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Fist to Thigh: A Gesture to Save Lives

Tammy Gingras-Moore is co-owner of Allergy Orchard, Lancaster’s allergy-friendly grocery store, located in Kendig Square, 2600 Willow Street Pike, Willow Street. For more information, call 717-824-4712, email or visit


Food Allergy Research and Education’s (FARE) website reports that up to 32 million Americans have life-threatening food allergies. A person with food allergies may have an anaphylactic reaction, and time is critical in receiving a life-saving injection. 


In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, May 12 through 18, consider learning a life-saving sign. Speaking may be difficult during a reaction, making it hard to ask for help. There is a gesture indicating when someone needs an epinephrine injection.  


Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) calls the gesture Fist to Thigh.” It is performed with a hand closed into a fist and stabbed against the outer thigh, as if giving an injection. The thumb is on top and the little finger hits the thigh. Repeat the gesture with pauses between each motion. Share the sign; the more people who know this sign, the more lives can be saved. 



FAACT created a video to demonstrate this sign. Visit here to watch the video. 


For more information, about FARE, visit For more information about FAACT, visit 


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