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Reye's Syndrome
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Dick Van Dyke; NRSF Spokesperson
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In 1974, the National Reye's Syndrome Foundation, a children's health advocacy organization, was incorporated as a 501(c)3 charity, with a mission to eradicate the incidence of Reye's Syndrome.

You can learn more about the Foundation's beginnings, our many accomplishments, and the story about Reye's at our Facebook Timeline.

The Foundation supports 3 critical areas:

  • Reye's Syndrome Awareness and Education Programs
  • Services to the Families touched by Reye's Syndrome
  • Research into the Cause and Cure for Reye's Syndrome

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Reye's Syndrome, so most of our efforts to eradicate this disease has to be in Educating and promoting Awareness. Our largest program is our Annual School Mailing.

Each year we reach out to 136,000 schools nationwide with Reye's Syndrome literature, brochures, and flyers. These are then sent home to parents, reminding them of the dangers of Reye's Syndrome and the use of aspirin and aspirin products.

In the early 1980's, when it was discovered that aspirin products could trigger Reye's Syndrome, through the help of research funded by the National Reye's Syndrome Foundation, we immediately pressed the FDA and Congress to apply warning labels to all aspirin packaging. With the help of the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, we distributed Reye's Syndrome educational materials to schools, hospitals and doctors across the US. We developed Reye's Syndrome teaching materials for Doctors and Nurses, so they would know how to diagnose and treat the disease.

Due to these efforts, the incidence of Reye's has dropped dramatically. But our work is not done.

In 2011, we finally convinced the aspirin manufacturers to drop the word "baby" from all aspirin packaging. This was a major milestone for the Foundation, and for children. There is no longer a product called 'baby aspirin', it is now low-dose aspirin, and parents won't misinterpret the product as being safe for infants and children. More children's lives will be saved, just through this one huge accomplishment.

And we are not done. The office phones still ring with frantic parents on the line who did not realize the danger of giving their child aspirin until after the fact. We hear from grandparents who have forgotten about Reye's. We get calls from dads who were not present when the pediatrician warned mom about not giving aspirin to children.

Then there is the Teens and Tweens Self-medicating issue. They self-diagnose, they share medications, they choose aspirin because they think it is the 'safe, wonder drug' promoted as such on TV, Radio, and the Internet. After all, they see mom and dad taking it all the time. What they don't realize are the number of documented Reye's Syndrome cases we see in the fourteen to nineteen year old age group! Most did not survive.

We deal with the Chickenpox Parties issue every year. Well meaning parents don't realize that when they sign up for a Chickenpox party, whether on their block, or on line, they gamble the life of their child. That swab or sucker is contaminated with someone else's body fluids, and then given to a well child, or perhaps an autoimmune compromised child. The horrors evident with this practice can be learned about on our Chickenpox page.

The Internet offers its own set of issues, from all the myths, herbal remedies that contain pure salicylate (aspirin), such as willow bark meadow sweet, and Neem, to incorrect data and directions about dealing with Reye's and aspirin.

We stay very busy. Yet we can not do what we do, we can not eradicate this disease, without your help and support.

Our Board of Directors are all volunteers, as is our Board of Trustees, Scientific Advisory Board, and Medical Director. 98 cents of every dollar we raise goes to Reye's Syndrome Education and Awareness Programs. 2 cents of every dollar goes to administrative programs and needs such as postage, paper and ink.

We do not use 3rd party fundraisers, and we do not telemarket for donations. We do not seek government funding. We rely solely on kind hearted donors who support the mission to eradicate this disease.

We hope that you will support us, too. If you found your answers on this site, if you were educated and made more aware, we ask that you share that information and education with others. We ask you to pass the word; Kids and Aspirin Products Don't Mix!.

Your donation, and or, membership will keep our life-saving programs in effect.

Consider donating, and consider membership. Help save lives.

Awareness - to aid in the early detection of Reye's Syndrome, and to educate the public and medical communities about the risk factor involved with the use of aspirin. To conduct awareness programs, the NRSF has brochures, bulletins, television and radio public service announcements, documentary and video/DVD presentations, widgets, blidgets, an App, websites and a blog.

Service - to give the families experiencing the personal trauma of Reye's Syndrome emotional support and guidance.

Research - to support investigation into the cause, management, treatment, and prevention of Reye's Syndrome, as well as study the impact the disease has had on survivors.

NRSF Yearly Programs NRSF Major Accomplishments
136,000 Annual School Mailing: each year the NRSF mails out a notice to more than 136,000 schools across the United States, reminding School Nurses and Personnel to download our School Package for parents and caregivers.

Baby Fairs and Health Fairs: Every year the NRSF supports Baby Fairs and Health Fairs across the United States with Reye's Syndrome information.

Bi-Annual Newsletter: Twice a year, our 'In The News' comes out with Reye's Syndrome information and updates, once in the Spring and once in the Fall. This publication has been available to members and donors for more than 37 years.

Student Projects: Whether student nurses, or doctors, or junior and senior high students, we support their projects and provide Reye's Syndrome literature and videos free for the asking.

Reye's Syndrome Awareness Month: September is always Reye's Syndrome Awareness month - just in time for kids to go back to school! Working with our School Nurses, we get the word out: Kids and Aspirin Products DON'T Mix!

Membership Drive: Our annual membership drive co-incides with Reye's Syndrome Awareness month, and anyone who joins the Foundation as a member receives a free Reye's Syndrome Awareness ribbon magnet like the one above!

Become a Member and Get a Free RS Ribbon Magnet!

Demanded and lobbied for mandatory warning labels on all over-the-counter medicines containing aspirin.

Produced and distributes the award-winning Reye's Syndrome documentary "Reye's Syndrome: A Real and Present Danger."

Developed and produced television and radio public service announcements featuring National Spokespersons, Dick Van Dyke, and Bill Cosby.

Establishes affiliates located throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.

Produced and distributes a medical DVD entitled "Reye's Syndrome And It's Mimickers"
-- Only available for medical professionals.

Up-to-date websites, blog, widget, and blidgets.

Created the Android App: Aspirin Sense and Sensitivity

Published 4 books: NRSF: A 35 Year Memorial hard copy book, available on our website, and 3 other e-books about Reye's Syndrome and coping with chronic illness and death, available for all e-readers at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Smashwords and where ever ebooks are sold on the Internet.

2011 ~ We worked with the FDA to encourage Bayer ConsumerCare HealthCare to remove the term" baby aspirin" from all marketing and packaging so as not to confuse consumers. Bayer agreed, and as of June 2012 - there will be no aspirin on retail shelves across the United States with the term 'baby aspirin' on the packaging.

Android Apps & eBooks The NRSF Blog School and Health Department Packages - Free! Talking to Tweens and Teens About Aspirin and Other Medications Join the Effort to Eradicate Reye's
We've created an App for the Android phone and tablets all about Aspirin, from lists of products containing and not containing aspirin, to drug interactions with aspirin, to diseases that aspirin negatively impacts...Learn More Our Blog is a great way to learn even more about aspirin and children, and get tips and hints about a range of things all centered around Reye's Syndrome and aspirin...Learn More The Foundation makes a special Reye's Syndrome Information package available to Schools, Health Departments, Human Resource Divisions, and to anyone who would like Reye's Syndrome information...Learn More Helping themselves, and sharing meds is a serious issue with Tweens and Teens. They do not realize the dangers involved, and often think OTC drugs are harmless. Talk to them about drugs, and Reye's... Learn More Through Awareness and Education, we can drastically lower the number of Reye's Syndrome cases. To do this, we need your help...Learn More


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© 1974 - 2013 National Reye's Syndrome Foundation, Inc
All Rights Reserved
In 1974, the National Reye's Syndrome Foundation, a children's health advocacy organization, was incorporated as a 501(c)3 charity, with a mission to eradicate the incidence of Reye's Syndrome.
The Foundation does not receive, nor seek, government funding, and relies on the generosity of donors for support of all programs.
National Reye's Syndrome Foundation 426 N Lewis St. Bryan OH 43506 800.233.7393