I have posted so much about my daughter’s food allergies as well as other health and medical problems that we have endured. Between the MRSA, the asthma and various lesser food allergies, peanuts is the worst. I have a child that will someday be away from my ever watchful eyes and at the mercy of teachers and other children whose lunchboxes are filled with peanut butter sandwiches or tempting candy that may or may not contain the tiniest bit of peanut that would send my baby into anaphylactic shock.
Knowing that the day will someday come, I have gone on a one woman crusade of how not enough is done to protect schoolage kids in the way of educational materials for teachers and parents. I have spent many hours on the telelphone requesting meetings with school officials to talk about the dreaded peanut allergy. I have asked that they:
- Consider the use of allergy buttons
- Classroom door signs
- Send notes home to ask parents to refrain from sending peanut containing foods to school with their kids
- Compile and distribute a list of peanut free foods
Those suggestions might seem over the top to parents whose children have no such problems, but please put yourself in the position of a mother who has lost her child to an allergic reaction.
Some considerate parents say that even though their children have no symptoms of peanut allergies, they always check the contents labels so that they don’t put an allergic child in danger. And then I’ve been slammed by some who say it’s not their responsibility to keep allergic kids from dying. Their attitude is that it’s a personal problem and that their kids should not be deprived of peanut butter because it might kill somebody sitting next to them.
As a person who would crawl across hot coals and broken glass to save another person’s child if I could, this has been a painful realization of how desensitized many people have become to other people's problems. What ever happened to the charitable and caring concepts of "Do unto others" and "Don’t judge until you walk a mile in another person's shoes"?
Would these same parents be alright with their child being surrounded by guns, knives or illegal drugs? Of course they would say no and my reply would have to be that any of the three shocking items I just mentioned may in fact be LESS DEADLY to a child with a peanut allergy than the lunch they send to school with their kids.
I’m not ramping up a crusade against the peanut industry as there are all kinds of food allergies peanuts are just one albeit a deadly one. Before I had a baby with a peanut allergy I enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as much as the next person but not enough to risk somebody’s death.
Even if you are lucky enough not have to deal with kids' food allergies in your own home, please educate yourself by visiting any of these informational sites.
Peanut Allergy Information
Mayo Clinic's page on various allergies including peanuts
Food Allergy Information
Return to Oooh Baby Baby Parenting and Environmental Issues for more information on this topic and other subjects of interest to new parents.