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New Support Group For Parents Of Children With Allergies

Last updated on Monday, May 5, 2014

(BLOOMINGTON) - Bloomington’s new support group for Parents of Children Having Allergies (PoCHA) has several events scheduled for Food Allergy Awareness Week, May 11-17.

One of these events includes a booth at the Bloomington Farmer's Market on Saturday, May 17, where parents can learn about Bloomington PoCHA and its programs. Group meetings will be held the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, 2700 E. Rogers Rd.

The next meeting of Bloomington PoCHA will be Tuesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. A local Auvi-Q representative will give a presentation on the newest version of the epinephrine pen. Auvi-Q, an epinephrine injection, is used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions (known as anaphylaxis) in people who are at risk for, or have a history of, these reactions.

The mission of Bloomington PoCHA is to provide the community with support and education for parents of children with allergies. A food allergy is a serious medical condition that affects up to 15 million people in the United States, including 1 in 13 children. Families of children with food allergies are often diagnosed after an allergic reaction. Although there is much research being done, there is no cure for food allergies at this time. Food allergens are everywhere, from potting soil to the foods we eat. The eight major food allergies are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish.

Because avoidance is the best way to prevent an allergic reaction, education is vitally important for the families, friends, caregivers and children facing food allergies. Bloomington PoCHA is working to educate the community on ways to keep our children safe, especially in circumstances where the children are in educational settings, daycares and other places where children congregate. When a child does come into contact with his or her allergen(s), there is a possibility that the reaction can become anaphylactic and life-threatening. Emergency care is needed and lifesaving medication called epinephrine must be administered immediately.

Bloomington PoCHA will also have a team participating in the Food Allergy Walk on Saturday, Aug. 23, in Indianapolis. Visit the Food Allergy Walk website at http://www.foodallergywalk.org/ to register for the walk or make donations to Team Bloomington PoCHA.

For more information about the support group, please contact Bloomington PoCHA at bloomingtonpocha@comcast.net.

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