Having a child with a life threatening allergy is terrifying.
Luckily, my son is 13 now and he is very safe about what he eats and reads labels and will politely decline anything that may contain nuts.
When I was young, I didn’t know anyone with allergies. I mean, I told everyone I was allergic to bee stings just so no one would laugh at my completely over the top reaction when a bee comes near me, but we never heard about peanuts, gluten, eggs, dairy allergies.
These days many schools are completely nut free. While I am not happy that so many of us have to squint to read labels so often, I am thankful that there are enough of us to warrant nut-free factories and nut-free schools which can help keep our minds at ease.
Every year in September or October as little ones start to go to school and families learn about all the things they can’t bring to school, the great debate comes up. Someone always complains that peanut butter is the only thing their child likes and how grossly inconvenient it is for their family. Why should an entire class, or worst, an entire school, have to accommodate ONE (or two, or three) child by punishing everyone else? Shouldn’t the child learn to regulate themselves – isn’t that their responsibility?
I cannot participate in the discussion rationally, as my child’s life is at stake. Therefore, no matter how completely irrational it is, if it makes my child’s life safer, I support it.
The good news about allergies is that at times they can be grown out of, and we are due for our next appointment in August (pediatric allergies are so widespread that it is at least a 6 month wait to see an allergist) and here’s hoping we get the all-clear, although I doubt after 13 years of steadfastly avoiding nuts that my kid will want to suddenly hit the JIF jar!