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Sting, Skin

A Rash of Cell Phone Allergies

Coverage from the ACAAI conference in Phoenix, Nov. 12-15, cont’d

Allergic Living does not believe in “bans” at schools either, but shares the view put forward in an excellent resource developed by the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and several allergy associations – Allergysafecommunities.ca. This includes guidelines for schools that are build around the notion of “risk reduction,” and presumes that preventing unnecessary reactions in the first place is the best course of action.

In schools where there are peanut allergies, this can entail an anaphylaxis plan in which a principal chooses to restrict peanut consumption on the premises as the easier means of decreasing risk in a large population of active children.

Allergic Living also points out the rationale behind the implementation of Sabrina’s Law in Ontario, and similar legislation in New York, New Jersey and the province of Manitoba again focuses on both self-management and reaction prevention rather than self-management and emergency treatment.

On the airlines issue, Dr. Bahna’s arguments seemed to focus on the recent discussions begun by the Department of Transportation (DOT) on whether a ban on serving peanuts is appropriate on the airlines. At the Phoenix meeting, he referenced the lack of use/availability of epinephrine, and counseled epinephrine auto-injector training for airline staff.

As Allergic Living has shown in its articles on airlines and allergies, many of us in this community put forward the idea of risk reduction on the airlines, given the need to travel, the heightened exposure to peanut and nut products in airlines, and the distance from medical assistance at 35,000 feet in the air.

In closing, it would be a positive thing to see allergy accommodations, particularly when it comes to airlines, discussed and debated at allergists’ conferences. These are complex social issues that deserve a full airing. Judging by the comments after Dr. Bahna spoke, there are definitely different views among the allergy experts of how to handle these risks.

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