My husband and I don’t talk about our son’s food allergies very often. It has become part of our daily living so unless we think he has reacted to a food or had a reaction we can’t pinpoint, it is only then, that we talk about it. But, we were in the kitchen discussing a friend’s recent diagnosis of her under 1 year old. He said to me that she was lucky to have a friend to talk to who has gone through the same thing. “Better than some of his friends”, he says. Of course, I inquired. I have always felt that our friends have been understanding and especially accommodating at parties and other social events. But when he said that, it both upset me and made me angry.
Unfortunately, we are likely to come across people who may not take food allergies seriously but it is the way we handle these situations that will help our children and the awareness of the wider community. The more we share our stories and explain the importance and severity of food allergy, the more it will become commonplace for people to ask questions and accommodate our children’s needs.
It is SO incredibly important for family, friends and the general pubic to take Food Allergy seriously. We did not wish this upon our child and all of us would do anything to change it. Having to be vigilant around something that is a basic human need, eating, is not easy. Vigilance is time consuming as it constantly requires planning, checking and reminding.
It is disappointing to hear that Food Allergy is misunderstood and perhaps not appreciated as potentially life-threatening.
We have a long way to go with education, empathy and awareness and it’s comments like these that drive my passion to provide support to our ‘allergy community’ and educate everyone else.