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Laurie Harada

Sharing the Allergy Load

By Laurie Harada

When my son, Julian, was diagnosed with peanut allergy years ago, I faced the news alone. My husband Victor could not come to the allergist’s appointment as he had a business commitment. Overwhelmed by the thought of possibly losing our child, I had a meltdown when I called Victor later. Sobbing, I explained: “He could …

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Laurie Harada

If Your Child is Bullied

By Laurie Harada

Are school playgrounds getting meaner? It certainly seems so when you hear media reports about children being singled out for being different, whatever “different” may mean. A while back, I was surprised to receive a call from a friend whose child had been involved in a bullying encounter. She was embarrassed to admit that her …

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Laurie Harada

I Don’t Define My Son by His Allergies

By Laurie Harada

When my son, Julian, was first diagnosed with an allergy to peanut the summer before starting kindergarten, I was devastated. I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of losing him to a lowly peanut. For months, I walked around looking like a deer in the headlights, my face fixed with that ‘ohmygawd’ expression. Danger seemed to …

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Laurie Harada

Food Allergy Backlash

By Laurie Harada

Ten years ago my foray into the world of food allergies began when my first born, Julian, was diagnosed with peanut allergy just months before starting junior kindergarten. Looking back, I’m amazed to see how far we’ve come as a society to address an issue affecting a growing number of children. In January 2006, Sabrina’s …

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Laurie Harada

Food Allergy and Halloween

By Laurie Harada

A few years ago, I watched as my colleague Beatrice and her young son Joey were interviewed by a television reporter about food allergies. It was Halloween and the feature was to air that evening, a perfect time to raise awareness about this growing issue for Canadian children, and about the precautionary measures that families …

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Laurie Harada

A Son’s Epiphany

By Laurie Harada

EVERY school year, we are flooded by calls from parents who want to know when their allergic child should begin carrying his or her own epinephrine auto-injector. While the national consensus guidelines, Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings, recommend 6 to 7 years of age, the fact is, this is not a hard and fast rule. …

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Gwen Smith

Let’s Stop Mocking Food Allergies

By Gwen Smith

It has become fashionable as of late to mock food allergies as a “trendy” condition, a construct of over-protective parents or attention-seeking adults. I simply can’t think of any other serious, sometimes life-threatening condition that is dissed more often. Take last month, for instance. There we were smack in the middle of Food Allergy Awareness …

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