Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sticks and Stones aside …

One of the most hurtful parts of having children with food allergies is the attitudes that some people choose to offer the world. Most of the negative comments we get are innocently ignorant as to just what a food allergy is.

Let’s face it – when we were growing up, we hardly ever heard of a person with a food allergy. We had friends that would get sick to their stomachs if they drank milk, but that was about it. CBC’s health news site claims an estimate of more than 150,000 people in Canada have peanut allergies (2006 statistic) – not to mention the other food-related ones – and cases have been on the rise in the US as well (from 1 child of 29 in 1997 to 1 of 26 ten years later).

However, there are also idiots that are more militant in their ignorance. They find extreme joy in putting others down to build themselves up. We have heard many things, like being called “Food Nazis”, or told that “We take care of our children – you take care of yours and leave mine alone”, or “How dare you tell me what to feed my child”. We’ve even had one child in another kindergarten class chase Liam, taunting that he had peanut butter on his finger.

Thankfully most people at our boys’ school are very understanding, and the parents always ask what they can do to help. We’ve even had some parents go to extra lengths to ensure that they include Liam and invite him to their child’s peanut-safe birthday party. Liam carries a pouch containing his epi-pens, Benadryl, and a cell-phone with our numbers pre-programmed into it, and the teacher has held a practice drill a few times.

There are more studies being done into food allergies and possible treatments. In 2006, the US Department of Agriculture began investigating the possible breeding of peanuts without the offensive protein, and there have been medical studies involving building a resistance. We live in the interim between intolerance and hopeful prevention or cure. The rest is waiting in faith.


  1. oh dear. Taylor is allergic to peanuts and all other nuts as well. We have to carry an epi-pen. She has had it once. She is not airborn though only if injested althought hte pediatricain and the allergy doctor said NO peanuts or nuts in the house! You are right in your post...some people really don't understand how serious this canbe. I am really fortunate that all of Taylor's friends parents call me before giving her anything to eat. She is also really diligent about not eating if she is unsure and she reads the labels herself which is great. If there is peanut butter on someone's table she gets really scared. I have to ask for it to be put away and sometimes that is frustrating because your right, people dod not always understand. Thanks for posting this link! It was really well done! Good job! hope all is well with you and your family! Had a great lunch/visit wtih your sister the other day after church! Was just great! talk to you soon! and keep posting the info

  2. Some people are so self centered they just do not realize that their attitude or approach has the potential of putting a childs life at risk.

    Kudos to the parents who do get it and try to be understanding and co-operative.