WASHINGTON – There are mixed emotions when parents send a child off to school, but for parents of children with food allergies, the fear can be overwhelming.
This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week. Thanita Glancey with the Loudoun Allergy Network hopes parents know they can work with schools to make sure only safe foods reach the classroom. Glancey knows how stressful this time can be for both parent and child.
“You’re sort of giving up your child to somebody else’s care,” says Glancey. “You’re so used to caring for your child by yourself.”
Glancey says there is food, and therefore danger, everywhere for children, from birthday parties and after school activities to sporting events.
Jen’s daughter has a life-threatening peanut allergy and while she says they’ve worked out a good system at home, she can’t help but be concerned.
“You send them off to school with someone you don’t hardly know and you trust them to keep them safe,” says Jen. “And this is all new to us, to have a new teacher and new surroundings.”
But Jen also says she finds support from other “allergy parents” whom she can talk with through Twitter.
“It keeps me from feeling so alone, and overwhelmed,” says Jen. “Which makes for a big difference on how I’m feeling.”
Food Allergy Awareness Week runs through May 19 and is sponsored by The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. The network offers information and printable resources for those wanting to learn more or educate others.
Additional support and allergy advice is also available from the Loudoun Allergy Network.
To hear parents talk about their children’s experience with food allergies, watch the video below.
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