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Home > ASA Newsletter > August 17, 2005: Volume 1, Issue 2
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Allergy, Sinusitis, and Asthma Newsletter

Table of Contents:
1. From the Editors
2. Allergy, Sinusitis, and Asthma Articles
3. Feature - Children May Face Classroom Allergy Problems

Welcome to the official second issue of the ASA Newsletter. We received great response to the first issue and look forward to keeping you up to date on the most important and recent advancements, treatments, and information related to Allergies, Sinusitis, and Asthma.

For years we have worked in the Allergy, Sinusitis, and Asthma information sector and during that time we have heard from over a thousand people sharing with us how their condition has affected their life. We now want to start collecting and sharing reader experiences with other readers.

Please take the time to share your experience with others so that they know they aren't alone in suffering (there's a comfort in knowing that). Write down your experience and email it to and soon we'll start sharing those experiences with others. Along with your story, please include your first name initial, last name, and the state you are from. That information will be published with your experience. We won't publish your email address. If you wish to remain anonymous then please state so in your email to us.

Thank you for your time and best wishes to you as the summer season draws to a close.

Wishing you the best of health,

Joe Tracy & Kim Lance - editors
ASA Newsletter

Here are the most recent articles, published by, that deal with allergies, sinusitis, and asthma:

Sinusitis Treatments Go High Tech
Coughing, fatigue, headaches, post-nasal drip and intense pressure throughout the face. For millions of Americans, these aren't just the side effects of a short bout with the flu, but what they experience every day living with sinusitis. Technological advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of sinusitis have one otolaryngologist very optimistic about the future for patients with sinusitis...
Click here to read the entire article.

Over Half of US Population Sensitive to Allergens
More than half of the United States population tested positive to one or more allergens, according to the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). The new findings of the large national study show that 54.3% of people aged 6-59 years old have had a positive skin test reaction to at least one of the ten most popular allergens tested...
Click here to read the entire article.

High Traffic Areas Bad for Babies With Asthma
Infants living near an area with stop and go bus and truck traffic have significantly higher rates of wheezing, a common symptom of asthma, according to new research published in the August 2005 Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI), the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). Children unexposed to high traffic roads and bus routes did not have as high a frequency of wheezing as those that were exposed to high levels of traffic during day-to-day life...
Click here to read the entire article.

A Closer Look at Allergic Fungal Sinusitis
Allergic fungal sinusitis is continually becoming more defined and specific as scientists and medical professionals learn more about the causes and treatment of the condition. In recent years, researchers have developed deeper understanding of the type of fungus causing the reaction, resulting in more effective treatment methods and preventative care options...
Click here to read the entire article.

FEATURE -Children May Face Allergy Problems When Returning to Classroom
As children are going back into the classroom and interacting with new playmates and new environments, it is important that every parent of a child with food or insect sting allergies contact their child's school to alert them of his or her allergy. The school needs to be aware of all children with allergies and have an action plan ready in case of allergic reaction.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), anaphylaxis can be triggered by exposure to one or more allergens. These allergens include foods, medications, insect stings, and products made of latex. Anaphylaxis can become a life threatening condition and can affect several areas of the body such as skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and the cardiovascular system. According to AAAAI, symptoms of anaphylaxis can include "severe headache, nausea and vomiting, sneezing and coughing, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, itching all over the body, and anxiety. The most dangerous symptoms include difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, and shock”all of which can be fatal."

Alert School Staff to Potential Allergens
"All school staff must be made aware of the potentially severe nature of an anaphylactic reaction," said S. Allan Bock, MD, FAAAAI, and Chair of the AAAAI's Anaphylaxis Committee. "Parents need to work together with teachers, coaches and school nurses to avoid triggers and act quickly if a reaction occurs."

There are several things that the AAAAI and Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) suggest as protective steps parents can take before their child goes back to the classroom to potential allergy triggers. One step parents can take is to work with a doctor, particularly an allergist/immunologist, to identify the allergic triggers of the child and reinforce the allergy threat to the child so that the child better understands. Parents should also provide their allergic child with a medical bracelet or necklace that identifies his or her specific allergy if possible. It is also a good idea to tour the child's school or childcare facility before the start of the school year, meeting with the staff to find out what the school policies are regarding foods and other substances that can trigger allergies in children.

There are several things a parent can do to make sure the school staff understands their child's allergy and how to prevent or stop an allergic reaction. The AAAAI recommends that a parent provide school staff with information and resources to educate them about the child's specific allergy if they are not familiar with how to treat that allergy. Parents should have their child's doctor provide understandable written instructions on recognizing a reaction early and administering medication in case of a reaction or to call 911 immediately if a reaction occurs. It is also important to teach school staff when and how to properly administer medications such as injectable epinephrine and to encouraging them to handle the medication and ask any questions if they are unsure of how to administer it. It is vital that parents enforce the idea that staff cannot delay in administering medication to a child with a potentially fatal allergic reaction, and that they are obligated to assist the child while also making sure that he or she is included in normal school activities. Children with a history of anaphylaxis should carry epinephrine with them at all times.

Avoiding Allergic Triggers Is Vital
" There is no cure for anaphylaxis, so strict avoidance of triggers is the only way to keep a severe reaction from occurring," said Anne Munoz-Furlong, Founder & CEO of FAAN. "For children with severe allergies, even a small exposure can lead to anaphylaxis… For students, studies show that the most severe allergic reactions, especially to food, occur in the classroom. Parents, school administrators, teachers, and the school nurse need to develop an action plan before the school year begins to keep these students with allergies safe."

The most common triggers for anaphylaxis are:

Any food can trigger an allergic reaction, but the most common are: peanuts, nuts from trees (e.g., walnut, cashew, and Brazil nut), shellfish, fish, milk and eggs. In order for a child to avoid having an allergic reaction to it is important to talk to the cafeteria staff and to the child about what foods to avoid and make sure the child knows not to trade food with other children.

Any medication can trigger a reaction, but the most common drugs that cause anaphylaxis are antibiotics and anti-seizure medications. The school nurse should be aware of what medications each child is allergic to and should have epinephrine available in case of a severe reaction.

Stinging Insects
Yellow jackets, paper wasps, honeybees, hornets, and fire ants all carry venom that can cause severe and even deadly allergic reactions. Teach children where stinging insects are commonly located and how to avoid them.

Latex products contain allergens that can cause allergic reactions in those sensitive to latex from the rubber tree. To make sure a sensitive child does not come in contact with latex products it is important to inspect the toys in their classroom and let the teacher know about the allergy.

A child's exercise can possibly trigger anaphylaxis. Although this reaction is rare, it is more likely after a child eats certain foods before beginning exercise. Tell the child’s PE teacher about the child's allergy and see if it is possible for the child to participate in physical fitness activities before eating lunch rather than after food intake.

Talk to The Child's Doctor About Dealing With Allergies In School
If a child has a history of severe allergies, or even if they have ever had an allergic reaction, it is important to seek the care of an allergist/immunologist for an evaluation of the allergy and more tips on how to treat and control allergies before the school year begins. An allergist/immunologist is the best-qualified medical professional trained to manage the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of allergic disease.

The AAAAI notes that "once an allergy trigger is identified, an allergist/immunologist can provide detailed information about avoiding the substance. They also will prescribe self-injectable epinephrine, which temporarily reverses the allergic reaction. If a reaction occurs, inject epinephrine and call 911 immediately."


That's it for this edition of the ASA Newsletter. The next issue will be delivered on August 31, 2005.

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