My 3 yr old daughter has an egg and peanut allergy. It has been an educational and tough experience in dealing with my daughter’s allergies, keeping her safe, and working with her caretakers and friends and family to make sure she is protected.
I have found some hardships in sharing how to protect her from her allergies with our close friends and family. Most of the time they think I am overreacting or being too paranoid about checking the food to keep her safe.
But they don’t realize the extraneous dangers. They don’t live our days. Birthday parties, Christmas stockings, Easter egg hunts, Halloween parties are all just events that they attend without a thought of danger for their kids. I see danger in every class party, in every holiday event, in every bite of food. Which is why we need to respect every bite.
They don’t see my daughter’s sad face when she is left out of a “food art” project at school or when she can’t eat a birthday cupcake in her class from another student. They don’t see their child’s pain from being left out or perceived as different due to her food allergy.
They don’t panic when traveling and planning meals. They don’t have to locate the hospitals before going places. They don’t overhear their daughter about baking peanut free cookies so they are safe for her and her stuffed animal to eat. And her asking at every meal “does this have nuts or eggs in it?” which is a wise question for someone so young.
There is so much education that we have to share and give to our community. It’s so more than just “not giving our child a peanut butter sandwich” and that is why I am so glad that Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta is here.
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with a food allergy, you are not alone.
Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta was created to support families who manage food allergies, educate those who care for our children, and create a safer environment in the local area for food allergic individuals.
We are parents of food allergic children and advocates in our community, raising awareness on the importance of food allergy prevention and the seriousness in food allergy reactions.
Food Allergy is an immune system response. It occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food — usually a protein — as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. Food allergy symptoms develop when the antibodies are battling the “invading” food.
Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, and the amount of food necessary to trigger a reaction varies from person to person and can even be triggered by just a trace amount of an allergy-causing food. Symptoms of a food allergy may include:
Rash or hives
Shortness of breath
Swelling of the airways to the lungs
Anaphylaxis (a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction)
“There is no cure for food allergies.”
“Food allergies are increasing.”
“To successfully manage a food allergy, ones diet and lifestyle must change.”
“About 12 million (1 in 25) Americans have a food allergy…children are the largest group affected.”
“Peanut allergy in children doubled in a 5-year period from 1997-2002″
“Teens account for almost half of food allergy fatalities. Ages 10 thru 29 account for three quarters.”
“Impact is broad: family, friends, classmates, etc..”
“Fear and anxiety are common among parents of children with food allergies. Parents live each day knowing that just one bite of the wrong food could cause a potentially fatal reaction”
Together we can…….
Educate, Advocate, and Support
The above information was gathered from the following resources:
Also, join us for the Food Allergy Walk in Atlanta on October 2. Money raised will help research food allergies and anaphylaxis of which there is currently no cure. There is also a blog about the walk. There will be lots of fun festivities after the walk in Dunwoody, GA as well.
My 18 month old daughter had a reaction this week to peanut butter. We think she has a food allergy and went to the doctor. He prescribed an epi-pen for emergency and told us to restrict feeding her any nuts at all and get a blood test when she turns 3. I still want to go to an allergist and get an opinion from a specialist.
I did some research for first time parents with children with food allergies – here are some great links:
New diagnosis (great web site – Parenting a Child with a Food Allergy)
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)
Kids with Food Allergies
MedicAlert Food Allergy Resources
Good luck and I will post as I discover things.