Followers

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 22-23

I recently read an article in a medical journal comparing the quality of life between a food allergy and type 1 diabetes as the same. Although I can see the generalized reasoning, I was surprised that the medical advisors in this journal would even put that comparison together for the readers. Common knowledge of food allergies is so rare in the general public. Even though everyone seems to have heard of a child in someone's class that has a peanut allergy, I have yet to meet one single person that has heard of an anaphylactic milk protein allergy, unless it was a family living with it. So I think it is a mistake to take an unknown condition and couple it with a known condition, and then say they are about the same in comparison. This just leads to more confusion when, I think, these medical journals have a great platform to initiate social responsibility for food allergies. What I mean by "social responsibility" is that as a society we should watch out for one another.

I was at the park with my daughter last year when a Mom's group showed up with their children and served them Go-Gurt Yogurt packets. The kids ran throughout the park with these snacks in hand so I approached the Mom's, stated my case about my child's food allergy, and politely asked if they could eat at the picnic table so my child could play safely. I was told no. This was when I began to think about social responsibility. I cannot imagine any scenario that I would say "no" to regarding stopping an action I was doing because it could harm another's life. I was floored. I'm constantly told how I cannot expect change, or people to make an effort, or anything positive to the case about food allergies. Social responsibility requires little effort --- just a commitment to try to think about if you are putting a child in harms way by your actions,  then communicating that information with the child's parent giving them the opportunity to leave an unhealthy situation. Sharing information with a FA parent helps us keep our children safe. It is so simple. It's not about other's having to care for our children or assume the responsibility. I'm grateful to the people I've met that do try. I'm optimistic that others can catch on. The more I hear about what I cannot expect, the more I see the need for further advocacy for the people living with life threatening food allergies.