When Ross Winn was a baby, his mom Heather Winn, Oklahoma State University Extension educator, tried endless treatments to help relieve his discomfort caused by food allergies.
Today Ross, 16, wins lots of motocross races and is an active high school sophomore. But, it was challenging at first, and without his moms diligence, it could have been a different scenario.
"We didn't realize our son Ross had food allergies until I switched him to formula and he started showing signs of eczema," Winn said.
His second Thanksgiving was a mother's nightmare.
"He was 13 months old so people naturally were poking random foods in him," said Winn. "I put him down for a nap and when I heard him waking up, and went to get him, I drove straight to the emergency room. His eyes were swollen shut almost and he could hardly breathe - an anaphylactic reaction."
The Winns went to many pediatricians, dermatologists and allergists.
"After a merciless fight with a MRSA [Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] staph infection, it was determined he's allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish," said Winn. "He has to carry an Epi pen due to the possibility of anaphylactic reaction."
Allergic reactions to foods may occur in a few minutes ...