I know, a harsh title. But that is what I thought of after reading the article, “A Plea for My Daughter,” in this month’s Newsweek magazine.
If you haven’t read the article, check it out. Rebecca King found out 6 months ago that her five-year-old daughter, Lydia, has a severe peanut allergy. Luckily, she came across the allergy as an “accident.” She had taken Lydia to an allergist for asthma, but walked out with the peanut allergy diagnosis.
Rebecca is going through what many allergy parents go through on a daily basis; understanding why saving your child’s life is an inconvenience to so many others. You feel guilty because you have to lecture a parent every time your child goes to a party. But that guilt doesn’t outweigh your child’s safety, not by a long shot.
There is a lot of backlash that comes from other parents who don’t really understand food allergies. Which I find really surprising because I feel pretty confident that if Rebecca’s daughter was at a pool party and she started to drown, any adult there would dive into that water to save her. And not one would talk about being “inconvenienced.” So, why all the eye-rolls and blasé attitudes about foods that threaten her life?
Maybe I have too much faith in humankind, but I have to think that it comes boiled down to a lack of understanding. So, the next time a parent rolls their eyes or becomes annoyed with you, try to take the time to sit down and chat with that parent. Maybe better awareness will make him/her think twice the next time he/she hears “my child has a food allergy.”