Over 8% of children have a food allergy.
Do you know what this number means?
It means that on average, over 2 children in every classroom has a food allergy… remember when there was only one child in the whole school?
As more and more food allergies are becoming life threatening, this is a problem that every parent with a child in elementary school needs to be aware of. Why every parent? Because at the elementary school level, children are not able to manage their own hygiene or rules around eating. All it takes is one sticky peanut butter finger to touch a door knob…
It is a huge leap of faith for a parent to send their young, allergic child to school. It is the ultimate trust exercise. I believe that as a community we need to honour that trust.A lot of parents who are blaze about the problem, when questioned, realize that they would be devastated if their actions caused another child harm. So it is simply a matter of education, to ensure understanding and empathy on the subject.
As we start the new year, it is a perfect time to educate and remind everyone why they should not send their kids to school with peanuts or nuts in their lunches. And as a parent of an allergic child, it is also time to say thank you to all the schools, parents and communities who support families like mine.
Have a happy and safe 2017 everyone!