May is Awareness Month for food allergies, celiac disease, asthma and EoE. It’s a great time to educate others about these important and impactful diseases, which are too often misunderstood. For food allergy, the highlight of the month is Food Allergy Awareness Week, taking place May 14 to 20. Following are articles, posters and resources to help guide your own advocating efforts.
Allergic Living May Awareness Tools
Airlines and Auto-Injectors
In 2023, Allergic Living highlights the issue of airlines and flying with food allergies.
• Learn about the frequent shortcomings of airline medical kits, and why many MDs helping in allergy emergencies in the skies want to see epinephrine auto-injectors. Read:
It’s Come to This: ‘Borrowing’ Epinephrine on Airplanes
Why Your Plane’s Medical Kit May Lack Drugs Like Epinephrine
• Our article on an important study: Air Travel with Food Allergies Survey: From Anxiety to Crew Issues
Ask the Allergists for May Awareness
Should You Lie Down During An Anaphylactic Reaction?
When Is There A Risk of an Airborne Food Allergy Reaction?
Is It Possible to Tell if a Person’s Food Allergy is ‘Not Severe’?
Can You Be Allergic to Some Fish, But Not Others?
Peanut Oil and Allergy, When Is It Safe to Eat, When Is It Not?
Does the Drug Used in Anesthesia Contain Egg and Soy?
See more expert Q&As here.
Nonprofits and May Awareness
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is offering 31 days of action for Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month 2023. See the full list here. Some highlights:
- May 1-5 is Air Quality Awareness Week. AAFA puts focus on indoor air quality and the impact of climate change. This week, the nonprofit also emphasizes the important topic of asthma care equity. Watch for: AAFA’s announcement of the next phase of its Health Equity Advancement and Leadership program.
- May 13 On AAFA’s social media, they’ll ask experts about asthma and allergy misinformation.
- May 16 On AAFA’s social media, they’ll similarly ask experts about food allergy misinformation.
- May 18 AAFA’s Kids With Food Allergies hosts an Instagram Live with @TheAllergyChef on cooking with food allergies. See it on the @kidswithfoodallergies page.
Food Allergy Research & Education is encouraging “food allergy allies” to take part in Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW), May 14 to 20. FARE says: “whether you have food allergies, know someone with food allergies or simply want to make a positive impact, we invite you to become a Food Allergy Ally. Join us in promoting awareness, education, and support for those with food allergies.”
They have social media graphics to share, and ask participants to use the hashtag #AllergyAlly.
FARE also has got themed days throughout the week, including:
- May 16 Tuesday is the popular #TealTakeover! Share photos of you and your family decked out in teal clothes, the official color of food allergy. They ask that you tag @FoodAllergy.
- May 17 Honor healthcare providers who make a difference for those with food allergies.
- May 19 It’s Teen Friday – with a day filled with content from teens in the food allergy community. Check out FARE’s full Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW) calendar here.
For May awareness month, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection (FAACT) is running an awareness campaign with the hashtag #CelebratingTealMoments. As it is the nonprofit’s 10th anniversary, it is sharing its top teal resources: from its civil rights advocacy division to Camp Tag, its school food allergy program and more. So the community can share in #CelebratingTealMoments, FAACT has created an array of downloadable Facebook, Twitter and Instagram graphics. They include social media covers and profile photos, which you’ll find here.
May 14-20 Share the FAACTS! Copy, paste and share one fact for each day of Food Allergy Awareness Week on social media. Find the images and sample social posts and tweets by scrolling down here. FAACT asks that you use hashtags like #FoodAllergyAwarenessWeek, #FAAW and #KnowtheFAACTS.
From Red Sneakers For Oakley
May 20 – The Red Sneakers for Oakley (RSFO) foundation holds International Red Sneakers Day. Get out your red sneakers and help raise awareness of food allergies!
Participating is easy:
1. Take a photo of yourself in red sneakers/shoes, RSFO clothing, or anything red.
2. Post your photo on social media. RSFO suggests a caption that accomplishes any of: promoting food allergy awareness with a food allergy fact, shares a personal experience, or explains Oakley’s story and the seriousness of food allergies.
3. Use hashtags: #internationalredsneakersday, #redsneakersforoakley, #foodallergyawareness, #livlikeoaks.
4. Tag @redsneakersforoakley on Facebook and Instagram or @oakley_red on Twitter.
See RSFO’s guide to May 20 awareness-raising here. Plus, read our article, featuring Merrill Debbs and teen ambassadors who are making big strides for food allergy education.
From Allergy & Asthma Network
The Allergy & Asthma Network is highlighting “12 Ways to Celebrate Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.” Advocacy efforts for May 2023 include:
- Petitioning Congress for the One School One Nurse Act here.
- FAAW week: raise awareness by eating free of the Top 9 allergens for one day this week. When colleagues or friends ask what this is about, tell them about food allergies.
See more of AAN’s ’12 Ways’ programming here.
From Food Allergy Canada
Canada’s leading food allergy nonprofit is raising awareness during Food Allergy Awareness month, and using the hashtags #KnowItTreatIt and #AllergyAware in their campaign.
- See their Know It Treat It campaign for anaphylaxis awareness here. It includes a 2023 contest with prizes.
- Find Know It Treat It events here. These include expert webinars on epinephrine vs. Benadryl and mistakes to avoid with an auto-injector.
- See the rest of their Food Allergy Awareness Month events here.
From Beyond Celiac
The national nonprofit Beyond Celiac is honoring Celiac Awareness Month during the month of May.
- May 1-31 – Sign up for the Step Beyond Celiac 5K. Walk or run for to raise funds for celiac disease research during awareness month. Learn how to set up your personal or team fundraiser here.
- Since Beyond Celiac is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023, it has created ’20 Ways to Step Up for Celiac Disease This May’ program here. Options include: submitting your own story, gluten-free donating, social media shareables and more.
- Get Celiac Awareness Month social media graphics here.
The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders has a full program of events to celebrate and raise awareness of eosinophil-associated diseases, including EoE.
- May 14-20 – It’s National Eosinophil Awareness Week! Check out APFED’s day-by-day calendar of suggested activities here. Plus, join APFED’s lighting campaign by urging a local landmark to light up in magenta for a day.
- May 18 – Wear magenta to raise awareness of eosinophil-associated diseases.
- Throughout week: show support of those who live with eosinophil-associated diseases in social media posts. Include the hashtags #NEAW and #EosAware.