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Food Allergy Awareness Month

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month in Canada and there are many exciting things we have planned this month to increase awareness and education of food allergies across the country.

Food allergy is one of the leading causes of potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reactions and a growing public health concern in Canada, especially among children. Approximately 2.6 million Canadians are affected by food allergy, and 1-in-2 Canadians know someone with a food allergy. As there is no way of predicting how severe an allergic reaction may be and no known cure for food allergy, avoidance of allergenic foods is the only means of staying safe.

In addition to food, there are allergen risks from medication as well as insect stings, which become especially important during the warmer months.

New campaign

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for our exciting new awareness campaign featuring out-of-home billboards, videos, and various tip sheets you can share with others. Check it out!

Events

The following events have been confirmed for Food Allergy Awareness Month. Stay tuned for more events and activities to be announced soon!

May 10th: Participate in #PurpleDay

Caroline Lorette

Wear purple in honour of Caroline Lorette, who tragically passed away in New Brunswick in 2014 from an allergic reaction to dairy. The Sweet Caroline Foundation along with students in New Brunswick, have declared May 10th as #PurpleDay to increase food allergy awareness. Purple was Caroline’s favourite colour.

Let’s turn Canada purple on May 10th and get #PowerofPurple and #PurpleDay to trend across the country! Get your office, community, school, or classroom to take part and share a picture with us on social media using those hashtags.

Webinars:

Elaine, who leads one of the small group webinars

For parents

We offer several free webinars, including intimate small group webinars (2x/week) and larger public sessions (monthly). Parents with children recently diagnosed with food allergies are encouraged to attend to learn how to manage food allergies and anaphylaxis, and there’s also time for questions afterward. Register for a session today!

For kids

We also offer Allergy Pals Monthly for kids, and this month’s topic is how to manage allergies while eating out. Register for the kid’s webinar on May 27th!

Community awards: 

Sabrina Shannon
Robyn Allen

The winner of the Robyn Allen Leadership Award will be announced this month! Plus, don’t forget to apply for the Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award, where two students will win $1,000.

 

 

Lighting of national monuments: 

Monuments across Canada will light up teal in support of Food Allergy Awareness Month! We’ll be adding more to the list, so stay tuned! If you live in one of these areas, please take photos, share them on social media using the tag #allergyaware, and share them with us too!

 

 

      Location

Date

Port Credit Lighthouse, Port Credit, ON

May 1, 2018

Reconciliation Bridge (formerly the Langevin Bridge), Calgary, AB

May 13, 2018

Oakville Town Hall, Oakville, ON

May 16, 2018

Civic Clock Tower, Mississauga, ON

May 16, 2018

Fountain at the Forks, London, ON

May 17-19, 2018

JA Taylor Building, London, ON

May 17-19, 2018

London City Hall, London, ON

May 17-19, 2018

London Life Building, London, ON

May 17-20, 2018

City of Markham Civic Centre, Markham, ON

May 18, 2018

Niagara Falls, ON

May 18, 2018

Peace Bridge, Niagara Falls, ON

May 18, 2018

BC Place, Vancouver, BC

May 19, 2018

High Level Bridge, Edmonton, AB

May 19, 2018

Calgary Tower, Calgary, AB

May 19, 2018

CN Tower, Toronto, ON

May 19, 2018

3D Toronto Sign, Toronto, ON

May 19, 2018

Toronto City Hall Towers, Toronto, ON

May 19, 2018

Welland Bridge 13, Welland, ON

May 19, 2018

Montreal City Hall, Montreal, QC

May 19, 2018

Canada Place Sails of Light, Vancouver, BC

May 20, 2018

Vancouver City Hall, Vancouver, BC

May 20, 2018

Dome at Science World at Telus World of Science, Vancouver, BC

May 25, 2018

What you can do to support allergy awareness

You can spread allergy awareness in a number of ways throughout the month, here’s a handful of suggestions.

Paint it teal

Paint one fingernail teal to show your support for food allergy awareness. It’s a great, simple way to start a conversation about food allergies and to create awareness. Post your picture, share it with us, and tag it using #allergyaware! Our friends from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia started this campaign, so let’s make it global to show support for everyone with food allergies.

Take AllergyAware.ca courses

AllergyAware.ca’s free 30-minute course teaches you the basics of food allergies, the signs and symptoms of a reaction, and what steps to take if a reaction occurs.

Share the Allergy Aware course with your child’s school, childcare facility, or other members of the community (like your child’s sports team, babysitter, grandparents, etc.). Upon successfully finishing the course, you’ll get a Certificate of Completion you can proudly display on your wall.

Host an allergy-friendly food drive at your school or in your community

In schools, designate one day for an allergy-friendly food drive and ask students to bring in a product that doesn’t contain one of the top priority allergens. For example, everyone can bring in food with no milk, or no eggs, or no peanuts, or no tree nuts. This is a great challenge where students learn how to properly read food labels, and it will also help them to develop a greater understanding of what it’s like to have food allergies.

Get your schools to take the Allergy Awareness Challenge

The Allergy Awareness Challenge features two separate challenges – one for elementary schools and another for high school students. The Challenge consists of free downloadable resources for educators, including lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, student worksheets, information sheets, posters, and more. It provides fun activities and engaging classroom discussions to help students take food allergies seriously while reinforcing school policies in an age-appropriate manner.

Share our free resources

From our Newly Diagnosed Handbook to our Think F.A.S.T. poster to our Food Allergy Facts and Statistics sheet – and so much more – there’s no shortage of helpful resources to help you raise awareness of food allergies. You can also refer your child’s teacher to our educator’s page for fun and informative more resources.

Anaphylaxis 101 video – Share this 2-minute video with students, it provides a quick overview of anaphylaxis, including causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Host a fundraiser and donate to Food Allergy Canada

Danica (9) and Delaney (6)

We rely on your donations to help raise awareness and education throughout your communities. Learn more about the significant impact you can make through your generous donations.

You can also fundraise to support food allergy awareness. Last year, sisters Delaney and Danica promoted Food Allergy Awareness Month at their schools by making bracelets. It was a huge success in creating awareness in their school and their community. Read their story and get inspired to start your own fundraiser!

 

Stay tuned for more activities we’ll announce throughout the month!