Food allergies are a life-threatening condition that know no race, gender or economic status. However, lack of awareness, education and preparedness are disproportionately affecting underserved families and communities where there is a higher percentage of dangerous reactions as well as higher costs of emergency care.
Filmed at a school that serves this population using real students with food allergies, “Spell It Out” is a public service announcement aimed at school children and their caregivers that addresses several key concepts about food allergies that are often misunderstood:
- Food allergies are real.
Food allergies can be serious and life-threatening – different from a food intolerance which is an uncomfortable digestive condition but not life-threatening.
- Anyone can be allergic to any food at any age.
Food allergies are not simply a passing childhood condition. In fact, recent findings tell us that 1 in every 10 adults have food allergies, too. And, despite their reputation, peanuts are not the only food to cause a serious reaction – you can be allergic to almost any food.
- Food allergies should be monitored by a doctor.
If you experience symptoms after eating, it’s important to talk to a doctor or nurse. They can confirm a diagnosis, teach patients how to manage their food allergy, and help them get epinephrine – the only medicine capable of slowing or stopping a life-threatening reaction.
“Spell it Out” comes straight from the thoughtful and generous heart of Sammi Mendenhall, an Emmy-nominated producer who admits to being “that person who demanded peanuts on airplanes.” But after seeing the tragic story of Elijah Silvera on the news, she knew she had to learn more and educate others like herself. She envisioned a project that could help and give a voice to those most at risk. This project is a result of an amazing collaboration between several powerful advocacy organizations: End Allergies Together, AllergyStrong, Change for Kids, Elijah’s Echo, Natalie Giorgi Sunshine Foundation and Red Sneakers for Oakley.
Please visit spellitoutpsa.org for more information.
Feel free to share “Spell It Out” with your school – and contact us if you’d like information about an educational school visit for AllergyStrong or one of our outstanding partners.