Saturday, October 16, 2010

Think F.A.S.T.

I don't always peruse the food allergy news to the North, but I had a minute to do so today and I love this new acronym that the Ontario Medical Association and Anaphylaxis Canada have put together: Think F.A.S.T.

"F.A.S.T can include any of the following:

* Face: itching, redness, swelling
* Airway: trouble breathing, swallowing, speaking
* Stomach: pain, vomiting, diarrhea
* Total body: hives, rash, weakness, paleness, sense of doom, loss of consciousness." (

The focus of the campaign is to increase readiness of the general population to support those with food allergies through their ability to recognize a reaction. This is especially important for parents--you never know when your child will bring home a friend with food allergies. I love that it is easy to remember and it covers all of the main symptoms of anaphylaxis.

So what should you do if you spot F.A.S.T. symptoms? Administer epinephrine and call 911 if a child is experiencing symptoms in 2 or more areas of the list, or if a single symptom is worsening rapidly or severe on its own, such as difficulty breathing.

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