*This post comes with a disclaimer – *I HAVE AN ALLERGY KID and secondly *MOST ALLERGY PARENTS I KNOW ARE NICE NORMAL PEOPLE WHO GET IT BUT THE ONES WHO DON’T ARE SPOLIING IT FOR EVERYONE.
Once upon a time in a land far far away……..four pretty epic allergy stories happened.
- A child came home from school pretty upset about Pancake Day at school. Most other classes were allowed to have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday but his class were not allowed because the teacher felt bad that the allergy kids couldn’t eat the Pancakes. His siblings got pancakes but he didn’t. His mother told him to toughen up and deal with it. So he did. It’s a pity the allergy kids couldn’t do the same.
- A mother went on an excursion and was given bags of lollies for the 6 year olds she was charged with. She had two types of lollies, one for the non allergy kids and some type of all natural, no sugar, no glucose lollies for one allergy kid.
When she went to give the lollies out, the allergy kid held her hand out for a normal lolly. With PLENTY of hands in the circle, the mother didn’t think the 6 year old would put her hand out for a normal lolly because the little child KNEW there were special lollies for her BUT SHE DID AND THE MUM DIDN’T SEE HER HAND TAKE ONE AND THE KID ATE THE NORMAL FRIGGING LOLLY.
The excursion mother nearly had a heart attack but it turns out the kid wasn’t allergic at all, her mother was simply a health nut who feared her child would turn into a jelly baby if she ate one. The neurotic mother had everyone convinced that the kid was allergic. The kid was so controlled that Mum wasn’t even letting her eat a harmless lolly on a school excursion (yes, judging).
- The third thing that happened (in this land FAR FAR FAR away) were 30 little kids who were studying Thailand as a subject at school. As part of this topic, the school did an annual walk down to the local Thai restaurant. With many kids having older siblings they ALL looked forward to this excursion. The year these kids were heading off, ONE mother called up and complained that her child was allergic to peanuts and therefore it was unfair that he wouldn’t be able to eat anything. The excursion was cancelled forevermore.
- The last incident started in 1982 when a mother realized it was a frighteningly hot day at her daughter’s local school athletics carnival. She turned up with 300 ice blocks for every student in the school. 31 years later her daughter remembered how cool it was that Mum did that and she called her children’s school to see if she could do the same on what was a 45+ degree day. The answer was no. Why? Allergy kids.
I will say first and foremost that I totally understand and respect the no peanut policy across all schools and pre-schools. I have been in my own house and seen what peanuts did to my little cousin who is severely allergic. It’s FRIGHTENING and it can kill in minutes. If we didn’t have an epi pen in the house, God only knows what would have happened. The question is, however, will it stop at a peanut ban or are we already at a point where egg, banana, dairy, wheat and other things will be banned too?
After consulting Dr Google, the reasons why we have more allergy kids than ever before are because:
1: We’re too hygienic
2: The Western Diet (additives and pesticides used in fresh and packages foods)
3: Genetically modified foods (mostly in packaged foods)
4: New Milk proteins
5: Chemical cleaners
6: Food avoidance – building no resistance
7: C-Sections (Yep, a study of 40,000 families showed that babies born via c-section were five times more likely to have allergies)
Whatever the reasons, we cannot be intolerant of kids with allergies. It sucks and it’s NOT their fault, shit happens and it’s not fair that shit happened to them.
My gripe is not with allergy kids, it’s with their over bearing helicopter parents who have become fun spoilers for everyone. Why does an entire class have to miss an excursion because little Jonny can’t eat peanuts or an entire school miss an ice block because Jack is allergic to emulsifiers? When do the parents teach the children that their condition means the kid may miss out?
My 3 year old is allergic to almost ALL emulsifiers and most dairy products. That means no cakes (birthday cakes are a no go) and very few packaged goods. He’s slowly but surely worked out that the tingle on his tongue, swelling of his throat and impending asthma attack simply aren’t worth a few short seconds of chocolate pleasure. He’s never been the easiest child to raise but when it comes to what he can and can’t eat, he just gets it and we have been very consistent ALL THE TIME. He understands that he misses out on cake and he is fine with it.
Rather than teaching their children from a young age what they can and can’t eat, kids are arriving at school with NO LIFE skills whatsoever and are never exposed to foods they may one day have to say no to. These parents are ON THE PHONE TO SCHOOLS all the time complaining that Little Jonny may be exposed to an egg on pancake day and they’re not giving their kids ANY sense of responsibility to take care of their own allergy.
So the solution? Teach the children to deal with their allergy, its causes, symptoms and treatment. Give them REAL SKILLS on how to cope in the REAL WORLD because school is only a short time and high schools are WAY less allergy friendly than primary schools.
If food can’t be opened or eaten in the classrooms due to allergies, then let the kids out onto the playground and make the pancakes there and Jonny can stay inside.
If we have to cancel all school activities because some kids may miss out then I really think we need to consider:
- Cancelling all swimming carnivals because some kids may drown because they can’t swim.
- Cancelling all athletics carnivals because some kids may have asthma attacks and stop breathing.
- Cancelling all academic awards because all the sports kids may feel dumb and get depressed that someone is smarter than them.
You get the idea, where does it stop?
This lies with the parents. Start being sensible and stop being fun spoilers for others. When my 3 year old gets to school I’m not going to try to ban birthday cakes because he can’t eat them.