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join Allergic Living's response to Chatelaine article - It's Just Nuts

Blue Bear Aware received the following letter from Pam, Associate Editor, Allergic Living and BC Anaphylaxis Advocate

'I am writing to you for your support. In the December issue of Chatelaine, writer Patricia Pearson's article, 'It's Just Nuts' offers up a distorted view of the kids with food allergies in our schools. You can read the article at the following link:
http://en.chatelaine.com/english/weekend/article.jsp?content=20091001_150000_0023
Please e-mail me back if you want to have your signature added to the following letter, which we are sending to Chatelaine magazine and asking their editors to publish.
I need your name, city/town/prov, and e-mail - the latter for verification only from Chatelaine's fact-checker. e.g. NOT for publication. pamela2543@shaw.ca
I need these soonest. It will then be sent to Chatelaine on behalf of all of us.
Please pass this letter on to your network of friends and family so they can add their voices.
Thanks.
Pam
Associate Editor, Allergic Living and B.C. anaphylaxis advocate

Letter To Chatelaine Magazine:
As parents and supporters of children diagnosed with serious food allergies, it was with shock and dismay that we read the article 'It's Just Nuts' in the December issue. Writer Patricia Pearson presented a slanted, narrow view of a health issue that touches our hearts and lives every single day.

In her selective reporting, Ms. Pearson has taken her personal criticisms too far. We are responding in this letter [for publication] to protect our children, and so that the general public can know the truth.

As parents, we are not hysterical or neurotic; we are not over-reacting. Contrary to Chatelaine's article, the issue in schools is not peanuts, it's anaphylaxis. That severe form of allergic reaction can develop with alarming speed following the ingestion of even trace amounts of an allergy trigger. The safeguards put in place to protect our kids in schools are based on directives from medical professionals, government ministries, allergy education associations and even parents whose children don't have allergies. Principals, school nurses and parents work on an individual basis to ensure that students at risk, based on a history of severe reaction and medical testing, are accommodated appropriately. What's fair to ask of the local community is always considered.

Our fear is that Ms. Pearson's article plants seeds of doubt in the minds of those on whom we depend to help keep our kids safe. Slightly fewer than 2 per cent of kids have serious peanut allergies. Statistically that's a huge increase from a generation ago; one of the highest incidence rates in the world. When you add the children who have other life-threatening food allergies, the rate rises to 6 per cent. That's thousands and thousands of children at risk of a condition that can cause a traumatic and even fatal reaction.

Ms. Pearson seems to imply that 2 to 6 per cent of Canadian kids are not worth bothering about, not worth the trouble to keep safe. We strongly disagree. We are all of equal value in our great country.

Sincerely,
AllergicLiving.com Forum members [Names to be added in a list]
And Supporters [Names to be added]'

The above letter reflects the views of the writer, not Blue Bear Aware, its officers or agents.

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