You Can Teach Children About Allergies

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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

Celiac and Peanut Allergies: An Alliance

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Any way you slice it or anyway you look at it; people diagnosed with celiac disease and people with food allergies (deadly or otherwise) need to stand beside each other.

More often than not you will find an individual who has been diagnosed with celiac disease might also have another food allergy. But, just because you have either or, it doesn’t mean that you can’t support one another. Schools step it up and take peanuts out of the equation to protect those who are in dire need of protection. This is a huge plus, and the right step in the direction of creating awareness for food allergies and eventually food intolerances.

Recently, I met a person who told me that when their children were in school (in the 80’s) they sent peanut butter sandwiches in their lunches. When questioned as to why, especially with the ban on peanuts in the school system, the only answer I got was that peanut butter alternatives and other options were to expensive. For this parent, the only viable option was peanut butter sandwiches everyday. Money was a factor. At that time, who could afford all the other choices for sandwiches?

There is and was a ban for a reason.

But, what kind of person disregards the safety of another child? How often does this sort of thing happen? Does this happen in our 21st century society?

In Canada, 1.52 per cent of children are allergic to peanuts, based on a history of allergic reaction. The comparable figure in the U.S., from a 2002 survey, is .83 per cent, representing an 83 per cent higher rate in Canada. Similarly, the rate of tree nut allergy is about 120 per cent higher for Canadian children: 1.13 per cent have a history of reaction here, compared to .51 per cent in the United States. – Allergic Living, 2010

Our children are always the first thoughts in our head, but what is the price of someone else’s child life? Stopping peanuts from coming into the schools is the first step to prevent terrible things to children and on the grander scale, families. It might cost more to send a sliced meat sandwich to school or a PB substitute, but if a child dies because of one parents disregard, negligence or lack of caring, where does that leave the world? What does that say about how you feel about other people?

Parents protect their children like fierce lions.

Other parents should respect that notion.

If your child had or developed a deadly allergy to something wouldn’t you want others, like parents the community to take all the precautions available to prevent a terrible accident?

Food allergies and people diagnosed with celiac disease need to stand together. Not because its required, but because both can often be misunderstood and both can often come with a poor sense of community understanding. Gluten and peanuts are worlds apart when it comes to allergies, intolerance and immediate threat, but if a governing body ELIMINATES it from schools, you need to take notice.

Eggs, shellfish, mustard, soy; to name a few, that need more understanding in the public. Companies label them to keep the individual consumer informed, but world as a whole needs to know that these types of thing, allergies, need to be taken 100%  serious. Food allergies need to be taken as serious as celiac disease and celiac disease needs to be taken as serious as food allergies.

Food allergies can be deadly.

Every one needs to know that and everyone needs to take that serious.

Celiac disease is serious as well and thats why those with celiac disease support those with food allergies. We all live in the same spectrum of misunderstanding and public negativity, with the same need to just be accepted as people. No one is looking to be singled out, deadly food allergy sufferers and diagnosed celiacs just want proper information to be conveyed to prevent terrible events from happening.

One person’s lack of caring could be one families tragedy.

No one needs that.