Teal Pumpkin Project, Ideas for Next Year

We hope to see more neighbors in our communities getting involved with this project. We think it is a wonderful idea. We are already planning on ideas how to get the word out for next year, 2015.

TealPumpkin
The purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project:
1. We want to raise awareness of the severity of food allergies and show our support to families of children with food allergies by painting a pumpkin teal in recognition. This is a great opportunity to educate and open communication about this important cause.

2. We want to encourage inclusion for children with food allergies and other dietary restrictions during an activity that is primarily food-focused. A teal pumpkin (or poster) is a great way to show that you have non-food treats available.

It is not our goal to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition but instead encourage others to add a new tradition to ALSO provide a few non-food items as a safe alternative. This will allow many children the opportunity to participate in traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night, regardless of food-related disabilities.

We need to stop battling on social media -
I encourage everyone to participate in this project with the understanding that this is not a campaign to ban candy nor is it a means to politicize an awareness movement that is simply intended to promote compassion and inclusion. Stay positive and reflect compassion in your own actions and words. We cannot create an inclusive environment for our children by creating more division.

Here are some tips to keep this awareness movement going strong:

1. Talk to your neighbors. Many parents have contacted their neighborhood associations or community boards to encourage participation in this project. If your neighborhood uses a site like nextdoor.com then this is a great way to reach out.

2. Talk to local businesses. There are so many opportunities available for businesses and organizations to be involved, even if they are not passing out treats. Print a copy of the Project Teal Pumpkin (our profile picture) and ask if those establishments will display the sign to show support. If treats will be passed out, ask if they would also provide non-food items as an alternative and provide a copy of the Project Teal sign that indicates non-food treats are available. Do you have a local farm or nursery that could provide teal pumpkins?

3. Talk to your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or school administration. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about the importance of inclusion, disability awareness, and/or food allergy safety. Encourage schools to take part in the #TealPumpkinProject and get their permission to hang signs or distribute information to other parents to rally more involvement in your community.

4. Talk to the media. Awareness is at its peak right now in many areas so this is your opportunity to educate the general public in a POSITIVE and informed manner. Know the purpose of the project and how this show of support will encourage respect, compassion, inclusion for children with dietary restrictions, like food allergies. For more information, please visit FACET’s website (Link in the comments below).

We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below to share your ideas and success stories so far with the #TealPumpkinProject …

Thank you for your ongoing support of our awareness efforts!
Blessings,
Becky Basalone – creator of the Teal Pumpkin Project
Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee

We are giving a shout out to FARE for the marketing this wonderful idea. Can not wait to see how much it grows in the years to come.
One of our ideas next year is to send more information to our local schools, and even send teal pumpkins with classmates.

Did you get involve with the Teal Pumpkin this past Halloween?

January 21, 2014 Meeting

Hello, West Georgia Food Allergy Support Group Family!
Our first meeting will be at Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton, Ga 7:00pm January 21st, 2014. We would love for you to attend the meeting. We will be going over what the Support Group goals are, and what we will be doing to help all of our members. Please come to our first meeting. We would love to get to know you, and your family. nochildII

We will going over topics that may be too in-depth for children, and you may be interested in a topic we will be discussing, so we wouldn’t want distractions. You may also have questions regarding your child’s food allergies, and would like to address them without your child in hearing range. However, we will be planning upcoming events just for our food allergy children. Example: One of those events will be an Allergy Friendly Egg Hunt.
If you have any questions please contact us by Facebook: facebook.com/westgeorgiafasupportgroup or by email: wgfasg@gmail.com

Medical Bag

We wanted to share with you what you needed for a Food Allergy Medical Bag, or a Medical Bag for someone with Anaphylaxis.

Your allergist will likely prescribe an EpiPen® Jr. for your child if your child has experienced anaphylaxis, child has scored very high, 4+, on a skin prick allergy test or Immunocap RAST blood test to a specific substance or is believed to be likely to experience anaphylaxis in the future. The EpiPen® Jr is very lightweight, one pen contains one dose (.15 mg) of epinephrine for a child. Once your child reaches 60+ pounds they will go to the EpiPen® rather than the Jr.

EpiPen® should stay out of direct sunlight, do not leave it in a car/truck and do not put in refrigerator. Always replace your EpiPen® once it expires. You can find the Expiration Date on the EpiPen®

Example of a Medical Mini Bookbag

Example of a Medical Mini Bookbag

Everything you need in Medical Bag

1. Mini Bookbag 
~very convient to carry to school, or on a bus.

2. Take Medications
~ EpiPen 2-Pak® , always have more than 1, in case one misfires/malfunctions, Benadryl®, Inhaler, and the Allergy Form

3. Write all Contacts on an index card
~Place with the Allergy Form, you can never have too many contact copies

Be sure to take the bag with you everywhere. Georgia has released that Anaphylaxis students can now carry their medications with them. I personally think this is a great way to make sure the student has their medications with them: in a class, lunch, bus. No more looking for their medications if it is always on the student. If the student has a substitute bus driver, the medication is still on the student, so no more worries about getting the medications handed off.

When the student is carrying their medications be sure to let the child know, the medicine they are carrying they should not be showing it off or playing with it, it is not for play. It is for Emergency Use Only!

Reaction for when to use EpiPen®:
(The optimum time to administer the EpiPen® is within 15 minutes; however allergic reactions can progress much quicker)

  • Hives
  • Swelling of the throat continuing down to the lungs
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing

If EpiPen® is used, give Benadryl® and call 911, let them know the child has went into anaphylatic shock. Once the child arrives at the hospital, the child will need to remain there for 4 to 8 hours because the shock could return called biphasic reaction.

Discovery Channel: Food Allergies

Here is a preview: (Get the full episode by click “Discovery Channel” below)

Food allergies hit the Discovery Channel documentary, “An Emerging Epidemic: Food Allergies in America,” which aired Saturday, Sept. 7 at 8 a.m. ET/PT and Sept. 21 at 8 a.m. ET/PT. Narrated by Steve Carell and produced in partnership with Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), this important documentary explores what it is like to live with life-threatening food allergies, how families and individuals managing food allergies are working to raise awareness in their communities, and the vital research underway to find effective treatments and a cure.

discovery-poster-230x300Viewers can watch the show online at Discovery Channel or by downloading it on iTunes. For more details, visit www.foodallergy.org/emerging-epidemic.

Carmine

What is Carmine?
Carmine, also called Crimson Lake, Carmine Lake, Cochineal, Dactylopius, Coccus Cati, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120, is a pigment of a bright-red color obtained from the aluminium salt of carminic acid, which is produced by some scale insects, such as the cochineal scale and the Polish cochineal, and is used as a general term for a particularly deep-red color of the same name. The abdomen region that houses the fertilized eggs contains the most carmine, it is separated from the rest of the body, ground into a powder and cooked at high temperatures to extract the maximum amount of color. Carmine is used in the manufacture of artificial flowers, paints, crimson ink, rouge, and other cosmetics, and is routinely added to food products such as yogurt and certain brands of juice, the most notable ones being those of the ruby-red variety.

The vibrant color of Carmine comes from boiling the powdered form of the beetles in ammonia or sodium carbonate solution. It is also used to make a shade of purple by adding lime to the alum.

Carmine is used as a food dye in many different products such as juices, ice cream, yogurt, and candy, and as a dye in cosmetic products such as eyeshadow and lipstick. Although principally a red dye, it is found in many foods that are shades of red, pink, and purple. As a food dye it has been known to cause severe allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in some people.

FDA considers carmine a natural color additive and exempts it from stringent certifications.

Carmine can also be found in medicines. Check labels, and be sure to call manufacturers if you have questions.

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