With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.


29 January 2009

Allergic Living's Plane Campaign

A favorite food allergy blog is A propos des allergies alimentaires by French Canadienne blogger, Lise. Recently, Lise wrote two posts regarding airplane safety for food allergic individuals. In the first post, entitled "Est-il dangereux pour les personnes allergiques de voyager en avion?", Lise cites the recent study from the University of California at Davis' School of Medicine regarding allergic reactions to peanuts, nuts and seeds during airplane flights. Allergic Living magazine references this study as well in a Winter 2009 article which is excerpted on its website in Flying Allergic.  The study offers more proof that flying in an airplane with airborne particles from peanuts, nuts and seeds can be dangerous for allergic individuals and has caused allergic reactions.  

In her second airline-related post "Ameliorer la securite a bord des avions", Lise encourages Canadians and others (anyone who might board a Canadian airliner!) to participate in Allergic Living's campaign to educate and make airline companies more aware of food allergies. Please take a moment to lend your support to this effort! To participate, go to https://allergicliving.com/petitions/airlines/

You may have noticed a couple other food allergy bloggers, including Allergic Girl, have mentioned Allergic Living's campaign recently too. (see Reduce the Risk Campaign on Airlines, Allergic Living) Take a look also at the helpful summary by Marie-Josee Bettez (Dejour les allergies alimentaires) of Allergic Living's review of 11 different airlines' food allergy practices and policies. Don't you think we in the U.S. should follow this example from our northern neighbor, organize a similar campaign, and rally together to promote awareness and education on U.S. airlines as well?

*Edited to properly attribute the review of 11 airlines' policies to Allergic Living

8 comments:

Ruth Smith said...

We rarely fly. Imagine being trapped in the air with an anaphylactic child. We flew Southwest 3 years ago. My 2 yr old son was playing on the floor between the seats and came up coughing, with a swollen face-eyes-you name it. In hindsight we should have used the epi. We gave him Benadryl and he passed out. We were lucky. The attendants response was that we should have taken an early am flight because the planes are cleaner. Now we don't fly Southwest. Yes! I'd love to see more from the airlines.

Jennifer B said...

Ruth, my thoughts exactly. What if he had a reaction mid-air? What could be done? For me, it is not worth it. We will wait till a cure or treatment or something else happens to make it less of a risk. For now, we drive and we don't go far. Another thing I think about--what hospitals will we pass by on our drive? Thankfully, we stay in populous areas in the Northeast; good hospitals are aplenty.

Alisa - Go Dairy Free said...

I had not yet read this article, though I saw it. I will check it out, thanks!

WEGO Health said...

Hi Jennifer,
This really is something that needs to be better addressed. I hope that we in U.S. can get our airlines to sit up and take notice.

I think this is a great topic and I put a link to it on WEGO Heatlh. You can find it here: http://community.wegohealth.com/profiles/blogs/food-allergies-and-airline
Feel free to add any thoughts you may have.

Jennifer B said...

Thanks for your comments Alisa and WEGO Health (aka Janeen). This food allergy awareness and education process reminds me of what those in wheelchairs went through in order to finally get it through people's minds that they should be able to get into buildings like everyone else! It's so fundamental; it's just going to take time.

Gwen said...

Hi Folks,

I'm the editor of Allergic Living magazine. Thanks for getting involved in our "Reduce the Risk" airlines campaign. We're closing in on 1,000 letters to the airline CEOs - so keep those letters coming!

Just a small correction - the review of airlines that Marie-Josee Bettez gave is a summary of parts of the 3-page chart that Allergic Living published in our current Winter issue. In fact, our chart covers 11 airlines in total (now that was a lot of work!). FYI, I decided to put it up online for handy reference for anybody travelling with food allergies. See:

http://www.allergicliving.com/documents/airlines.asp

Terrific blog, btw!

Jennifer B said...

Gwen, thanks for stopping by and for that clarification! Sorry about that; I'll edit the post accordingly. Thanks also for the link.

Jenny said...

Great link from Allergic Living!

This is a big problem--Once on a flight with my nut-allergic child, I discovered there were tons of peanuts mashed in between the seats. I cleaned it up and wiped down the seats. Nothing happened, but it certainly could have.

Southwest's response to an in-flight reaction (as outlined by a previous response) sounds very callous--how about not serving peanuts on the flight? Let's face it--you get about 8 peanuts in an airline package. Is it really worth it???

Thanks for bringing up this topic. We should all be able to fly--Anything less is discrimination.

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