Chappaqua, NY–Food allergy awareness received a welcome boost in New Castle last week with the unveiling of a sign–offering key reminders to visitors. Ten are now in place in playgrounds throughout the area. In addition, a proclamation designating May 8-14 Food Allergy Awareness Week in New Castle was announced by Town Supervisor Lisa Katz. See below for the full text of the proclamation.
To announce the development, Katz appeared at the playground outside Town Hall together with town board member Vicky Tipp along with three community food allergy awareness advocates–Stacey Saiontz, her son Jared, 14, and Heather Orenstein Brown–to unveil the sign and offer comments that convey the importance of these measures.
The board and citizen gathering conveyed that 1 in 13 children are being diagnosed with food allergies, and that with the numbers increasing, it’s vital that every community take simple steps to help keep kids with food allergies safe.
“This is exactly what the Town of New Castle is doing,” said Saiontz.
Thanks to advocacy by 14 year old Jared Saiontz, the Town of New Castle decided to put up signs in all ten town parks advising our community on how to keep food allergic children safe–wash your hands before going on the playground equipment and don’t eat while on the playground equipment.
From Town Supervisor Lisa Katz writing in the Town of New Castle Supervisor’s Report:
“These signs provide education and awareness about allergies and teach community members how they can help play a part to help food allergic children. They are also helpful as many who do not live with food allergies may not understand that food residue can lead to a reaction. There is no cure for food allergies. Allergic reactions to food can range from mild symptoms to anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that can occur rapidly and is potentially life-threatening. We are proud to help educate the citizens of New Castle on the serious nature of food allergies. Thank you to Jared Saiontz for bring this to the attention of the Town Board, and to our Recreation and Parks Department, Recreation Commission, and our Town Administrator for helping us to get it done!”
TOWN OF NEW CASTLE FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS WEEK PROCLAMATION
WHEREAS, Food Allergy Awareness Week was established as a national week of encouraging food allergy awareness and supporting those who are impacted by food allergies and anaphylaxis; and
WHEREAS, a food allergy is an immune system response to a food the body mistakenly believes is harmful. When a person with food allergy eats the food, his or her immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, including histamine, that trigger a cascade of symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal tract, the skin, and/or the cardiovascular system; and
WHEREAS, food allergies affect approximately 32 million Americans, including 6 million children; and
WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of food allergies is significantly increasing among children under the age of 18; and
WHEREAS, nine foods account for 90 percent of all food allergy reactions: Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Milk, Egg, Wheat, Soy, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame; and
WHEREAS, there is no cure for food allergies, strict avoidance is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction; and
WHEREAS, anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that comes on quickly and has the potential to become life-threatening; and
WHEREAS, each year an estimated 3.3 million Americans require emergency room treatment for symptoms of a serious allergic reaction to food. Reactions typically occur when an individual unknowingly eats a food containing an ingredient to which they are allergic; and
WHEREAS, emergency medical treatment for severe allergic reactions to food has increased by 377 percent in only a decade; and
WHEREAS, managing a food allergy on a daily basis involves constant vigilance and even trace amounts of an allergen can trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Lisa Katz, Supervisor for the Town of New Castle, do hereby proclaim May 8-14, 2022, as Food Allergy Awareness Week in the Town of New Castle, New York, and encourage the residents of New Castle to increase their understanding and awareness of food allergies and anaphylaxis.