Kyle Dine is a food allergy educator and musician who performs engaging allergy awareness assemblies in elementary schools across North America. He has multiple food allergies to peanut, tree nut, egg, seafood and mustard. FARE is looking forward to hearing from Kyle again this year at the FARE National Food Allergy Conference.
FARE: How did you get involved in raising awareness for food allergy through music?
KD: It was something I really fell into. I have always been passionate about music, but used to rather cavalier about my allergies as a teen. One severe anaphylactic reaction made me re-evaluate everything. I wanted to help others avoid allergic reactions – specifically children because I remember how hard it was dealing with allergies growing up.
Music seemed like a really fun way to educate about key messages such as not sharing food, telling an adult during a reaction, and always carrying epinephrine. The power of song, repetition, melody all help in engraining messages. The songs we learn as children stick with us, and my goal was that these key food allergy education themes would lay the groundwork for educated and empowered kids. Of course, fun catchy tunes that you can dance around the house to is a bonus!
FARE: You’ve been to FARE National Conferences before – what is your favorite part?
KD: I absolutely love the networking. It was really neat to recognize so many people by their Twitter/Facebook photos and get to connect in person. The conference brings an entire community together where everyone is represented. I enjoyed talking to parents, school nurses, support group leaders, food manufacturers and the FARE staff. Everyone was approachable, and everyone seemed to learn from each other’s perspectives. It’s like one giant team huddle! After all, we’re after the same goals.
FARE: What do you hope attendees will be able to take away from this year’s National Conference?
KD: Take everything you learn and pass it along. If you attend a FARE conference, you are part of a special group. You have received the most credible and up-to-date knowledge, research and trends on food allergy. I only wish I went to one as a teenager to learn the true risks of precautionary labeling, cross-contact, biphasic anaphylaxis and even kissing with allergies! As a first-time dad, there is now a lot of infant feeding info that I try to stay on top of.
The point is, I wish everyone could go to a FARE conference. The knowledge is needed in our families, our schools, our stores and our restaurants. I hope attendees can take the knowledge they receive and spread it far and wide in their own communities. It’s empowering for participants to know that their efforts afterwards will cause a ripple effect, which creates the true impact.
FARE: What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
KD: My love for travel. For over a decade, I have trekked around the globe finding ways of managing allergies safely in places where I once thought impossible. After living in Sweden for a year in college, I launched a start-up to help travelers communicate their allergies abroad through Allergy Translation Cards. I am extremely excited to launch a comprehensive food allergy travel website at www.allergytravels.com this spring.
If you see Kyle at the conference, be sure to say hello!
For more information about or to register for the FARE National Food Allergy Conference, visit www.foodallergy.org/conference.