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Sneezing in the Suburbs

Meet The Cluttershrink, A Professional Food Allergy Organizer

Meet The Cluttershrink, A Professional Food Allergy Organizer

November 4, 2015

Hearing the initial diagnosis from your child’s doctor that your child has a life threatening food allergy is terrifying. You’re driving home from the office visit and come home to a kitchen which may likely be filled with those allergens. Panic sets in. What do you do? Enter professional organizer Crystal Sabalaske, also known as the Cluttershrink.

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How To Survive Summer Allergies

How To Survive Summer Allergies

June 16, 2015

Most people get excited as summer approaches but for those of us with allergies, getting into the seasonal spirit can be a bit more of a challenge. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) recently highlighted the symptoms which summer allergy sufferers have to endure – runny nose, red eyes, nasal swelling and dark under-eyes are just a few. These symptoms frequently affect those who experience allergies all year round but can also strike people who are allergy free the rest of the year. With allergy experts predicting that sufferers across the United States are facing a ‘tough year’ it might seem that for a large section of the population the best advice would be to stay indoors! Thankfully this is far from necessary. By taking some simple steps most summer related allergies can be successfully dealt with or at least reduced in intensity. Here we explore some of the most common allergy issues associated with the summer months.

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The Evolution of Allergies - Why Allergies Are On The Rise

The Evolution of Allergies - Why Allergies Are On The Rise

September 23, 2014

If there is one question I have been asked more often, it would have to be “Why are food allergies on the rise?” The most prevalent of the 9 food allergy categories is shellfish. However, in the past 10 years, peanut and tree nut anaphylaxis allergies have been in the media. The conflict has escalated between parents who want to pack a PB&J for lunch and complain that their child can’t bring snacks into the classroom and those parents with the fear that even an airborne exposure to an allergen may kill their child. When we started the allergy support group at Edgewood Elementary in 2002, there were only 2 students with known peanut allergies. Just a few years later, there were 17 students with known life threatening allergies. According to FARE, in 2014, 1 in 13 American children have food allergies. To fully understand the health of our current allergy crisis, let’s look at the entire picture of our world today. From food distribution and production, vaccinations, cosmetics, and cleaning products, the majority of Americans are bombarded with millions of new chemicals in our food and environment on a daily basis.

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Peanut Sniffing Dog Helps Child Stay Safe

Peanut Sniffing Dog Helps Child Stay Safe

March 25, 2014

Melissa Caputo Haberzettl, a mother whose son has life threatening allergies, takes a new approach to ensuring her son's safety. Melissa's family purchased a dog and had it trained to alert the family when the dog smells peanut butter. Project Allergy talks to Melissa in depth about her experiences and her wonderful advice to parents considering an allergy service dog.

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Beautycounter: A Glowing Movement.   Non-Toxic Ingredients Women Can Trust  for Themselves and Their Kids

Beautycounter: A Glowing Movement. Non-Toxic Ingredients Women Can Trust for Themselves and Their Kids

January 29, 2014

Since I was a teenager, I have used the same brand of makeup. The brand, sold in department stores, is unscented and I have never had an allergic reaction, aside from their perfume. A few years ago, to save a little money, I was determined to try a drugstore makeup base. Thrilled that I found the perfect blend to match my complexion, I applied the makeup. It looked great! Wow, I thought, I found a cheaper alternative to makeup and I don't have to schlep to the mall either. However, my thrill soon turned to horror as my face reacted to the new makeup and I broke out in huge red hives. It took months for my skin to clear up. Women with sensitive allergic skin know how hard it is to find a brand they love and we often don't feel inspired to try other brands, until now.

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A Letter to President Obama

A Letter to President Obama

November 19, 2013

As parents of a 4 year old with Multiple Food Allergies, we want to thank you for the signing into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. We hope that this would lead to a wider availability of epinephrine in schools, after school programs and eventually in every first aid kit. Not only is this potentially lifesaving for the millions of kids with food allergies but also those who have undiagnosed allergies to foods and insect stings.

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#9 Allergen in Food

#9 Allergen in Food

September 9, 2013

Among the top 9 allergen ingredients that one might have a life threatening reaction, #9 “sulfites” are not one that most people think of when reading food labels or discuss as a topic at PTO meetings. Sulfites are used as a preservative agent in dried fruits, beverages, alcoholic beverages such as wine, fresh breads and crackers as well as bread crumbs, and any other packaged foods that require preservatives.

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Chop Chop to Chop, A Stormy Night at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Chop Chop to Chop, A Stormy Night at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

January 10, 2013

It’s been 12 years since our last overnight visit to the CHOP, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Although my son has been in the ER numerous times for asthma, hives, and allergic reactions, he hasn’t been admitted overnight in years. Born in New Orleans during Tropical Storm Francis, he’s accustom to wild weather, so it was no surprise that just before Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, we found ourselves back in the hospital.

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A Walk with Sue Harrison, FAAN Walk for Food Allergies Philadelphia

A Walk with Sue Harrison, FAAN Walk for Food Allergies Philadelphia

September 24, 2012

Through my own allergy quest, I’ve met some truly inspiring people. Sue Harrison, the FAAN Chairperson for the Walk for Food Allergies Philadelphia, is one of those people. I recently had the privilege of working for her at the registration table for the walk and met the volunteers behind the scene of this well received and well-organized fundraiser.

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Natural Ways to Combat West Nile Without Pesticides

Natural Ways to Combat West Nile Without Pesticides

August 30, 2012

The West Nile Virus is spreading from Texas to Pennsylvania. Backyard barbecues have become stressful as parents worry if that nasty bite was from a mosquito carrying the disease. Although we spray ourselves with kid friendly bug repellents, the Mosquitos find that one-spot we missed. Pesticide sprays for mosquitos, such as pyrethrins, Pyrethoids, and Butoxides can cause health problems for those with asthma and allergies. Here are some more natural ways to reduce the Mosquitos in your yard and some interesting research from Penn State.

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Creative Ideas for Your Allergic Child's 504 School Plan

Creative Ideas for Your Allergic Child's 504 School Plan

June 16, 2012

After missing 22 days of middle school, we finally got our son's federal 504 plan approved. It's the fifth year our son has missed 20 or more days of school. If you have a child with significant allergies or asthma, it's worth the effort to pursue a custom 504 plan. If you are not familiar with this law, now is the time to start your research.

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Find the Perfect Pet for Your Allergic Child

Find the Perfect Pet for Your Allergic Child

March 14, 2012

Giving away a pet is heartbreaking for children. It’s somewhat easier if you have just acquired the pet but very difficult if the pet has been a part of the family. After the guinea pig scare, we decided to have our son tested to see if he was allergic to other animals. At his age, the standard test is an agonizing skin test.

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Turn on the Air Cleaner and Enjoy the View

Turn on the Air Cleaner and Enjoy the View

November 13, 2011

We live in a world full of obstacles for those of us with allergies. Everywhere we go, we’re bombarded with things that trigger any number of allergic symptoms, from mild sneezing to a full blown anaphylactic emergency.

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Allergies on the Rise

Allergies on the Rise

May 18, 2011

It’s spring again in the U.S., also known as pollen season. It was a long and cold winter with more snow than I can remember in the last 11 years. In fact, the snow, which usually melts after the third day on the ground, stayed and lingered for what seemed like the entire winter. So what does all this snow have to do with allergies? A lot!

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Pollen Allergies and Oral Allergy Syndrome

Pollen Allergies and Oral Allergy Syndrome

March 28, 2011

Because many fruits and vegetables have proteins that cross-react with pollen proteins, if you have pollen allergies, your body may also set off an immune response when you eat certain foods.

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What is Environmental Illness (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) and What Can You Do About It?

What is Environmental Illness (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) and What Can You Do About It?

January 20, 2011

We are all exposed to an abundance of chemicals and toxins every day. They’re in the air, in our household products, and even in our food and make-up. We are exposed when we’re at home, at work, at school, or basically anywhere. Although most people are not severely effected by these chemicals, many others suffer from a range of symptoms.

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Cold Urticaria Disorder - I'm Allergic to the Cold!

Cold Urticaria Disorder - I'm Allergic to the Cold!

December 27, 2010

Winter is bearing down on most of the U.S. with snow drifts and cold chills. Winter jackets, gloves, and hats are important, but did you know that the cold could be life threatening to those with an allergic reaction to cold temperatures? Cold Urticaria, or hives from being exposed to cold temperatures or feeling cold, is a real allergy and a problem that affects my son.

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Behold the Fall Mold

Behold the Fall Mold

November 8, 2010

Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons in the Northeast. As the crisp air swirls through the trees and the rain sets in, leaves start to change from green to vibrant shades of crimson and mustard. For a brief time, the fallen leaves sit stiffly on the wet grass trapping dampness underneath before degrading to a dull brown. As beautiful as the leaves are and as wonderful as it is to run through piles of them, for people who are sensitive to mold, this is the worst time of year.

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Food Allergies Can Make You Fat - Really!

Food Allergies Can Make You Fat - Really!

October 7, 2010

For years I’ve been searching for the Holy Grail of diets. I’ve tried weight watchers, Atkins, and everything in between. My weight has gone from the high end of normal to pushing the pounds. Pregnancies were especially difficult, as I had nausea for not one trimester, but all three. My doctor even joked in my ninth month that he guaranteed the nausea would be gone within the month. And after giving birth, I actually only weighed 2 pounds less than before I got pregnant. When I stopped breastfeeding, the weight crept up to even loftier heights. After three babies, two of which were 10 pounders, the awful weight has remained on my 5’7” frame.

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Alternative Treatments to Chlorine Pools

Alternative Treatments to Chlorine Pools

July 2, 2010

Summertime brings lots of challenges to those with allergies. Sure there is the pollen and usual suspects, but what if you are allergic to the chemicals in swimming pools? Two alternative water cleaning treatments are making their way into swimming pools across the country.

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Project Allergy Welcomes Dr. Arthur Lubitz

Project Allergy Welcomes Dr. Arthur Lubitz

May 31, 2010

To facilitate an open dialogue, Project Allergy is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Arthur Lubitz, renowned New York allergist and asthma specialist. Dr. Lubitz has been in the practice of allergy & immunology for 20 years, with multiple offices in Manhattan, New York City, and Long Island. Dr Lubitz is affiliated as a clinical instructor at NYU School of Medicine and Tisch Hospital, Senior Attending at Roosevelt Hospital, as well as Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy (FAAAAI).

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Benadryl Recall Affects Child

Benadryl Recall Affects Child

May 4, 2010

I got a call yesterday from the nurse at my son's school. The emergency allergy medicine he has been taking at school for hives has been recalled. Specifically, the bottle he has been taking was "on the list." As drug manufacturers are pulling...

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Zero VOC Paint - The Only Choice for Asthmatics

Zero VOC Paint - The Only Choice for Asthmatics

January 23, 2010

Project Allergy tests Mythic Paint - a healthy alternative for those allergic to chemicals. When my son was diagnosed with asthma 9 years ago, we completely remodeled his bedroom as a safe-haven from allergies. We removed the curtains, replaced the carpet on the floor with wood, bought cotton sheets and blankets that could be washed in hot water, added a high quality Honeywell Hepa filter, and covered his pillows and mattresses to protect him from dust mites. We were certain we had thought of everything. We didn't.

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How To Survive Halloween

How To Survive Halloween

October 14, 2009

It's almost THAT time of year again - the time of year that parents with children who have food allergies fear the most. Schools, buses, parties, and trick-or-treating are all filled with fun and candy...and danger. It is Halloween.

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Back to School with Allergies

Back to School with Allergies

September 1, 2009

For parents of children with severe life-threatening food allergies or asthma, back-to-school time is a source of stress and anxiety.

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President Barack Obama's Search for a Hypoallergenic Dog

President Barack Obama's Search for a Hypoallergenic Dog

February 11, 2009

There has been some discussion in the past few months about President Obama’s decision to purchase a puppy for his children, once he moved into the White House. His daughters are allergic to animals, so he is looking for a hypoallergenic breed.

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What Are All Those Funny Things in Foods?

What Are All Those Funny Things in Foods?

November 7, 2008

There is a growing awareness that some individuals can experience a life-threatening response to foods like peanuts or eggs, but most people still think of allergic reactions as watery eyes from exposure to pollen or pets. In reality, there are so many potential allergens and so many different reactions, it can seem like an overwhelming amount of information.

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Creating an Allergy Retreat for Your Bedroom

Creating an Allergy Retreat for Your Bedroom

September 20, 2008

For people who are allergic to dust mites or have asthma, an allergy-free bedroom is the perfect retreat to allow the body to rebuild itself without fighting allergens. Here are some ideas that can help your family sleep soundly and symptom free.

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Trusting Your Instincts

Trusting Your Instincts

August 10, 2008

This is the story of how my daughter became diagnosed with Celiac Disease and my incredible working parent guilt for not having seen her symptoms more clearly.

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Allergy Travel Traps

Allergy Travel Traps

July 1, 2008

Navigating airlines, hotels and restaurants on vacation can be dangerous with allergies!

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Chemicals in our Environment and Their Effects on Our Immune System

Chemicals in our Environment and Their Effects on Our Immune System

June 2, 2008

Although local, state, and federal government agencies have established general guidelines to protect human health and safety, most were established for adult males working in industry, not for the average adults, children, or pregnant women.

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Global Warming is Driving My Son Crazy!

Global Warming is Driving My Son Crazy!

May 12, 2008

My son, who is 9, suffers from mold and pollen allergies. Typically they disappear in the winter, but not this year. Since Thanksgiving, his asthma has been an underlying problem, with missed school and sports. His asthma is under control, but the medicines that he takes to keep them under control are driving him nuts! This is not the first time we’ve seen his behavior change, but it is unusual to see it in winter.

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