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Peanut and Food Allergies or Sensitivities
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) reports that peanut allergies are on the rise in children, and many suffer reactions to foods that are not generally known to contain peanuts or peanut oil. Some children are so sensitive, they react to food that has been contaminated just by being prepared in the same area or with the same machines that process peanut products. The FANN group educates parents and professionals about other foods like milk, eggs, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy.
Anyone who has a severe food allergy should keep an up to date EpiPen on hand at home, at school, in the car and at work, just as people with type one diabetes should keep an emergency glucagon kit by their bedside and multiples to keep everywhere they visit.
My son has (insulin dependent) juvenile diabetes and carries a can of apple juice and a peanut butter sandwich with him wherever he goes in case he has unexpected low blood sugar, to avoid an incident where he needs a glucagon injection.
I double wrap the sandwich and he keeps it in an insulated lunch bag with juice and a bottle of water (in case of a high B/G reading).
I do worry that someone nearby with a peanut allergy could be affected by his sandwich but it is the only effective snack that keeps well in all temperatures that he will eat if he is feeling confused or otherwise disoriented due to low B/G.
In elementary school there were 'peanut free' tables for susceptible children, but I recall one student who was so sensitive they had to set up a table away from the others; they also had to wipe that table down with a different clean cloth so it would not be contaminated. As a school community we were glad to make the small accommodations needed to make every student safe, plus it is the law.
No matter what the cause(s), children and adults with food allergies deserve our support and encouragement. They have the potential to make great contributions to society and be great friends, classmates, neighbors, and employers.
Creating safer environments for people with disabilities or chronic health conditions exercises our creativity and ingenuity, giving us greater opportunities to achieve our own individual potentials. They pay the price for our opportunities to accommodate them, so we owe them our thanks, at least.
I am interested to learn how far we have come in protecting those who are living with food allergies at public venues, work and school.
Browse at your local bookstore, public library or online retailer for books and products about Peanut Allergies or other Food Sensitivities
Asthma and Allergies in Early Childhood
Content copyright © 2013 by Pamela Wilson. All rights reserved.
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