As a parent, I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry about food allergies – or any other type of allergy, for that matter. I can’t imagine the stress and worry that parents of children with severe allergies must go through, especially when traveling.
Many theme parks have implemented special menus and created alternate choices to accommodate guests with allergies, including ingredient lists for restaurant items. I’ve seen parents poring through books listing every ingredient in every item offered in parks such as Busch Gardens and Water Country U.S.A. to find selections that their child can eat.
With helpful solutions like this in place, it is still critical that life-saving treatment be available in the event of a severe allergic reaction. Walt Disney Parks is taking its First Aid and emergency services to a new level in a partnership with Mylan, global manufacturer of EpiPen (epinephrine).
From the press release …
Walt Disney Parks has just signed a multi-year alliance with Mylan to help increase awareness of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. The agreement includes updated maps in Disney’s domestic theme parks and on its cruise ships as well as updated signage in the parks that highlight locations EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. Auto-Injectors. Eventually, the companies will also introduce a variety of educational resources designed to increase awareness of and preparedness for severe allergic reactions.
“For our guests who live with severe allergies every day, identifying EpiPen locations is an additional tool they’ll have for their anaphylaxis management plan,” said Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “This new strategic alliance will help raise awareness of EpiPen locations so that our guests with severe allergies may have the best possible experience at our parks and on our cruise ships.”
EpiPen locations will roll out at Disney parks and on cruise ships beginning in late 2014. In addition to emergency medical services (EMS), nurses trained to administer EpiPen Auto-Injectors are available during First Aid station operating hours to assist guests experiencing a severe allergic reaction. To help guests identify EpiPen locations, Disney’s guide maps will now include an EpiPen Auto-Injector symbol and new signage at First Aid stations.
“Mylan’s mission is to provide the world’s seven billion people access to high quality medicine and set new standards in health care. In support of this mission, we are committed to enhancing access to EpiPen Auto-Injectors and to increasing awareness of anaphylaxis. Like life, severe allergic reactions are unpredictable, so people need to be prepared,” said Mylan CEO Heather Bresch. “We are very proud to be working with Disney, which already has a strong reputation for meeting the needs of people managing severe allergies, and believe we can further raise awareness of anaphylaxis through this collaboration and our joint commitment to education.”
Anaphylaxis is unpredictable and can progress quickly and without warning. Clinical guidelines state that epinephrine is the first-line treatment when anaphylaxis occurs, making prompt access critical. For those with a known risk, it is important to be prepared with an anaphylaxis action plan that includes:
- Avoiding known allergens
- Recognizing the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis
- Having immediate access to two epinephrine auto-injectors, such as epiPen
- Seeking immediate emergency medical care should anaphylaxis occur
Walt Disney Parks offer a variety of options for guests with special dietary needs, including kosher meals and ingredient substitutions. They also allow guests with food allergies or intolerances to bring food into the park. Please click here to read about the dietary/allergen options available at Disney Parks.
Committed to setting new standards in health care, Mylan manufactures more than 1,300 generic and brand medications and market products in 140 countries and territories.
Planning to take in other theme parks and attractions on a Disney vacation? Please click here to learn about allergen-friendly dining at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks.