Monday, May 20, 2024

Parents, What’s Your Food Allergy Game Plan?

Posted

(BPT) - Brittany Mahomes, co-owner of the Kansas City Current soccer team and mom of two young children with food allergies, knows all too well how frightening a severe allergic reaction to food can be. Last summer, Brittany and husband Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, had a food allergy scare when their son Bronze had a severe allergic reaction to peanuts, resulting in a trip to the emergency room.

Since that day, Brittany has prepared herself to quickly respond in case either Bronze or daughter Sterling has a severe reaction.

“Our family is very active, so Patrick and I made a game plan. We wanted to make sure everyone who spends time with our kids knows what to do in the event of an allergic emergency,” she said.

To help other parents and caregivers, Brittany shares her family’s game plan for recognizing and confidently responding to a food allergy emergency.

1. Know the signs and symptoms

“Based on my experience, I can tell you a severe allergic reaction may not look how you think it will, especially in babies and toddlers,” said Brittany.

“Both of my kids got really fussy and irritable,” she added. “With Sterling, the vomiting, sneezing and red eyes were pretty heavy cues that something was wrong. And with Bronze, the hives and the welts quickly began to cover his body.”

Brittany’s experience isn't uncommon.

“Food allergies affect 1 in 13 children in the U.S., and I’m seeing more families experience severe allergic reactions with their kids,” said Dr. Ruchi Gupta, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Food Allergy and Asthma Research at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “In fact, more than 40% of children with food allergies have experienced a severe reaction.”

Young children often cannot describe what they are feeling and some symptoms like fussiness and spitting up can be confused with behavior seen in healthy babies.1,2 That's why it’s important to watch out for skin reactions, such as hives, and stomach-related issues, like persistent vomiting, in infants and toddlers.3,4

2. Keep your diaper bag stocked

“A key part of my family’s game plan is to keep our bag stocked when we’re on the go,” said Brittany.

“After our kids’ allergic reactions, our family’s doctor prescribed them both AUVI-q® (epinephrine injection, USP),” she said. “What I love most about AUVI-q is the calm voice and clear instructions that can help parents and caregivers confidently administer epinephrine. It even reminds you to call 911.”

AUVI-q is the only FDA-approved option for infants and toddlers weighing 16.5 to 33 pounds.

“Whether it’s a birthday party, family gathering or football game, you can always find four AUVI-q devices — two for Bronze and two for Sterling — in my bag. I also pack snacks that are safe for them to eat and extras for sharing with their friends,” she added.

3. Pass on the knowledge

“If I had to give new moms one piece of advice, it’d be to be confident in protecting your child,” said Brittany. “Don’t be afraid to speak up for your child and help those around you recognize and respond to an allergic emergency.”

“Food allergies have become more common. If you’re going out with other moms, one of them has likely experienced it or knows someone who has. So, while it can be scary, there is a community out there and there are resources to help you,” she added.

“It’s important to educate your friends, family and caregivers — including at school or daycare — about what foods your child is allergic to, how to avoid those foods and what to do in case of an accidental exposure,” Dr. Gupta reiterated. “Discuss your action plan, signs and symptoms of a food allergic reaction and how and when to use epinephrine.”

4. Act quickly

Anaphylaxis, or a life-threatening allergic reaction, is most commonly triggered by food, such as peanuts, milk and eggs, in children. A reaction can happen within minutes of exposure and requires immediate treatment with epinephrine.2,4,5,6

“As a pediatrician and mother of a child with peanut and tree nut allergies, I know how scary these reactions can be. But, with the right preparation, you can take back control and help ensure a fast response in the event of a food allergy emergency,” said Dr. Gupta. “Have an action plan, keep two epinephrine auto-injectors with your child and talk about this with your school and other caregivers.”

To learn more about Brittany’s story and how to be prepared for a severe food allergy reaction, visit www.FoodAllergyGamePlan.com.

Brittany Mahomes was compensated for her participation in this campaign.

Dr. Gupta is a paid advisor for Kaléo.

Indication

AUVI-Q® (epinephrine injection, USP) is a prescription medicine used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, in people who are at risk for or have a history of serious allergic reactions.

Important Safety Information

AUVI-Q is for immediate self (or caregiver) administration and does not take the place of emergency medical care. Seek immediate medical treatment after using AUVI-Q. Each AUVI-Q contains a single dose of epinephrine. AUVI-Q should only be injected into your outer thigh, through clothing if necessary. If you inject a young child or infant with AUVI-Q, hold their leg firmly in place before and during the injection to prevent injuries. Do not inject AUVI-Q into any other part of your body, such as into veins, buttocks, fingers, toes, hands, or feet. If this occurs, seek immediate medical treatment and make sure to inform the healthcare provider of the location of the accidental injection. Only a healthcare provider should give additional doses of epinephrine if more than two doses are necessary for a single allergic emergency.

Rarely, patients who use AUVI-Q may develop infections at the injection site within a few days of an injection. Some of these infections can be serious. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms at an injection site: redness that does not go away, swelling, tenderness, or the area feels warm to the touch.

If you have certain medical conditions, or take certain medicines, your condition may get worse or you may have more or longer lasting side effects when you use AUVI-Q. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, especially medicines for asthma. Also tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, especially if you have asthma, a history of depression, thyroid problems, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart problems or high blood pressure, have any other medical conditions, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.

Common side effects include fast, irregular or ‘pounding’ heartbeat, sweating, shakiness, headache, paleness, feelings of over excitement, nervousness, or anxiety, weakness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, or breathing problems. These side effects usually go away quickly, especially if you rest. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Please see the full Prescribing Information and the Patient Information.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

CC-US-AQ-0048

1. Dosanjh A. “Infant anaphylaxis: the importance of early recognition.” J Asthma Allergy. 2013;6:103-107.

2. Greenhawt M, Gupta RS, Meadows JA, et al. “Guiding Principles for the Recognition, Diagnosis, and Management of Infants with Anaphylaxis: An Expert Panel Consensus.” J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2019;7(4):1148-1156.e5.

3. Pistiner M, Mendez-Reyes JE, Eftekhari S, et al. “Caregiver-Reported Presentation of Severe Food-Induced Allergic Reactions in Infants and Toddlers.” J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2021;9(1):311-320.e2.

4. Simons FE, Sampson HA. “Anaphylaxis: unique aspects of clinical diagnosis and management in infants (birth to age 2 years).” J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015;135(5):1125-1131.

5. “Food Allergy.” American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. https://acaai.org/allergies/allergic-conditions/food/. Accessed 4 Jan. 2024.

6. Campbell RL, Kelso, JM. Anaphylaxis: Emergency treatment. UpToDate. Updated January 30, 2020. Accessed March 1, 2024. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/anaphylaxis-emergency-treatment?search=anaphylaxis-emergency-treatment.