The Cost of Having Allergies

photo via Fickr under the Creative Commons license.

photo via Fickr under the Creative Commons license.

Payton McClintock

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Living with a food allergy can be a constant struggle for both parents and children. It is estimated that between four and six percent of kids under 18 have allergies, and that number is on the rise. Whether it be milk, soy, gluten, a bee sting, or any given allergen, a child must always be prepared in case of a reaction. Action plans are a necessity for students who may not be aware of what ingredients are in a snack they’re sharing with a friend or what the person sitting at their table is eating. The constant possession of epinephrine, known as an EpiPen, is often essential in case of emergency.
The cost of EpiPens has increased 15 times since 2009 and is currently soaring at about $600 per two-pack. Fortunately, many coupons are available online and some families may be eligible for discounts depending on how often they refill their prescription. EpiPens typically have a minimum of 12 months before expiry. However, if pens are left in too hot or too cold of conditions they will become ineffective. It is suggested that pens are kept in dark, room temperature areas like a glovebox or trunk of a car.
Those who require possession of an EpiPen in case of emergency are not the only ones who are taking precautions in their daily lives. Shaina Dubinsky, a senior at TWHS, is mildly allergic to the fragrances put into items such as laundry detergent and lotions. Due to this, she must buy specific allergen-free detergents that is only compatible with specific washing machines. “I have to wear pants in hotel beds in case their detergent makes my allergies flare up and be really careful when I’m at friends houses. It’s much easier to manage now that I know what to avoid but it is still always in the back of my mind.”

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