So your kid doesn’t have allergies? Please hug a mom who’s family does
Have you heard from other moms who’s kids have allergies? Sometimes the list can seem unending and the ability to accommodate other kids’ with allergies at school or even on a play date is just too much! I mean – who has time for that?
I used to be a mom who thought my kids didn’t have allergies
When my children were younger we lived in a country location (Tall Timbers, MD, USA). They went to a local Montessori school and had no problems with allergies…as far as I could tell. Sure, my oldest had been covered in eczema when she was a toddler, but I thought it was location related…the younger had eczema too, but not as badly — and when we moved away from Lemoore CA in the San Joaquin Valley everything cleared up.
A kid with allergies is coming to our birthday party
Even when I thought my kids didn’t have allergies – I did have sympathy for those kids who do. So I thought myself very clever when I made a milk-free cake for a birthday party for my oldest daughter.
She had a close friend who had a milk allergy and I knew he would be coming to the party so that would be that.
It was…until I put a plate of sandwiches on the table — not realizing that there was milk in the bread. Labels were not my thing in those days, I had two children ages 6 and 4.
The young boy grabbed a sandwich and ate a bite. I remember his mom crying out – “No!”. 10 minutes later he was having an anaphylactic reaction, swollen face, lips (and these days I understand, so much more).
I felt terrible but even then didn’t really understand the nature of allergies
But the universe as always is ready to give us a wake-up call. Since then I have discovered over time that both my children are allergic to all tree nuts and peanuts. The older one is also allergic to
- wool (just found out today).
- eggs cooked by themselves
The younger is allergic to
- all American trees, weeds, grass and some molds
- sesame seed oil
- canola oil
- and recently we found out soybean oil
The dreaded allergies call from school
Until I was an allergy mom I didn’t understand the nature of the fear that parents go through when their kids have allergies that may cause anaphylactic shock and possibly even death.
I got a text today
‘Your child has had an allergic reaction’.
All parents of kids with allergies know that sinking feeling at the call and the fear that immediately follows. I didn’t know it before in those pre-label-reading days, but I do now.
So, when you have a friend who tells you her kids have allergies…
I know it can seem like work and stress to accommodate kids with allergies – but thank your lucky stars that your kids don’t. (And heaven forbid…you should ever be like me and find out that your kids actually do have allergies).
Hug her/him! Tell her that you don’t know the fear yourself, but that you will be as supportive as you know how. Listen to what you need to learn so that you can help keep their children safe too.
Learn from allergy moms/dads/carers
Believe me, it’s a whole new universe. You may even find out lots of information about healthy, additive-free foods that you didn’t know.
And try not to see it as an inconvenience or a restriction to your kids (for example, if there is a ‘no nut’ policy for school packed lunches). Allergies can be life-threatening — and who knows…maybe these kids are here to teach us something – like not to put so many additives in our foods for example.
Hug an allergy parent today!