For parents of children with food allergies, mealtime can be a source of great trepidation. For parents whose children don’t suffer from allergies, navigating the world of school lunches can be a challenge, too. The days of packing a PB&J without giving it a second thought are well behind us, and for good reason: according to Anaphylaxis Canada, approximately 1.3 million Canadians currently suffer from food allergies.
For kids with food allergies, being “different” can be downright heartbreaking. Imagine being the only kid at a birthday party who can’t eat any cake because the ingredients in it could cause a fatal allergic reaction. That’s why Allergy Awareness Month is so important: not only does it serve to help kids with allergies understand that they’re not alone, but it also helps kids without allergies (and their parents) understand what their peers are going through. And when you understand the potential severity and implications of food allergies for kids, suddenly checking the label on a pack of granola bars to make sure they’re nut-free makes a lot more sense.
If you’re looking for more information about food allergies, The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network website is a great resource, including information on education, awareness and new research. Anaphylaxis Canada also features a section on their site called Safe4Kids, which features games and stories specifically for kids with food allergies, plus a printable poster that they can hang in their classroom to show other kids what to do when someone is having an allergic reaction.
Be sure to check out these stories about food allergies, too:
• Detecting Food Allergies
• Kids’ Food Allergies Are Not Nuts
• Why Food Allergies Are on the Rise
• Anaphylaxis Basics: When Allergies Can Turn Deadly
Do your kids suffer from food allergies? What’s been your biggest challenge?