Teens in the Real World
  Food Allergies in the Real World  

How Your Friends Can Be Your PALs

PAL logoPatricia, who is allergic to peanuts, and Carla play soccer together at a high school in Massachusetts. While riding the subway home together, Patricia took a bite of a candy bar, not knowing that it contained peanuts. She realized her mistake immediately after tasting the peanuts and she started having an allergic reaction. She did not have her EpiPen® with her.

As Patricia’s throat began to swell, Carla took charge, reassuring Patricia and leading her through the subway to the nearest hospital. There, doctors gave Patricia medication to stop the reaction, crediting Carla with getting Patricia to the hospital in time to save her life.

FAAN’s Be A PAL: Protect A Life from Food Allergies program helps teach friends of those who have food allergies how they can help prevent a reaction and what to do should one occur. FAAN has presented Carla with a PAL Hero award for taking immediate action. A PAL Hero is someone whose actions help prevent a serious allergic reaction, or even save a life.

Do Your PALs Know How to Help You?

Since Patricia’s reaction, her friends and teammates have come together to help keep Patricia safe and prevent reactions, reminding her to read labels and watching out for her. Do your friends know how to do the same for you?

Anyone can be a PAL by following these five easy steps:

  1. Never take food allergies lightly.
  2. Don’t share food.
  3. Wash hands after eating.
  4. Ask your friends what they are allergic to and help them avoid it.
  5. Get help immediately if a schoolmate has a reaction.

Talk to your friends, teach them about your food allergy, and ask them to be your PAL — they can help you stay healthy and, who knows, they may one day save a life like Carla did!

Do you have a friend who is really great about helping you manage your food allergy? Tell us about it.

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