Thursday, October 03, 2013

Food Allergies

  I would like to thank the Texas legislator who was so upset that his daughter could not have cupcakes at school on her birthday that he snuck in wording into a completely unrelated bill to make it LAW that kids can bring birthday treats. Yep, he deserves a great big hug from this Mama. NOT!

  You see, as the parent of a child with food allergies, I have to work really hard to protect my son. We are lucky and Ahren's allergies do not seem to be life threatening at this point, but I would kind of like to keep it that way. When they have scheduled parties at school I can prepare him and coordinate with the teachers to have things that are safe for him to eat. I have no idea when a parent might bring birthday treats for the class. The only way we can think to keep him safe is that he cannot participate at all.

  So Mr. Smartypants Legislator, your daughter can now bring whatever she likes for birthday treats, but kids like my son will have to sit and watch as everyone else gets to enjoy them. Worst case scenario is a child with allergies gets too close to or does eat the treat and ends up in the hospital or dead. There was a valid reason for changing the rules about snacks and treats. Reasons that involve life and death for some children.

  Instead, you got your undies in a bundle because your child didn't get to hand out cupcakes at school. Why didn't you just explain to her why the rules were that way? Why didn't you teach her that it's more important to keep kids safe than for her to have cupcakes? Why didn't you use this as a teachable moment to show her that it's not all about her in life, that others need to be considered? This is the most colossal parent FAIL! He failed to teach her simple humanity and is putting other kids at risk.

  I was at the school today when a Mom brought in cupcakes. Pistachio cupcakes. For a class with a child that has severe nut allergies.  No one knew what to do because it is a freakin LAW. They ended up calling the allergic child's Mom and getting permission to remove the child from the class for the last 15 minutes of the day at which time they served the cupcakes.  I suppose afterwards the teacher had to stay and clean the room really well since even brushing against a product containing nuts is dangerous to this particular child.

  It's not easy to keep kids with allergies safe. At the first class party after Ahren was diagnosed I carefully prepared him a bag of party treats that were safe for him to eat. I would have liked to have been at the party but had to work. The teacher knew everything and I trusted her completely. That night as I unpacked Ahrens backpack, I found the goodie bag untouched. I asked him what he ate at the party and he began to list off things he absolutely could not have. Turns out that the Mommy helper decided to make him a plate of food when she saw he didn't have one. She set it in front of him and told him to eat it so he did. It took 5 days before his belly stopped cramping and bloating. Now I stick a sticker on his shirt that says, "Do Not Feed Me, I have Allergies. I guess I need to put that on his shirt every day now. Maybe I can just get some shirts printed up with that.....

1 comment:

Reba said...

Oh no. I am so sorry! That is one thing I am thankful for here. Parents cannot bring in birthday treats. As a teacher (and a mom), I am SOOOO thankful for that! I don't miss that at all. My child doesn't have true allergies but he has sensitivities (dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives). They aren't life or death unless you count really bad behavior (and the consequences) as such... :) Anyway, I always try to have good foods for him to eat, something similar. Just today a parent surprised the class with a box of fruit snacks. (It wasn't a birthday) Thankfully I had a bag of acceptable candy in my room but I still felt bad. :( I try to keep things similar. Sigh.