Today I went to Blake's Parent-Teacher conference with his preschool teacher. We went over the normal stuff, like how he writes his name and holds his pencil, and we discussed not-so-normal stuff like food allergies.
I brought up that I would love it if maybe parents could not send in candy with valentines, and if any did that maybe Blake's teachers could just hold the candy ones out of Blake's bag. They thought this was a reasonable request and told me that his preschool was thinking of going completely nut free.
I'm obviously all for this.
Blake's teacher has a daughter that avoided all nuts for a while and is still highly allergic to cashews and mangos. She explained that after seeing the severity of her daughter's reactions that she completely understands why food allergy parents have to be so mindful.
Blake's allergies are severe and sensitive. He can't have anything that has even touched a nut, so anything that is made or packaged in shared facilites or on shared equipment is a no-go for us.
Many people don't understand why we can't be more relaxed about it, and my answer is this: I have seen my son have allergic reactions so bad that I never want to see another allergic reaction again.
I tried to look up on youtube for some videos of anaphylactic reactions. I don't know why or how anyone would be able to video an emergency situation like that, but I was curious and I wanted to see if maybe someone had caught it on tape accidentally.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), I couldn't find anything, but I am going to tell you what an anaphylactic reaction to a food can include.
Anaphylaxis is a LIFE THREATENING allergic reaction.
It can occur at any time to any one, but those with history of allergic reaction are obviously more at risk.
Symptoms can develop quickly, within seconds or minutes. My son's reactions to peanuts are instant.
The symptoms of allergic reactions may include any of the following:
Hives and Itching
Itchy or Swollen Mouth
Itchy/Runny Nose or Sneezing
Shortness of Breath/Coughing Repetitively/Wheezing
Becoming Pale, Blue, Faint, or Dizzy
Throat Becomes Tight/Hoarse
Difficulty Swallowing or Breathing
Allergic reactions are scary. We have to keep Benadryl and Epi-Pens/Auvi-Qs on hand at all times.
Please learn how to use Epi-Pens and Auvi-Qs by clicking their names. The videos are short and will help in an emergency situation and could save a life.
You may not know of anyone with severe allergies yet, but that doesn't mean you never will. My husband had his first reaction to shrimp when he was 25, after we had been married for 2 years. His throat swelled up after having crab at a nice steak house and we had no idea what was going on. Now I know the signs to look for and I have educated myself on how to use life-saving epinephrine, and I hope you will, too. You never know when you may need to use it.
To learn more about food allergies, please visit the FARE website. You will find many valuable resources there.