There are many parties this time of year. Work holiday parties, family holiday parties, school parties, etc. I recently attended my son's school holiday party for his class, and I overheard another parent say to another parent, "it's such a pain to buy a snack with no peanuts in it."
I am sure if this parent has a child with a peanut allergy, she wouldn't be saying that. In fact, I am quite certain she would be extremely upset if she heard another parent say what she said. If she says these types of things in front of her child who does not have a peanut allergy, her child may also become insensitive to another child's peanut allergy. The child may even make fun of another child who has a peanut allergy. In fact, kids with food allergies are often bullied in school.
Food allergies among children have increased by approximately 50% from 1997 to 2011. In the U.S., about 1 child out of 13 has a food allergy.
People who do not have food allergies or do not have children or know people with food allergies can be very insensitive. Many think that allergies can't be that bad. Some even think that food allergies are over-diagnosed. They do not realize that food allergies can be life threatening for those with severe food allergies.
People should educate themselves about food allergies. People with severe food allergies can die if they are exposed to even a small amount of the food allergen. They do not have to eat it to have allergic reactions. The food particle may just be in the air and can trigger allergic reactions. Click here to read article about a girl who suffered a severe allergic reaction to peanuts on a plane after another passenger opened up a bag of peanuts.
Parents who do not have children with food allergies should also talk to their children about food allergies. Help children understand the seriousness of food allergies so that they won't make fun of children with food allergies.
If you are going to a holiday party this season and have to bring a snack, appetizer, etc., that does not contain a food allergen such as peanuts, dairy, etc., just remember that it is a matter of life and death for people who have food allergies. Take the time to read the labels to make sure that you are not the cause of someone suffering a severe allergic reaction because you didn't think an allergy can be that bad.
If you were exposed to a food allergen due to someone's negligence, you may have legal rights. Call Daniel J. O'Brien, a PA and NJ food allergy injury lawyer to schedule a FREE consultation. 877.944.8396
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