By Kristen Chandler
Here at My Kids Food Allergies, we like to show our support for others in the food allergy community by occasionally spotlighting their works and effort. We are particularly drawn to those who spread food allergy awareness, as we feel that educating others is a high priority. Many accidental exposures and even unnecessary allergic reactions could be prevented if more people had a better understanding of just how serious food allergies are.
An individual we think deserves some special recognition is musician and allergy educator Kyle Dine. Kyle is the creator of two CDs and a two-disc DVD set, all targeted toward spreading awareness and educating others about food allergies. Kyle has taken an important message and broken it down into age-appropriate songs and demonstrations (the latter on the DVD) that make it easy for children not only to understand but also to remember.
About Kyle Dine
Kyle Dine grew up with allergies to eggs, mustard, peanuts, tree nuts and seafood. He had several allergic reactions while growing up. As a child, Kyle never felt comfortable or confident having multiple food allergies. He felt like a burden and believed his allergies were an inconvenience to others. He wished someone had taught his peers about food allergies in a way that normalized them. Now, as an adult, Kyle draws from his own allergy-related fears and anxieties from his childhood to present food allergies in a way that not only encourages peer support, but also empowers children with food allergies.
Following a severe allergic reaction in 2005, Kyle released his first CD of food allergy-themed songs entitled “You Must Be Nuts” and, in 2006, began performing at school assemblies. Now a decade later, he has performed in more than 650 schools, educating close to a million children about food allergies. He has also released a second CD entitled “Food Allergies Rock” and an educational DVD entitled “Kyle Dine & Friends: Allergy Awareness with Songs, Puppets, and Games.” Live puppets now also join him at his school assemblies.
Kyle says he really appreciates all of the non-profit food allergy organizations and their efforts to spread awareness. Things have changed a lot over the past couple of decades since he was a child with food allergies, and Kyle believes that much of this change is due to the advocacy and education efforts put forth by these groups. He’s also a fan of Allergic Living magazine, with its informative content and timely updates.
For the past eight years, Kyle has worked with Food Allergy Canada and is the owner of AllergyTranslation.com. This website offers customized language translation cards for people who have food allergies and are planning to travel.
For 2017, Kyle says has a big resource coming in the spring. He couldn’t tell us much about it, other than it will be a resource like no other and he’s really excited because this is something he wishes would have been available for a while now.
About Kyle’s Resources
You can also purchase both of Kyle’s CDs and his DVD through Amazon at the links below:
- You Must Be Nuts CD
- Food Allergies Rock CD
- Kyle Dine & Friends: Allergy Awareness with Songs, Puppets, and Games (DVD)
On both Kyle’s personal website and his DVD site you’ll find additional resources that accompany Kyle’s CDs and DVD. On the DVD website, food allergy quizzes are available for school use, in both online and downloadable formats.
Kyle says that the best feedback he’s received was that an assembly he presented helped to save a life afterwards. He feels that what he does is worthwhile when the information he shares is not only being absorbed, but is being put into action in emergency situations as well.
Kyle Dine & Friends: Allergy Awareness with Songs, Puppets and Games DVD
We received a copy of Kyle’s educational DVD. The DVD comes with two discs, one suitable for children ages 4 through 7 and the second suitable for children aged 8 to 11. The content is basically the same on both discs, but it’s presented in a way that is understandable and appropriate for the targeted age group. These DVDs cover everything from what allergies are and what they do to the top eight allergens, the purpose of medical ID bracelets, cross contamination and hand washing, symptoms of an allergic reaction, why you should not share food and more.
I absolutely love these DVDs. I wish I’d known about them when my oldest child, who has the most severe allergies of my three kids, started school. I would have pushed to have an assembly presented at the school, or at least have a viewing of the DVD. We live a lot further south than Mr. Dine’s normal visitation area when it comes to school assemblies, but I am planning to donate a copy of the DVD to my children’s school and ask that all schools in the surrounding county be provided with adequate food allergy education and training.
Every elementary, middle and junior high school in the United States should have a copy of this DVD. If they cannot present it schoolwide, I believe they should at least be able to present the DVD in classrooms of students with known food allergies.
I really appreciate both DVDs in their entirety, but I especially like the hand-washing demonstration showing how allergens are not completely washed away with hand sanitizer, but instead with soap and water. I also liked how Kyle included question and answer quizzes on both DVDs to determine knowledge of not only food allergens but also in what foods allergens may be present. The DVDs presented information not only visually but audibly as well, through Kyle’s songs.
In closing, no matter what the allergy, no matter what type of learner, Kyle Dine and his crew have it covered. If you haven’t explored his website and resources, I encourage you to do so today.
Have you heard of Kyle Dine? Have you purchased and/or used his CDs or DVD to spread awareness and education about food allergies? We would love to hear from you! Please respond in the comments below!