An Open Letter From the Mom of a Child with a Food Allergy

As you prepare to send your children to school, if they don’t
have life-threatening food allergies, try to take a second to think of us
parents who do.

I am getting ready to send my son, my only child, off to
school and I am relying on his teacher and other parents and students to keep
him safe so he comes home to me and his dad every night.

It’s terrifying.

Food can kill him. In minutes.

According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), six
million children in the U.S. have food allergies. FARE states that: “Every 3
minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department.”
Since my son’s diagnosis six years ago, we’ve been so
incredibly blessed to have supportive family and friends – and two safe years
at his elementary school – but his world will continue to get a lot bigger.
Seeing memes and comments about being angry with no nut or
no peanut policies and other safeguards the schools are legally required to put
in place – to keep kids like mine safe – is hurtful. They come out every
September, like clockwork.
I know it’s hard to have a picky eater; I have one too. I’m
not without sympathy.
But I am asking, and I think I speak for the many, many other
moms and dads whose children deal with life-threatening food allergies, to just
work with us; ask us questions. Try to have empathy. You are modeling empathy
for your children, too.
As a food allergy parent, I’m asking for your cooperation for
a reason; not to make your life harder.
I’m doing it to have another day, another birthday, another
Christmas, with my son.
It’s that simple. And it’s that important. This year, reach
out to that allergy parent in your child’s class. I’m sure he or she could use
a friend.

Sincerely, An Allergy Mom

Korie Wilkins

Korie is a work at home mom to an energetic little boy. She loves big books, chocolate, writing and crochet. A recovering former journalist, Korie is also a wife, cook and allergy mama. Follow her on Twitter at @koriemw.

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