Thanks to NNMG Allergic Families Forum for sharing this excellent
overview of important areas to be considered, discussed and acted upon to
ensure the health and safety of children with allergies going back to school.
Mary Katherine Starr-Proulx shared a post.
gdYesttSironercdasy aht 5r:1n3d PM · It’s that time of year again, when parents begin planning classroom parties and events. It’s highly likely you will receive a note from school that certain allergens must be avoided in your child’s lunches and/or class party menus. Your initial reaction might be one of irritation and eye-rolling. I totally get it; what a hassle! However, regardless of how you feel on the inside, please remember you have a CHOICE in how you respond out loud in front of your kids. Your words matter and this is an incredible opportunity to teach your kids some invaluable life lessons.I’ve listed some practical alternative responses and the lessons they’ll help teach:
1. Education – “Do you know what food allergies are? Did you know kids can get incredibly sick or even die with a single bite? Sometimes it can even happen from touching it.”
2. Compassion and empathy – “How do you think Susie might feel in a cafeteria full of potentially dangerous foods? (Scared, anxious) How do you think you would feel at the class party if you were the only one who couldn’t eat the yummy dessert everyone else was eating? (Sad, left out, embarrassed)
3. Inclusion – “Joey’s Mom gave us a list of safe snacks for the party, which one should we pick? Isn’t it great that he gets to participate? Having him at the party is way more important than the food, huh?”
4. Sacrificing your own comfort for a friend – “You get to have cookies or cupcakes any time you want. I’m proud of you for going without them this one time. How did it feel to see how happy Sally was to be included?”
5. Healthier relationship with food – “The holidays are about friends and fun. The focus shouldn’t be on the food anyway, right?”
6. Gratitude for their own health: “You know, we’re really fortunate that we can eat whatever we want and always feel safe at mealtime. Aren’t you thankful for that?”Please don’t miss these lessons by choosing to grumble about not getting to pack PB&J sandwiches or not being allowed to bring cupcakes to a class party. EVERY child has the right to be safe and protected at school. It’s scary releasing our food-allergic kiddos into the public school classroom. On behalf of all parents of food-allergic children, thank you for choosing empathy and inclusion this school year and leading your kids to show the same! ALL of our kids are better for it. #HRmom#foodallergies#repost (Photo of my 3rd grader after anaphylaxis from a single bite of a green bean. This is how we discovered his new bean allergy.)