Family travel for 2015 is just getting started, and as parents start to map out their vacation calendars, many will make plans for a little Disney magic.
But of the bazillions of parents who will head to Disney Parks or set sail aboard Disney Cruise Line this year, many won’t just make plans around must-see attractions and character meet-and-greets. With 1 in 13 children under the age of 18 facing life-threatening food allergies, close to 15 million families will be going over their child’s (or even their own) action plan in case of a severe anaphylactic reaction.
Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can occur seconds or minutes after exposure to an allergen – common ones are peanuts, bee sting venom, latex, etc. The resulting flood of chemicals released by the immune system can cause shock, narrowing of the airways, nausea, vomiting, and even death.
An injection of epinephrine can stem symptoms until emergency medical professionals can arrive on the scene, and while those who have allergies typically carry their own Auto-Injectors, (I carry my son’s and my own in a special “ouch pouch” that is easily identifiable in case of an emergency), things happen, and sometimes, we forget to bring things with us or inexplicably lose them along the way.
And while the Disney already works closely with guests who require extra assistance in terms of food allergies, dietary restrictions and other special needs, it has now taken an extra step by partnering with Mylan – marketer and distributor of EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injectors – in a multi-year strategic alliance meant to increase anaphylaxis awareness and enhance access to EpiPen® Auto-Injectors around the parks and on its cruise ships.
Look for updated maps and signage within Disney’s domestic theme parks, cruise ships and even on Castaway Cay highlighting locations where EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injectors can be found, in additional to educational resources that will be released throughout the duration of the alliance.
Keep in mind of course, that the new alliance is not intended to replace your child’s (or your) individual emergency anaphylaxis treatment, nor should you stop bringing your own Auto-Injectors with you while visiting the parks.
Still, it’s comforting to know Disney’s got your back.
Photo credits: Mylan (map image only)
Photo edits: DGOE