It seems like every day we hear another story of an unfortunate accident that took someone’s life, but it’s never more saddening than when it happens to a youngster. Cameron Fitzpatrick, home on spring break from his freshman year in college, tragically lost his life last week after eating a cookie with peanut oil, to which he was allergic. Is there someone to blame for this? The answer is no. Cameron was well aware of the severity of his allergy and even had his friend taste the cookie to make sure there was no peanut butter in it. It’s a story we hear too often these days.
Sadly, food allergies seem to be increasingly commonplace in today’s youth. So what can you do to help? As adults, it is our responsibility to ensure the children in our lives react with sensitivity to those around them with allergies. We should teach them that if someone has an allergy, it should be taken seriously. This is not just a matter of someone developing a rash; serious cases lead to life and death consequences.
You might want to remind your kids to keep an eye out for others who have allergies. They should be taught that allergies are a big deal to those who have them. Children with allergies can be easy targets for bullies and should never be pushed into eating something they don’t think is safe. As a friend to someone with an allergy, children can help each other keep an eye out for things that shouldn’t be eaten and, if they are ever unsure, they should always err on the side of caution and ask a teacher, parent or trusted adult to help them.
Cameron’s mother told ABC News that she hopes kids learn to be their own biggest advocate and if they have any kind of allergy, not to take it for granted. Never be afraid to inquire, always ask about any uncertain food or product.
Kids should also know about the fun and tasty options out there! Places like Sweet Alexis and Peanut Free Planet cater solely to people with allergies. At www.peanutfreeplanet.com you can purchase yummy treats for every holiday and occasion that your kids will love! The fabulous goodies at www.sweetalexis.com are just as good as homemade and are dairy, egg, peanut, and tree nut free! Who knew sweets could taste this good?
Do you have a suggestion for how to help Lucky Kat World parents teach kids about interacting with those with allergies, or how to stay vigilant if they themselves are allergic? Share them here, along with other tips on special foods!