by Katherine Martin posted in Celebrities
Former “Supernanny” Jo Frost recently returned to TV with her new TLC series Family S.O.S. with Jo Frost. Amidst her busy television schedule, she has also been raising awareness for a cause tha...
by Katherine Martin posted in Celebrities
Former “Supernanny” Jo Frost recently returned to TV with her new TLC series Family S.O.S. with Jo Frost. Amidst her busy television schedule, she has also been raising awareness for a cause that is close to her heart, serious food allergy and anaphylaxis awareness.
Jo Frost and football star Adrian Peterson have partnered Mylan Specialty L.P. to raise awareness and improve preparedness for allergic reactions. They are encouraging those with food allergies to Show Us Your EpiPens™ at www.25YearsofEpiPen.com.
I had the great pleasure of speaking with Jo yesterday. We spoke of my own family’s struggle with my son’s life threatening food allergies, her new food allergy awareness campaign and about Jo’s her own experience with food allergies. As someone who has used Jo’s famous “naughty step” for the last five years, I couldn’t wait to hear her advice on something I struggle with daily.
On discovering her food allergies: “Well, my parents did. At the age around 4...my parents gave me a shrimp, known as a prawn in the UK, and I started to show those anaphylactic signs, the symptoms. For me my throat swells up where I can’t breathe and everything shuts down, eyes swell and close…So they rushed me to the hospital where I was given epinephrine and so [my parents] were given the information and the education.”
On growing up with food allergies: “I never ever grew up feeling like it was a handicap or any kind of a hindrance to my life. I was raised by my parents to be very aware of what my signs and symptoms were, what food I couldn’t eat – all nuts and shellfish are a problem for me...Even down to dating as a teenager, it was always I was the girl you can’t eat peanuts around. 'We’re not going out for a prawn curry tonight.' You know it was common practice, but I owned it, and I felt okay with it.
Jo’s advice for remembering our EpiPens: “I think it’s repetition like you said...That we create a ritual and a system in place that’s repetitive because that helps us to remember so it becomes a part of our every day. So whether that’s putting Post-it notes on the front door...Whether that’s preparing the night before and making sure it goes into the children’s bag. Whether it’s packing that backpack and having that there or at the beginning of term making sure the nurses have those EpiPen Auto Injectors ready in case. I think it’s also important that even though we carry two EpiPens, if we are constantly at a particular place, maybe somebody lives close to their Grandma or family lives close and they spend time there that we keep – that we keep a couple of spares in the places that we go.”
How do we raise awareness about food allergies? “You know we’re not just talking about nuts and shellfish, like you said your son has a severe allergy to milk. Some have it to bee stings, some to antibiotics, some to latex. The more we talk about it, the more conversation is had where we all work to create this banter...then it becomes not such a taboo subject, but one that we’re all familiar with and that’s why it’s so important for me today to actually be talking about this campaign because I was shocked – I was absolutely shocked - when I came to this country eight years ago at the lack of knowledge and education this country had when it comes to having anaphylactic signs and symptoms and life threatening allergies. It blew me away.”
On the 25 Years of EpiPen campaign: “Well what we’re really doing is recognizing the importance of those that are at risk coming together in being prepared, with an action plan and knowing what those signs and symptoms are and recognizing that if we are at risk that we are prepared in being able to carry our EpiPens so that if accidents do happen for some reason or another that we can take the epinephrine. I mean, look, that gives us time. Being able to call the emergency medical care is the next step in basically calming the nervous system down from that severe allergy. Some of