Alexandria Durrell: Irritated By Allergies

Mar
05
2015

Teen Dies After Possible Peanut Exposure

Apparent Allergic Reaction to Blame

Markham teen Ben Stanton died after exposure to peanuts.

Markham teen Ben Stanton died on Tuesday, and though his cause of death has not yet been released, his volleyball coach did say the student had come into contact with peanuts before his death. His mother has mentioned he had a lifelong cardiac condition, saying he could have died of heart failure.

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Feb
24
2015

Groundbreaking Study: Offer Kids Peanuts Earlier

Results Show Promise for Allergy Prevention

A new long-term study has released results that indicate feeding high-risk kids peanuts earlier can actually prevent the allergy. And I'm not happy. I mean, sure, I'm delighted that for every child going forward, these new findings mean peanut allergies could be reduced drastically. I'm elated that studies are being done to limit allergies. I'm just really, really sad that this came five years too late for us.

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Sensational stories in the media and uninformed people are a combustible mix when it comes to an already-heated topic like handling food allergies. It's so easy to get our backs up when we hear another parent scoff at the inconvenience of food bans, or read about how other people are reacting to "jokes" in commercials that mock serious illness.

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Feb
19
2015

So Your Kid Hurt My Kid

To Go Full Mama Bear or Not to Go Full Mama Bear?

So your kid hurt my kid. Now what?

Seldom is there a fiercer anger than when a mama bear’s cub gets injured. Should a fellow kindergartener toss out a few typical teases, she’ll be forever labeled as a Mean Girl by the other mama bears, for certain. A boy who shoves another boy is a terrible bully. A child who hits must be hit at home. A kid who bites has “something wrong” with them. What is normal childhood behaviour, and what is truly of concern?

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I want to talk about this cartoon. I want everyone talking about this cartoon. It popped up in my Facebook feed from a friend who shared it from the WCPO -- 9 On Your Side Facebook page.

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Feb
11
2015
Peanut desensitization gives hope to allergic people.

Last January, I told you about two studies that had been completed, both showing success with desensitizing peanut allergies in children. And this January, another study is demonstrating the same hope! After 18 months, around 80% of kids in the group studied for an Australian trial could tolerate peanuts.

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What do men want for Valentine's Day?

I've got a little experience with Valentine's Day. From hand-written love letters cut into heart shapes to thoughtful gifts, homecooked meals and sexy lingerie - I've done (and received) them all.

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Feb
09
2015

Make Your Own Candy Conversation Hearts

Go Retro This Valentine's Day - and Say What YOU Want to Say

While flipping the pages of Chatelaine this month, I fell in love with the idea of making candy conversation hearts. I gave their recipe a try immediately, and while it didn't really work for me, with minor adjustments, I think the end result is perfect and my kids say they're even better than the store-bought ones. (Which, come on, doesn't seem too difficult, does it? They taste like chalk.) But conversation hearts are adorable, fun, and surprisingly easy to make.

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Feb
05
2015

People were lined up outside Canadian Target stores this morning in the hopes of scoring great deals now that the liquidation of assets has begun. I know you've all seen my list of must-have items before Target leaves Canada, but did you brave the crowds in the hopes of scoring a great deal today? I did not, but I did have a friend share with me what she found at the store today!

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Feb
02
2015

When I was a kid, I went to camp every summer. I learned to canoe, I swam in lakes, I did crafts, sang songs, learned to cook my own food, and met friends from across the country. It was a pretty amazing experience. But for those with food allergies, simple things like spending time at summer camp is just not a reality. Until now.

How To Choose The Right Summer Camp For Your Child

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Jan
28
2015

30 Sanity-Savers for Surviving Road Trips with Kids

How to Make road trips fun - for everyone on board

It's no secret our family loves a good road trip. When my daughter was almost two years-old, I drove to Newfoundland with her - just the two of us. People thought we were nuts, but it was one of the best times I've had with her. When her little brother came along, we wondered if he'd be as content in the car as she was, and thankfully, he was a born road-tripper. We've driven to Florida, to Newfoundland, and all places in between, so we're well-seasoned road warriors.

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Jan
21
2015

Maybe it didn't live up to our collective expectations, but the fresh appeal of Target is undeniable. We have nothing comparable in Canada, and now Target is leaving us after a too-short love affair. Are you going to miss Target in Canada as much as I am?

Here are twenty things you need to buy there before they leave us for good"

20. Orla Kiely everything
I mean, honestly. A mod toaster and matching makeup bag? Orla Kiely's designs are dreamy, bright, happy and original, and there's nowhere else we can buy these here!

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Jan
16
2015

On Bullying, Opinions, and Pitchforks

Being a Bully and Having an Opinion are NOT the same thing

I'm opinionated, did you know that? (Shut up, I can hear you snickering through the monitor!) Saying, "I'm opinionated" seems to garner the same reaction as saying, "I'm a feminist" - it's not always positive. But why? We should all have opinions, so therefore all should be opinionated. (We should also all be feminists, but I'll save that rant for another time.) As the resident allergy blogger for YMC, I need to not only share but also discuss, defend, and sometimes assess and change my opinions. That's life in general, though, isn't it?

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Jan
07
2015

When is a Cough Not Just a Cough?

5 Symptoms to Discuss With Your Child's Doctor

Don't ignore these symptoms! Speak to your doctor.

There's a never-ending bug making its way around my town these days. Runny eyes, noses, coughs, fevers ... it's always something during the winter months, isn't it? Last year I felt like my kids were sick more often than they were healthy. That's totally normal for school-aged kids, but how do you know when that nagging cough is something more than just a cough? How can you tell when that cough is actually something more serious, like asthma?

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Dec
30
2014

Facebook Investor Sean Parker Gives $24M to Allergy Centre

Here's Hoping His Golden Touch Works This Time!

Known for creating the music-sharing site Napster, and as being one of the first investors in Facebook, Sean Parker seems to know a good investment when he sees it. He also happens to know what it's like to have anaphylactic reactions. So when he recently donated more than $20M to create a new allergy research centre at Stanford University, I did a little happy dance. Finally!

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Dec
09
2014

Food Allergy Holiday Survival Guide

You've Got Allergies and You Don't Owe Anyone an Apology

You can survive the holidays with food allergies with these helpful tips.

The other day we were out at a Christmas brunch with our family, and I found myself repeatedly apologizing for being a pain in the butt about Mason's food allergies. And in my head, I was reprimanding myself for apologizing because it's not like it's my fault he has allergies. I'm just doing my parental job by making sure the hot chocolate is safe, and double-checking that the foods are, too. But there I was: full-on stress mode, and also being utterly too Canadian in my constant apologetic state.

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Dec
02
2014
Maple Rum Cookies With Candied Bacon

These are going to blow your mind, they’re so amazing.

Candied Bacon

Ingredients:

3C real crumbled bacon bits
1/4C brown sugar
4tbs real maple syrup

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Nov
14
2014

One Green Candy: All it Took to Send this Boy to Hospital

Simple Carelessness resulted in medical emergency

oshawa boy suffers allergic reaction

A three-year-old boy who attends a school in Oshawa, Ontario, spotted a delicious-looking candy on the floor of his classroom, and as three-year-olds often do, he scooped it up and ate it. That seemingly innocuous, typical little-kid decision nearly cost him his life because Emmett Huggard has a life-threatening peanut allergy.

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Nov
12
2014

Disney Improving Vacations For Allergic Guests

Parks and Cruises to Have Epinephrine Handy

Disney

Big news, Disney fans! Mylan Inc. has partnered with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in a strategic alliance agreement to enhance access to EpiPen (epinephrine) and EpiPen Jr. (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors. Why is this such great news? Well, it means more safety, and more reassurance those at risk of anaphylaxis are safe. 

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Nov
04
2014
This adoption reunion story leaves more confusion and uncertainty than there ever was before.

This post originally appeared on my personal blog, but because November is Adoption Awareness Month, I wanted to share it here. I hope you'll all excuse the departure from my usual allergy-related content today. I would love to tell you that things are clearer now, since it has been nearly two years since finding my birth mother, a full sister, and connections to the rest of my biological family, but they are not. They are murkier, really. Adoption isn't something that a child overcomes.

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