Announcing the Allergy Aware Champions Contest! Win an iPad!


Are you ready to become an allergy champion? Complete the Anaphylaxis in the Community: What Parents and Others Need to Know online course to learn more about managing allergies and submit your contest entry for a chance to win an iPad Pro.

The contest is open to all legal residents of Canada who are 14 years of age or older at the time of entry. No purchase or fee is required to enter and there can only be one entry per person. Chances of winning depend on the number of entries. An independent third party will supervise winner selection.

Entering is easy:

(1) Take the Anaphylaxis in the Community course at

(2) Submit your Certificate of Completion and the Allergy Aware Champions Contest Entry Form by June 30, 2016, midnight EDT, to

You can win an iPad Pro 9.7″ 32GB with Wi-Fi.


  • The Allergy Aware Champions Contest Entry Form is a fillable form which you can download, fill in and save. Do not complete the form within your browser as information will not be saved.
  • To be eligible for the contest, you must submit both your Certificate of Completion for the Anaphylaxis in the Community course and the entry form.

The contest starts on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 and ends Thursday, June 30, 2016, midnight EDT. Please refer to the Allergy Aware Champions Contest Rules and Regulations before submitting your entry.

If there are any questions, contact us at or 416 785-5666 / 1 866 785-5660.

Don’t delay – enter today!


Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer le lancement du concours « Champions de la conscientisation aux allergies »!

Êtes-vous prêt à devenir champion dans le domaine des allergies? Suivez le cours en ligne L’anaphylaxie dans la collectivité : ce que les parents et les autres intervenants doivent savoir pour en apprendre davantage sur la prise en charge des allergies et soumettez votre formulaire d’inscription pour courir la chance de remporter un iPad Pro.

Le concours s’adresse à tous les résidents autorisés du Canada qui sont âgés de 14 ans ou plus au moment de leur participation. Aucuns achats ni frais requis pour participer. La participation est limitée à une inscription par personne. Les chances de gagner dépendront du nombre de participants. Un tiers indépendant supervisera le processus de sélection du gagnant.

Pour participer, vous n’avez qu’à :

(1) Suivre le cours L’anaphylaxie dans la collectivité au

(2) Soumettre votre certificat de réussite et le formulaire d’inscription au concours « Champions de la conscientisation aux allergies »  au plus tard le 30 juin 2016 à minuit (HAE), à

Vous pourriez gagner un iPad Pro de 9,7 po avec Wi-Fi muni d’une capacité de 32 Go.

Important :

  • Le formulaire d’inscription au concours « Champions de la conscientisation aux allergies » est un formulaire remplissable que vous pouvez télécharger, remplir et sauvegarder. Ne remplissez pas ce formulaire à partir de votre navigateur, car vos renseignements ne seront pas enregistrés.
  • Pour être admissible au concours, vous devez soumettre le formulaire d’inscription et votre certificat de réussite du cours L’anaphylaxie dans la collectivité.

Le concours débute le mardi 10 mai 2016 et prend fin le jeudi 30 juin 2016 à minuit (HAE). Veuillez prendre connaissance des règlements du concours « Champions de la conscientisation aux allergies » avant de soumettre votre inscription.

Si vous avez des questions, vous pouvez nous joindre à, au 416 785-5666 ou au 1 866 785-5660.

N’attendez pas, inscrivez-vous dès aujourd’hui!

2016 Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award – Apply Now


The Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award is dedicated to the life of Sabrina Shannon, an inspiring teenager who suffered a fatal anaphylactic reaction in 2003. In 2005, Sabrina’s Law was passed in Ontario, providing landmark legislation that has influenced policy across Canada and the United States. The Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award, made possible through an educational grant from TD Securities, provides two awards of $1,000 to students entering their first year or continuing their studies at a post-secondary institution.

Scholarship eligibility
– Canadian resident under the age of 25
– Enrolled at a post-secondary institution (i.e. entering first year of studies or continuing in current program
– Student has made exceptional contributions to raising food allergy awareness in their own community.

2x $1,000 awards

Instructions on how to apply
-A completed application form
-A 500-1500 word essay describing your efforts to raise awareness and educate others about life-threatening allergies
-Contact information for two references

Deadline to apply: June 10, 2016

Download the application form

Allergy Lounge in Winnipeg

Hey allergic teens living in Winnipeg!  This is an awesome opportunity just for you.

The Children’s Allergy & Asthma Education Centre (CAAEC), Winnipeg, Manitoba invites teens ages 12-16 years with food allergy to the Allergy Lounge. Join us to connect, learn and share with other teens with food allergy. Join us Thursday, October 29th, 2015 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and November 26th, 2015 at the CAAEC at 685 William Avenue. This is a free event. Participants can enter to win a $50 Movie pass. Bring a friend (friend does not have to have allergies)

Food Allergy Topics will include: Dealing with Stress, Travelling with Allergies, & Ask the Allergist

Call 204-787-4116 or email to register.

Going to The Dentist with Allergies

Adults with Allergies Blog


Note: The following advice is simply that: advice. It is not to be substituted for professional advice from your dentist. It is, rather, intended to serve as a general reminder to help you work with your dentist and/or other dental professionals to aid in safe experiences at the dentist.

Going to the dentist is an experience most people try to avoid. I know this because I’m a dental student and my patients are never shy to remind me of this. Usually, a dentist will ask you to fill out a health questionnaire before seeing you. This is where you should write down any allergies you have. A few common ones that are important for your dentist to know include (but are not limited to):

  • Antibiotics (e.g. penicillin, sulfonamides). A dentist might prescribe you antibiotics if you have a tooth ache and need a root canal, or if you just had a…

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Allergy Free Press – 2014 In Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

An unexpected Hospital visit

The last thing I expected to find myself doing on a Saturday night was sitting in the emergency room of the Children’s Hospital in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The thing is, I’m not even from St. John’s. I’m here for a month long summer program at Memorial University, where my day is planned to the minute and this was definitely not scheduled! So what happened?

It was Indian food night (my favourite!) I LOVE spicy food but I’m always very careful when ordering it to avoid menu items with nuts, since I’m allergic. I also make a point of letting the staff know about the severity of my allergies. This time however, it wasn’t me doing the ordering. The food had been catered, and I checked with the program staff to ensure nothing contained nuts, which they assured me was indeed the case.

There were no labels on any of the foods so I had no idea what I actually ate, apart from lots of Naan bread. Something didn’t agree with me and I felt it immediately. My throat felt thick and weird, but I just attributed that to the effect of the spices in the food. I tried to calm myself down because I was assured there weren’t any nuts in the food and I trusted the word of the program staff.

When I got back to my room a little while later, I didn’t feel any better. In fact, I felt worse: nauseous and bloated. After telling one of the program assistants how I was feeling, I took an anti-histamine and decided to lie down. After about an hour, I began to feel itchy and realized I was developing hives. At this point, I still had not given myself my auto-injector because the reaction wasn’t one I was prepared for. I have always been told to be aware of an itchy tongue and swelling of the lips, but I didn’t have either of these symptoms, which threw me off. Eventually, one of my friends came to check on me and told the program assistants that I did not look good. They quickly took me to the hospital across the street where it turns out I was, in fact, having an allergic reaction. To what? Who knows! The doctors in the emergency room gave me an IV of anti-histamine, a steroid, and a medication to calm the nausea. I felt better almost immediately and watched as my hives slowly disappeared. The doctor said that in retrospect, I should have given myself my auto-injector because by the time I would have felt like I was actually having an allergic reaction, it may have been too late for me to do it myself.

I learned a lot from this experience, even though I thought I knew everything there was for a teen to know about her allergies. The truth is, every reaction is different, and some take hours to progress – like mine that night. On top of that, they don’t always have the same symptoms. I’ve always had an itchy tongue when having an allergic reaction, but not that night. What I know now is that it is absolutely vital to ALWAYS carry your auto-injector with you, and to ALWAYS wear your MedicAlert bracelet. More importantly, ALWAYS go to the hospital if you don’t feel right, especially after eating a suspicious food. And don’t worry – I felt no pain from my treatment at the hospital, only relief, so there is no need to be scared of what will happen to you there. The medical professionals will save your life, which is a feeling that is incomparable!

As for Indian food, I’ll probably stay away from it for a while, but I don’t want this incident to stop me from living a full life. It just reminds me to always be alert for my allergens, and to listen to my body when it’s telling me something isn’t right. I still enjoy Indian food, but now I know that it is a possible trigger for me and I must be extra careful when ordering it.

I hope that by sharing my experience it will remind you to always take your allergies seriously and get to the hospital when necessary. I stayed calm through the entire experience and tried to think rationally – this can really help when you’re unsure about whether you’re having a reaction or not. Never let anyone tell you that you’re just being panicky either – if YOU think you’re having an allergic reaction, then you need to get to the hospital, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Stay safe everyone!

Hannah L.

The One Time I Did Not Ask About Nuts In a Restaurant

My name is Mathew and I am allergic to all tree nuts and peanuts. Recently I was hosting an event that I was planning on presenting at, but my time to speak was preceded by a trip to the emergency room.

I have never had an anaphylactic reaction but I do know my allergy to nuts is severe enough that ingesting small amounts of the allergen may trigger a life-threatening reaction. The event I hosted included a variety of food options that at first glance contained no nuts of any sort. On the tables there were vegetarian and non-vegetarian pizzas as well as meat and cheese trays.

Leading up to the presentation, I was somewhat nervous and wasvery focused on what I was going to say. I was somewhat hungry but I avoided food, not because of the risk of allergens, because I was very focused on my presentation. One of the people working with me handed me a slice of vegetarian pizza. I would normally ask a server, manager or owner about nuts but instead I quickly ate it and continued to work on the points I wanted to hit in my presentation. This may have been the first time I have ever forgot to ask about nuts because I was so focused on something else. Pizza, especially in a restaurant compared to a fast food chain, is a dish that one must always be careful with because of the potential for there to be nuts in pesto.


Within a minute of finishing the pizza I felt tingling in the sides of my mouth, throat and lips. The feeling was very similar to what one would feel when they are getting their mouth frozen at the dentist. The cause quickly dawned on me. There must have been pesto on the pizza. I quickly told one of my fellow organizers that I was sure I was having a reaction and would likely have to leave for the hospital. I then found theowner to ask about nuts. The owner confirmed that therewere nuts in the pesto that was on the pizza I ate but a very minute amount. Although the reaction was not progressing very fast, I quickly had one of my co-workers drive me to the hospital emergency room because this is an experience that I have never had and did not want to take any chances.


On my way I called my family to tell them where I was going and they said they would meet me there. Once I arrived at the hospital, I told the emergency staff of the situation and they assessed my status. I did not need immediate assistance but it was important that if I did, I was in a place that would be able to handle the reaction quickly. I had my auto-injector with me and I was ready to use it, but luckily it was not needed. The reaction did not progress any further than the minor swelling which eventually subsided after being given an antihistamine. I was grateful of my co-worker for getting me there quickly, as well as my family for coming to make sure that I was okay.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: it is critical to always ask the staff about the food you are eating at their restaurant. This is a priority above all else.

Beauty Products with Allergens

Adults with Allergies Blog

Portrait of beautiful woman with blue eyes. Isolated on white background

Summer is a great time to try out new kinds of makeup and fun color combinations. But a lot of people aren’t aware of all the different ingredients that go into makeup. This is especially important for people with allergies. An allergy to a makeup product might manifest as redness, itchiness, hives or blisters; so it’s important to know what’s in your makeup.

One of the most surprising ingredients in makeup I’ve come across is fish. It’s usually listed as “pearlescence” in the ingredients list (probably because no one wants to put fish on their face). It’s found mostly in lipstick and is used to make it shiny, like the scales on a fish. You can find more details about it at the following links:

If you’re allergic to fish and want to be safe, there are companies like Smashbox that don’t use any animal byproducts in…

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Taking Control of Your Own Allergies

As a teenager or a young adult, taking control of your allergies can be tough. You have to do all the things your parents did for you when you were younger. This ranges from calling a restaurant in advance to booking your own doctor appointments. Inevitably, this involves a lot of talking to people, sometimes arguing with them, inconveniencing them, and standing up for yourself.

One of the hardest parts of taking control is communicating with other people. These people can be your friends, a restaurant waiter, or a flight stewardess, and they all need to be informed of your allergies. If you’re shy or introverted, this can be especially difficult. It’s scary to wonder if that person will judge you, roll their eyes, laugh at you, etc. It’s really best to get used to this anxiety while you’re young, because you’ll have to deal with people’s reactions for the rest of your life. I tried a bunch of different communication strategies before finding one that worked for me. Scaring people by telling them they could kill you tends to freak them out, but down-playing the severity of your allergies can lead to situations which put you in danger.

Asking for accommodations can be scary as well. It sucks to have to ask a group of people to rearrange their plans so you can go to a restaurant with them, but if they’re really your friends they probably want you to join them and be safe. Personally, I find talking to waiters to be the hardest. Most waiters are accommodating, but sometimes if they’re really busy they might brush you off or dismiss you. If you don’t feel like they’re taking you seriously, ask for another waiter. There’s nothing more important than your safety. You’re the only one who is responsible for your health, so if you feel like the waiters are wishy-washy, ask to speak to a manager or the chef.

One of the more uncomfortable conversations you’ll have to have will be with your girlfriend/boyfriend. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time with this person and probably kissing them, it’s important that they know all about your allergies and how to handle them. They might have to watch what they eat if they’ll be seeing you that day, or brush their teeth and waiting an extended period of time before coming over. The unfortunate truth is that some people are not willing to do this. These are not the people you want to date, no matter how cute they are. Stand up for yourself, and if they don’t care about your health, move on.

Finally, be okay with messing up sometimes. You might forget your auto-injector at home one day and have to run back and get it, or forget to renew a prescription and have to run to the pharmacy at midnight. These things happen, and they’re part of the process of growing up and taking control. The important thing is to learn from these mistakes so you don’t make them again.

Blog perspective from a Yapper’s PARENT about fears of having children taking control over allergies 

Letting go of the “parental reigns” is hard enough at the best of times. But when you have a child with allergies, the task is monumental. That’s because the stakes are so much higher if you misjudge your child’s ability to take responsibility for their well-being.

As the parent of a now 23-year-old allergic child, I freely and unabashedly admit that I hung onto those proverbial reigns as long as I could. Was it longer than needed? I don’t think so. When you have a “healthy” child, you can encourage independence by letting them suffer the consequences of their mistakes, since as we all know, life’s lessons are best learned through personal experience. But that approach certainly doesn’t work here, because the potential consequences of not being prepared in the event of an emergency are dire. So how do we reconcile letting our children take control of their allergies and keeping them safe at the same time?parent

The first step is to know your child. Because of their condition, you cannot “push” them to be responsible. Your child needs to understand the implications of their allergies, but remember that it is typically not before age 7 (and as late as 10) that they can fully grasp the concept of death. This knowledge is a game-changer for an al
lergic child, and how they respond is anyone’s guess. Some may mature overnight. Others may be unable to deal with this overwhelming new realization and pretend it’s not real. Let their response be your guide and respond accordingly.

As they get older, they will notice what steps you take to keep them safe, for example, calling ahead before an outing to see what food will be served. If your child is an extrovert, you can ask them if they would like to make the call. But bear in mind that these calls mean talking to adults, and most children are not comfortable doing that until well into their teens.

Never lose sight of the fact that you are a parent and that this is not a popularity contest. They may roll their eyes on the way out when you ask (again!) if they have their auto-injector and asthma medication with them.
As teens, they may not want to divulge where they’re going, and although they won’t make the necessary calls, they won’t want you to either. Stand firm.

When you have an allergic child, it’s hard not to be a helicopter parent. Using that metaphor, then I was a 737 jet. I make no excuses, and I have no regrets. Until this day I am making sure my daughter follows up with her pulmonary specialist and allergist. There is nothing I would like better than to shed this responsibility, but until I am 100% sure that she can fully assume the load, I will be there, because it’s my job and because I love her.