I saw a report on Good Morning America yesterday morning that a first grader from Salem, Oregon saved his friend from having a severe allergic reaction after eating Nutella at lunch in school.
The friend was a 6 year-old boy, who was severely allergic to tree nuts. If he eats tree nuts, he has an immediate allergic reaction which can include swelling and having hives all over his body. He also can suffer anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.
The 6 year-old boy thought a friend's Nutella spread was chocolate and ate it. He soon began to feel funny in his stomach. That's when his 7 year-old friend noticed something not right with him and picked up the Nutella to read the nutrition label. He immediately saw that the third ingredient was hazelnut and realized that his friend was having an allergic reaction. He knew about his friend's tree nut allergy since becoming friends with him in kindergarten.
The 7 year-old boy alerted the teacher about his friend, who then brought the friend to an office and administered medication provided by the family. Fortunately, the boy only suffered from hives as a result.
When I saw this, I was utterly amazed at the fact that a 7 year-old's first reaction was to read the nutrition label to help his friend. He was aware of his friend's tree nut allergy and sprang into action.
This story made me think about how we, as adults, parents and teachers, need to learn from this 7 year-old boy and be aware of children with food allergies. Though I am fortunate that my 2 young boys do not have any food allergies, I am always aware and sensitive to their friends who may have a food allergy.
I often have my kids' friends come over for play dates, and I typically serve snacks and drinks to the kids. I always make sure to ask the parents if the kids have any food or nut allergies.
My son's preschool does not allow children to bring food with peanuts in it to protect children with a peanut allergy. However, there are times when parents, whose kids do not have a peanut allergy, bring peanut butter and jelly by mistake. Though it is purely a mistake, it can have serious and fatal consequences and cost an innocent life.
As parents, even if your kids do not have food allergies, be mindful of school rules and make sure that you are not letting your kids bring prohibited foods such as peanut butter.
If parents, teacher and restaurant business owners are not aware of food allergy issues, a life can be lost. There can also be legal ramifications for the negligent party.
Unfortunately, children with food allergies can still ingest foods that trigger allergic reactions in restaurants or parties as a result of someone else's negligence.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious illness as a result of ingesting or coming into contact with tree nuts or peanuts, feel free to contact our food allergy lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation at 877.944.8396. Our law firm has the experience and resources to handle food allergy cases against food manufacturers, restaurants and more.
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