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November 14, 2006

A Child Food Allergy Thank You

I saw that Anne Munoz-Furlong, CEO and founder of The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), sat down with a local CBS News station for an interview in New York. It reminded me that a big thank you is in order for all the work she's done regarding child food allergies.

No single person has done more for the food allergy cause than Anne Munoz-Furlong. Her efforts started out as a concerned mother's drive to make life safer for her daughter. What it's blossomed into is a substantial organization that has made tremendous progress in keeping all of our food allergic children safe. It has supported and reported on research and lobbied on behalf of kids across the United States.

She has taught us that, as parents, we must balance the need for control with empowering our children to manage their own food allergies and make their own decisions. She has stressed the importance of education - education both of our children and of those who are responsible for our children when we are not around. Educating friends, family, teachers and child care providers about how to manage food allergies has become easier based on her work.

She's also pointed out some of our biggest mistakes. "Parents sometimes let their fear of a reaction cloud their judgment. This gets in the way of communicating with others and eliciting their help and cooperation. They may be perceived as being demanding or unreasonable to those who don't understand the unending stress of managing a food allergy. When we approach food allergies in the spirit of seeking a win-win solution and as "we're all in this together", parents in the community and non-allergic children can help develop creative solutions to keep all children safe. Sometimes we need to remember, and to remind others, that at the end of the day--none of us wants to see a child hurt-working together we can achieve this goal."

About FAAN, the organization Anne founded

FAAN has a number of award-winning educational materials, including cookbooks, videos, books, and booklets to help manage food allergies on a day-to-day basis. FAAN's three websites: www.foodallergy.org, www.fankids.org and www.faanteens.org are chock full of information, resources, links to other organizations and feedback from parents, young children and teens.

Posted by David at November 14, 2006 5:33 PM


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