cat- 1 episode

This episode, "The Allergy Problem," follows Peg as she struggles with sneezing. The doctor tests her and her cat runs away. While Peg searches for the cat by plane, she worries she might be allergic to her cat. She eventually find her cat inside of a whale (talk about an adventure!) and the whale is allergic to feathers. After talking through the day and what she has been in contact with, they solve the problem by discovering that clovers were causing her to sneeze and not the cat. The cat was first wearing a clover necklace, but after taking it off, Peg felt much better.

A few Peg + Cat videos and clips are available online, but this episode is currently not included. Other videos and activities related to Peg + Cat can be found HERE.

WordWorld- 1 episode

Pig needs all the letter A's to make an apple pie. Sheep comes to help, bringing peaches for the pies. Pig sniffs the peaches and starts to sneeze. He is sneezing so much that he can't tell them he is allergic to peaches. They get an ambulance for him but pig says he does not need it. Finally, ant (who knows about pig's allergy) tells the others that he is allergic to peaches. They get together a bunch of ants to carry away all of the peaches and pig instantly feels much better.

The point of this episode is really to teach the A sound and not to teach about allergies. He wants to ask for a-a-apples but can only say a-a-choo. They continually guess what things starting with "a" he could need. This is clearly meant for a very young audience and can open up the door to talk about allergies with your children but should not be used on it's own as any type of food allergy education.

For other WordWorld fun visit PBS online HERE.

You can buy All About Allergies on Amazon HERE.

Kyle Dine & Friends DVD

I would also highly recommend you check out Kyle Dine & Friends Allergy Awareness DVD.

His video is very informative and is by far the best resource for teaching children about food allergies. It is great for home use and for schools. There are two discs included- each geared towards a different age range. My kids love the songs, puppets, and engaging messages.

If you have any suggestions for other ways to teach children about allergies, let me know in the comments below!

Starting Kindergarten! 504 Meeting Time

Kathy Thornburg

The time has come! When my first child was born, I was already dreading the day he would start Kindergarten. I didn't know about his allergies at the time, but I just wanted those years with him to last as long as possible. To be honest, I just love being with my kids so much that sending them to school for so many hours in a day makes me want to cry.

When we found out our son had severe food allergies, I had another reason to not want this day to come too soon. It is a very personal choice to decide how to educate your child and what works best for them. We tried to be very open to all possibilities and feel like based on his personality and our family life, that a charter school situation would fit him best.

Of course, we believe that what works one year may not always be the best solution. We are looking forward to all that his school has to offer and are very optimistic to how they will handle his severe allergies and potential asthma flares.

Here is a little on the road vlog about our first 504 meeting. Just some thoughts from one food allergy parent to another!

If you would like some resources for how to understand what a 504 plan is, if you need one for your child, and what kinds of things they should include, I would highly recommend the resources linked below...

Explanation of 504 Plans from FAACT

 504 Resources from Kid's with Food Allergies

Thoughts on Nut Free Tables from Peanut Allergy

Helpful Tips from Vivian Stock-Hendel on Nut Free Wok

NEW Enjoy Life Chewy Bars (taste test!)

Kathy Thornburg

We love love love Enjoy Life products. It's one of those companies we recommend to others constantly, and we feel Enjoy Life always has our back. It's so exciting to see so many new products hit the shelves in recent years, and Enjoy Life just rolled out three new chewy bar flavors!

Check out their website for more info about...

Caramel Blondie

Carrot Cake

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed

In this video, everyone in our family will taste test these new flavors and choose their favorite. Who will pick the winning flavor? Which one are you looking forward to trying first? Let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: We were provided with each of the new chewy bar flavors for us to try. All opinions are our own!

Our Food Allergy Journey (and 5 tips for those starting out)

Kathy Thornburg

Our son was diagnosed with severe and multiple food allergies at 16 months in the year 2013. Our lives changed in a moment, and we've been on this journey with food allergies ever since. There have been numerous highs and lows along the way,. Through it all, we have remained committed to the very best care for our son.

Community is such an important part of life and a supportive food allergy community is priceless. If you are new to living with food allergies, here are my top 5 tips for those just starting out. I hope this video encourages you as you move forward from a difficult diagnosis.

Emergency Medications ON THE GO (and an Allermates Giveaway!)

Kathy Thornburg

CLICK ON THE VIDEO TO LEARN MORE!

We take epinephrine injectors every place we go every single day. It's important to us to find useful products to take all of these emergency meds from place to place and to come up with systems that help us always know where our meds are and to never leave them behind. Over the years, we've learned what works best for us and what items we've outgrown as our needs change.

Watch the video above to hear what products we've used in the past and products that are on the market that might work well for you. The new Allermates My Meds bag is sure to become our new favorite (especially for travel since it's the only bag that will hold EVERYTHING).

The My Meds bag in the video is available for preorder for $20 and will ship out in mid-September. A big advantage to this option is that it is made specifically for allergy and asthma medications.

What can fit in the My Meds bag? Here's what I managed to fit in one as reference (picture above does not include all the items listed below).

  1. Rescue inhaler
  2. Daily inhaler
  3. Inhaler chamber
  4. 2 epinephrine autoinjectors
  5. Bandaids
  6. Neosporin
  7. OTC allergy med liquid and cup (for dog allergy reactions)
  8. Insurance card
  9. Allergy and asthma action plans
  10. Emergency contact information
  11. Allergy awareness bracelet

Everything fit pretty comfortably until I added the inhaler chamber. It definitely fits, but it's just so long that you have squeeze the mask end a bit while zipping it closed. I think a bag any bigger than this would be bulky and difficult to cart around so I'm willing to wiggle the zipper to squeeze it all in this size! The velcro pockets inside of the bag are almost the right size for our inhalers but not quite. One fits perfectly and the other one needs to be put in upside down and the mouthpiece portion has to hang out the top.

Click HERE to preorder your My Meds bag at Allermates.com! While you're there, check out there other awesome products (my son is REALLY into the Guide to Allergies book and is having me read it a lot!)

If you want to check out some Allermates products available on Amazon, here you go!

 CLICK HERE FOR ALLERMATES ON AMAZON (affiliate link)

ENTER AN ALLERMATES GIVEAWAY BELOW

 

Winner will get to choose one of the dog tags pictured below, allergen alert stickers, and one blue "I Have Allergies" bracelet. Giveaway open to those living in the US (excluding Alaska and Hawaii).