You Can Teach Children About Allergies

posted in: Blog Post | 0

With the passing of time, society has slowly started to realize the severity of allergies and the potential in which they can kill. Peanuts have been banned from schools, buses and some public places and followed up with praise from those who require this step to lead a safe life. It’s a step in the right direction to protect the ones that matter the most. The ones that can’t defend themselves and need everybody to watch over them; the children.

And every step taken towards allergy awareness is important.

For the most part, some children don’t understand the fuss that is put over them. It’s both a good an bad thing. If children can be taught about what could kill them, in food form, then they have an easier way to protect them in the future. A smart child coupled with caring adults makes the world of difference.

A good example of the tragedy and triumph of allergies in pop culture is in the television show ‘Freaks and Geeks’ where one character is deathly allergic to peanuts and a bully in the school thinks he is faking and puts peanuts in his sandwich at lunch time. The show was filmed in 1999 but takes place in 1980. Just based on this one series of events, you get a true idea of how far allergy awareness has come. And every step taken towards allergy awareness is important.

Teaching a child at a young age about the food that can harm them is a extremely double edged sword:

One one side, by educating a child, as young as possible that a specific food type could harm them to an scary degree is teaching child to take part in protecting themselves. But, what if knowing to much about what could harm them creates an introvert who refuses to participate in activities? Or creates a little person who is almost ashamed to do anything and doesn’t feel like they will fit in.

On the other side, by not teaching a child about what can harm them and attempting to do it on your own is dangerous. They would have no clue as to what to expect and when/if it happens, it is scary.

“Allergy to peanuts appears to be on the rise in children. According to a FARE-funded study, the number of children in the U.S. with peanut allergy more than tripled between 1997 and 2008.1 Studies in the United Kingdom and Canada also showed a high prevalence of peanut allergy in schoolchildren.” -from the FARE website

No allergy or food intolerance is worse than the other. Each one needs to be taken seriously.

With peanuts taken out of school and the proper care taken in the public, peanut allergy awareness has been elevated to incredible and commendable heights. The awareness surrounding gluten intolerance or celiac disease still needs a lot of work. We can’t be in the classroom with the kids and see what happened when they eat their gluten-free lunch, or say a five year old in kindergarten trying to explain why they can’t share snacks with their desk buddy. Sometimes the misinformed diet (which is also the fad dieter’s gluten-free diet) projects in your family and out onto a your child, which they then repeat to a child who cannot defend themselves when they are made fun of for being gluten-free.

A child with a legitimate and medically diagnosed gluten-free diet can’t share the cupcakes at the school pop and cheap party and shouldn’t really play with the wheat-based plasticine.

It all comes down to the message I received. It broke my heart, and I can’t not think about it.

No allergy or food intolerance is worse than the other. Each one needs to be taken seriously.

a 4 year old saying this to his mom

If you’re an adult who bad mouths allergies or fad diets, do what you want, just be aware of who is around you. If one child hears it and that information trickles down to a fellow student with deadly food issues… the cycle will never stop.

King Gluten Free is a diagnosed celiac since 2008 and his children don’t have allergies or gluten issues, but his family member do. Sometimes all a 4 year old needs is a role model who can’t eat gluten. I want to be there for him. Find Jordan Middlebrook (AKA King Gluten Free) at Instagram by clicking HERE