Speak Up!

March 19, 2009 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment

When my daughter was diagnosed with severe food allergies, I realized I had a new role to play.  All of a sudden, I became an advocate for children living with food allergies.  I quickly recognized that this environment in which we live, is not safe for my daughter.  In a society in which food is readily available and offered at every event, function, party, classroom, etc. a person with food allergies is at a major disadvantage.  How will people know of your child’s food allergies, especially when you cannot constantly be with them every minute of the day?  I found a good resource while I was researching after my daughter’s diagnosis.  AllergyKids.com is a terrific website with many products available to help ‘be your voice’ when you cannot be there.  For instance, I bought these stickers for our church nurseries that parents put on their child’s back which reminds the teacher/workers of their child’s allergies.  I usually put one on my daughter’s back and try to keep one stuck to the front of her little tote bag so that if something happened, they could find her bag quickly amidst the jackets/other bags hanging on the same hooks in the classroom.  When it comes down to it, time is of the essence!  This website also has other great resources that I would like to see implemented into the children’s classes at our church.  One is this allergy alert that includes the child’s name, picture, specific allergies, signs of an allergic reaction, what to do if there is one, who to contact, etc.  These would be very helpful, especially in situations where the usual teacher is not there that day and someone new is in the class.  It would be beneficial to them and could be life-saving for the child.  There are letters to parents of children in the class telling them of the specific allergies associated with their child’s class and other great resources.  Check it out!  It might be a big help to you and your child at your church, your child’s school or anywhere else.  The allergy alert would even be a great tool to carry in your child’s diaper bag or in your purse so that when traveling or in emergency situations, you could leave that with your child’s caregiver.  Great tool!

The bottom line is that you have to be the voice for your child.  If your child is the only one in his/her surroundings that has allergies chances are most of the people around him are clueless about how serious food allergies are.  Speak up and educate people.  I guarantee your child won’t be the last to have food allergies.  When my daughter was diagnosed, I only knew one child (older than her) with food allergies.  Now, there are at least 4 I know in our church younger than her with food allergies.  Someone has to pave the way!  Take that responsibility.  It could save someone’s life.

Entry filed under: Must-Read Allergy-Related Links, The Caregiver, The Target. Tags: , , , .

On the Border! Sweet Treats!

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