FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Many questions come up again and again. Here are the answers we have given to these questions.
Most questions can be answered by looking at the site more closely, using the Index, looking up the information in books or consulting your doctor. Don't forget your local library!
- Please send me all the information you have on ...allergies, asthma, peanut allergy, etc.
Please send me a list of all the products which do not have .....peanut, dairy, etc.
Please send me a list of safe snacks which don't have...peanut, dairy, soy, etc.
Doing a school project on ......
Looking for allergy statistics...
Looking for trainer EpiPens (no needle, no medication)....
My (child, family member) has the following symptoms...do you think I am allergic to....
Looking for a good....antihistamine, allergy eye drops, etc.
Trying to find an allergist....
Looking for a support group...
Looking for EpiPens and living outside of the U.S. or Canada.....
Why don't you have more information about environmental allergies?
- Common foods which are not nuts/peanuts but have similar names
1. Please send me all the information you have on....allergies, asthma, peanut allergy, etc.
What you see on the site is what you get. You must spend the time to research the site. Use the Subject Index to help you. Consult the Resources page for a few more good books. Your local library is a wealth of information. We do not provide mailouts.
2. Please send me a list of all the products which do not have ..... peanut, dairy, etc.
We cannot answer this because....
- We have no idea where you live or what you buy. We get emails from all over the world.
- Product and brands vary everywhere,
- Product ingredients change frequently and usually without notice,
- The average small grocery store can have 50,000 line items in it.
Read the labels and know alternative names for the item you are looking for (e.g., milk, whey). The Articles page lists articles which contain these alternate names. The article on Cross-Contamination on the Articles page will also be useful.
Be aware of your country's labelling rules. There are also articles on Canadian labelling laws on the Articles page and a link to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency web pages.
3. Please send me a list of safe snacks which don't have.....
See the note above. The main rule is "read the label" if it has one. The most requested item is for peanut/nut free snacks. Fruit and vegies are usually safe bets. Most foods do not contain peanuts and nuts. Refer to the article "Tips for Lunch Packers", noting that it contains all healthy foods including peanut butter. Cross off what you don't like.
To avoid cross-contamination, don't buy bulk foods. Refer to the "Cross Contamination" article on the Articles page for more tips. There is generally very little risk to allergic children from products which have a "may contain" warning on them unless the allergic child will be eating them. Allergic children should eat their own snacks to reduce the risk of a reaction and not share snacks with others.
Be aware that sometimes treat size snacks may not have the same ingredients as the regular size or have an allergy warning. Always read the label!
4. I am doing a school project on ......
You are welcome to use anything on the site for your project as long as the source, Calgary Allergy Network at calgaryallergy.ca, is acknowledged. We will not research or write your paper for you, nor will we mail anything to you. It's on the Net - print it out.
5. Looking for allergy statistics...
We are often requested to give detailed allergy / anaphylaxis statistics. Most of them do not exist in the detail requested - by province, by allergy, by age, by cause of death, etc. Please refer to the books listed on the Resources page or current books), professional organizations or Statistics Canada. I do not keep statistics.
6. Looking for Trainer EpiPens and Twinject Injectors
Sources of Trainer Injectors are listed on the Marketplace page. Calgary Allergy Network does not sell trainers over the Net.
7. My (child, family member) has the following symptoms...do you think I am allergic to....
Trying to figure out what is making someone sick can be an exhausting and time consuming effort. Our sympathies are with you. Hopefully the articles and resources on the site will direct you. We are not medical doctors and so cannot give out medical advice. Please consult your health professional for these questions. The public library is an excellent and cheap source of information.
8. Looking for a good ....antihistamine, allergy eye drops, EpiPen, etc.
Your doctor or pharmacist can provide the best information for your situation and location. Pharmacists are an underused resource. Phone ahead if you want a long conversation because there is quite a shortage in Canada and they might not have time for you at the moment you are there.
9. Trying to find an allergist....
Check your Yellow Pages, allergy association, support group or family doctor (most allergists require a referral). Contact the professional associations in the U.S. and Canada.
Canada - Canadian Society of Allergy and Clincial Immunology (CSACI) - http://csaci.medical.org or your provincial medical association.
U.S. - There are several organizations. One of them is American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) (www.aaaai.org/)
10. Looking for a support group...
Refer to the list on the Links page under Support/Lobby groups.
11. Looking for EpiPens & living outside of the U.S. and Canada
We do not know of a way to purchase EpiPens outside of North America. You can check on the Internet listings for pharmaceuticals.
12. Why don't you have more information about environmental allergies?
The goal of this web site is to provide information which is not widely available on other allergy web sites. So we focus on practical articles which deal with living with allergies, and in particular, severe allergies. There are literally thousands of web sites which deal with environmental allergies. We don't want to duplicate the effort.
13. Common foods which are not nuts/peanuts but have similar names
The following foods have names which can be misleading - water chestnuts, nutmeg.
Coconut is usually not considered part of the tree nuts list given out by allergists and are not usually restricted for people with peanut or tree nut allergies. If unsure, check with your health care provider.