Food allergies can be deadly.
For some, just a trace amount of a food allergen can result in a trip to the emergency room, which happens every 3 minutes in the United States, according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).
Even if you or family members don’t have food allergies, there’s a good chance you know someone who does. There are more than 80 million Americans who have life-threatening food allergies or intolerances. That’s why FARE exists to provide information, tools, research and assistance to help those with food allergies and the ones they love live happy, healthy lives.
The month of May includes Food Allergy Awareness week, and FARE wants everyone to know about becoming a Food Allergy Ally – someone who is well-informed on food allergies and looks out for the well-being of a food allergy friend. This includes everything from the foods they eat to their feelings about having special dietary needs.
By showing your food allergic friends and family you care, you can help them stay healthy and feel safe and supported. Knowing the basics about food allergies, asking questions and speaking up can go a long way toward keeping those around you feeling included and confident about navigating the world with food allergies. For example:
- If you treasure going out to dinner with your food allergic friends, communicate to your server about the severity of food allergies.
- If you relish vacationing with your family and friends, research food allergy-friendly restaurants and cafes ahead of time to ensure you and your traveling companions are safe during the trip.
- If you go to school with friends who have food allergies, stick up for them if they are the subjects of bullying.
Everything you do to support your food allergic loved ones helps spread awareness of this disease and could save a life. If you enjoy making a difference at the local/state/national government levels, like talking about issues and aren’t afraid of public speaking or just want to educate yourself further about food allergies, you could be an effective Food Allergy Ally.
For more information on food allergies, visit foodallergy.org. Your food allergic loved ones are counting on you to be their Food Allergy Ally.
Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock
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