Alexandria Durrell: Irritated By Allergies

Aug
20
2015
Nice choice cookie peanut recall

Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall notice for Nice Choice Brand Fried Cookie product, seaweed flavour. The product contains peanut, which is not listed on the label.

Food Recall Warning (Allergen) - Nice Choice brand Fried Cookie – Seaweed flavour recalled due to undeclared peanut

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Aug
18
2015

How to Survive Fall Allergy Season

5 Tips for Attacking Allergens

fall allergy season tips

With autumn around the corner, allergy sufferers should take note and start building defenses to minimize the effects of fall allergens.

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Aug
10
2015
dust mite formula

If you're allergic to dust mites, you know how frustrating they are to deal with. They're everywhere, and they feed on our own dead skin and pet dander. How totally disgusting is that? But did you know that allergies to dust mites are actually to dust mite poop? Ewwww!

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Jul
02
2015

Incredible Nut-Free Ice Cream Cake

Never Buy a Store Bought Ice Cream Cake Again!

Make this incredible nut- and peanut-free cake for less than $15!

I'm not lying when I say this nut-free cake has totally changed my life. Both my kids love ice cream cakes, but I've always been really nervous about buying them anywhere because of my son's tree nut and peanut allergies. With this super easy recipe, you'll be an ice cream cake superstar in less than 15 minutes for under $15. Awesome, right?

I use Chapman's ice cream (the stuff in the box) because it's nut- and peanut-free, but if allergies aren't a concern for you, go wild!

Ingredients

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Jul
02
2015
SickKids' Allergy Program Aims to Eliminate Allergies

Fatal allergic reactions are a very real, very terrifying possibility for nearly 300,000 Canadian families. With the prime allergens causing anaphylaxis being nuts, eggs, milk and insects, every day activities can feel overwhelmingly stressful when working to avoid deadly reactions. Allergies interrupt our lives, they're intrusive and annoying (believe me when I tell you I'm mad I can't eat peanut butter, too).

Allergies get in the way of everything.

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Jun
24
2015
Do you know what these skin prick allergy tests tell us?

Not too many years ago (I mean, it can't be too many, my kid's only five), we had to eliminate a whole pile of food from my son's life thanks to (confirmed) food allergies. Strawberries, tomatoes, dairy, soy, eggs, white fishes (all of them!), shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts... I'm not sure if there were more, but you get the idea. A lot. It sounds horrible, and you might wonder how we fed him, but you know what? There's a lot of food out there, and he did just fine. In fact, he was 26lbs by six months of age. Ha. 

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Jun
23
2015

64 Super Summer Boredom Busters

Beat Boredom With This Handy List

64 Ways to Beat Summer Boredom.

Bookmark this list, you’ll thank me for it during your summer vacation, I promise.

1. Visit a splashpad — check your local town/city website to find out where there are free ones near you!

2. Visit a beach — even if it takes a couple hours to drive to one, this is a worthy day trip because who doesn’t love playing in the sand?

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Jun
17
2015

Your Emergency Room Visit Pack List

How to Pack for a Child's Hospital Visit

Here's what you need to pack for a child's hospital stay

Recently my five year-old son was admitted to hospital due to a severe asthma attack. We hadn't even known he was asthmatic. It was scary, exhausting, and even though he's fine now, I'm finding myself a bundle of nerves and emotions in the aftermath. It was such a blur, really. I noticed he was struggling to breathe, and off we went to a local emergency room. I threw a few things into a bag, but when we got there I realized there was a lot I'd forgotten and I wish I'd had a list to make it easier during that stressful time.

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Jun
13
2015

Allerject Auto-Injector Recall

Check your Allerject Devices Immediately

Health Canada Recalls Some Allerject Auto-Injectors

Two lots of Allerject emergency epinephrine devices have been recalled. If you have devices from these lots, return them immediately to your pharmacy for replacing.

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Jun
09
2015

Why Experts Say Food Bans Don't Help

Will Food Bans in Schools Disappear?

food_bans_at_school

You already know that in the five years I've spent dealing with my son's food allergies, my views on how these things should be handled have changed. Part of that is that he's getting older, but a larger part is that I'm understanding more about how allergies work, and what's realistic for us to ask of the world around us. I think that for young children, food bans have a place, as does Dr. Susan Waserman, one of Canada's foremost allergists and president of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. But as kids age, well, bans need to be loosened.

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Jun
01
2015

Before I was a parent, I’d see people struggling in malls with their cranky, annoying offspring and wonder why they brought them out that day. I’d see them pandering to their miniature dictators and think they were too soft on those brats. I’d watch them from the corner of my eye when they yelled at the kids in public and think they must be monsters behind closed doors. I knew exactly how I’d raise my imaginary children, and I knew the kinds of people they’d grow up to be.

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May
26
2015

You Won’t Believe What Your Family Is Breathing

And 5 things you can do to improve the air inside your home

You Won’t Believe What Your Family Is Breathing

Knock knock.
(Who’s there?)
Hatch.
(Hatch who?)
Bless you! Ugh, spring allergies are the worst.

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May
13
2015

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month

Top 5 Ways You Can Help Spread Allergy Awareness

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month and a little support goes a long way!

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month, and even though I spend every single day spreading allergy awareness, this is the time of the year when it's kicked up a notch. Niagara Falls was bathed in blue and green lights on May 11 for allergy awareness, and many people wore teal on May 12. Me? I'll be sitting at my computer writing supportive emails back to all of you who write me every day asking for advice, help and support.

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May
04
2015

Asthma Cure Imminent

Drug to Cure Asthma Already Exists

The cure for asthma is on the very near horizon!

Asthmatics everywhere are (I'm sorry for this pun) breathing a sigh of relief knowing a cure is on the very near horizon. Every year, about 250 Canadians die from asthma, a point that was made very clear to me just last week when my five year-old son was hospitalized with a severe asthma attack. He has been formally diagnosed as asthmatic now, and the news of the discovery came just as we received his diagnosis. I hope this cure can help him, and my husband, too. Asthma is scary.

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asthma_inhaler_school_Ryans_law

In 2012, 12 year-old Ryan Gibbons died of an asthma attack while at his Ontario school. His rescue inhaler was in the school's office - too far to save his life. Ryan's mother Sandra Gibbons made it her mission to make sure this tragedy happened to no other students by starting a petition asking the government to force schools to create asthma management plans that would include allowing them to carry their needed inhalers on them.

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Apr
29
2015

Peanuts Now Banned at Some Major League Ballgames

Keeping Allergic Fans Safe & Building Awareness

peanuts_banned_at_major_league_baseball_games

Take me out to the ballgame, but hold the peanuts and Cracker Jacks. At the Indians home opener at Victory Field, fans won't be able to buy or bring any peanut products into the stadium.  "We've received calls from fans over the years about not being able to come to the ballpark due to peanut allergy," says Indians senior marketing and communications manager Jon Glesing.

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Apr
17
2015

More EpiPens in Public Areas Means Increased Safety

Why All Public Spaces Should Stock EpiPens

More public places are making EpiPens available in case of emergency. This is great news for those at risk of anaphylaxis!

Great news, Canadiens fans! The Montreal Bell Centre has just partnered with Pfizer Canada, Inc., distributors of EpiPens to stock emergency kits around the centre. In an awesome trend that seems to be picking up momentum, more public places are stocking the emergency epinephrine kits to help keep guests safe.

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Apr
14
2015

How to Remove Your House From Google Maps Streetview

7 Quick Steps to Protect Your Home's Privacy

Google_Streetview

Removing your home from Google Maps Streetview is easy, but many people don't know just how to do it. I'm here to help!

There are a number of reasons you may not want your house viewed online. Or maybe it's your car you'd like blurred. Or maybe the Google Streeview car caught you putting out your garbage braless in your pajamas? Whatever, I don't judge. 

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Apr
10
2015

Nutella + Tim Horton's = Freak Out

What The New Partnership Means For Allergic People

Holy crap, you guys. Tim Hortons will be serving donuts filled with Nutella. And it'll be a spread option for bagels, too. And there'll be pastries filled with the ubiquitous hazelnut and chocolate gooey stuff. Those in the allergy community are freaking the heck out - and with good reason, right? DANGER, DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! NUT ALERT!

Except, um, no. Back off the panic button, allergy friends.

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Apr
07
2015

Deadly Allergy Risk With Blood Transfusions

New Report Details Some Scary Side Effects

A new report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal details the experience of an eight year-old boy who, following a blood transfusion, experienced a severe allergic reaction to salmon when he previously had no allergies at all. I read the article via CTV News with interest this morning, because I've never heard of this happening before.

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