I am putting foward a plea for all parents of anaphylactic children to be compassionate and considerate towards each other.
Out of all the people on this planet, only those who have anaphylaxis or raise anaphylactic children can truly comprehend the desperation we feel, in trying to avoid exposure to allergens. It doesn’t matter whether the trigger is nuts, dairy, eggs, bees or latex,….etc. The end result is the same to the individual who is allergic. Anaphylaxis is anaphylaxis – the most severe form of allergic reaction which can be life-threatening.
As you know anyone can be allergic to anything, to any extent, it just so happens that 8 food substances make up 90% of all food allergies. Remember, everything else make up the remaining 10%. No one food is more dangerous than the next, it just depends on what an individual will react to. Most people have heard of “the nut allergy”, without understanding that the same immunological reaction can occur with dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, seafood or any other substance for that matter. Minute traces left on toys, dishcloths or even taps are enough to trigger a reaction, whatever the trigger may be. We all know this.
My mind is still spinning from our “trial” preschool last month. There was a child who was anaphylactic to peanuts, and the center banned all nut products, even down to the “may contain” statements. The parents knew what a risk nuts were to their child and sought help from every other parent at the center to protect their child, and avoid a life threatening situation. Knowing what an allergen can do to a person with anaphylaxis, knowing that Declan was attending the center, knowing that dairy would cause a life threatening episode if contact was made, those parents continued to send dairy every day.
I can understand it when people are completely oblivious to the risks. But it was a bitter disappointment to discover that someone who knows EXACTLY what we go through every time we leave our yard, shows the same ignorance. How can they expect an entire community to accommodate them, when they are not prepared to show the same courtesy to some one else. It was not nice to put a person in the very same situation they worked so desperately to avoid for themselves.
We want, need and expect others to understand, embrace and accommodate for each of our situations. We really need to show the same grace towards each other. Our kids need to know that others are afflicted with the same restrictions and we should look after them as well as ourselves.
I have always felt that it is a great opportunity for parents to teach their kids tolerance, consideration and compassion when they learn about our kids and their allergies. We have learnt along the way that only a very small percentage of people think like this, so we really need to support each other.
Please show compassion and consideration for each other, we are all going through the same thing.