(If you haven’t done so, I suggest reading Part 1 first)
My biggest frustration in dealing with children’s food allergies is people that just don’t understand how serious they can be.
Several times a year, usually around a holiday, I’ll see somebody make a comment on Facebook like, “You can still make treats for little Johnny’s class? We can only bring pre-packed ones. It’s so stupid. How much fun is that!”
Comments like that are upsetting. Food allergies can be life threatening. Let me say that another way. If someone with a peanut allergy eats a peanut THEY COULD DIE! Their body could go into anaphylactic shock making it hard to breath. Without a quick dose of medicine from an EpiPen their life could be in danger.
Food allergies are on the rise but researchers aren’t exactly sure why. According to Food Allergy Research & Education 1 in every 13 children have a food allergy. They also share that every 3 minutes a reaction to a food allergy sends someone to the emergency room.
I’m sure that if most people realized just how serious food allergies could be they wouldn’t be so quick to make off-handed comments about schools and their policies regarding homemade treats.
Our school still allows them but that really doesn’t concern me. My daughter’s teachers have always been extremely vigilant about making sure she stays safe. Her classmates (and their parents) are always very cautious too. And my daughter remembers her last exposure, so if there is ever any doubt as to whether she can eat something she’ll pass. I can’t remember where we picked up the saying but a good rule to follow is, “No package? No thank you”.
I plan on writing an upcoming piece on specific ways our family has dealt with my daughter’s allergy. How to read food labels. Substitute foods she eats and overall tips that have helped us. If you, or someone you know is affected by food allergies, I’d love to incorporate your thoughts. Leave a comment or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org