This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week and for what it's worth, as a mother of a son with severe food allergies, I compiled a top ten list of things I have learned along the way, about myself, the process, and myself in the process.
Top Ten Food Allergy Lessons
1. The process sometimes stinks, but you have to be vigilant.
2. Don't expect the world ( and by that I mean the average public) to fully comprehend your fear because most of them don't. Once you release that anger, you will be more productive.
3. Don't approach anything with guns blazing. I tried that at first and it only backfired with much alienation from the ones I needed help from.
4. Approach schools, camps, etc...with a sane persona, and a do-able plan.
5.While it's important to educate those who are with your child on a daily basis, don't forget to educate your child! No matter what age, it's imperative that they know how to advocate for themselves because sometimes even the adults (unfortunately) don't get it.
6.Try not to let your fear overwhelm you or your child. I have a child who is anxious by nature and I see how my own anxiety fuels his. It is definitely a lesson in patience.
7.Make sure you and your spouse are in sync with each other on this issue.
8.Find something you love to do that doesn't have anything to do with food allergies. We get so caught up managing our children's food issues we often lose our former selves.
9.Stay educated...but don't overdo it. Stick to reputable websites like allergymoms.com and FAAN.
10.Just remember,we can't keep our kids in a bubble, (though if we could, I would be in the bubble alongside my kids with a full time chef and personal trainer, and maybe a hunky celebrity, ha) but that doesn't mean we can't insure their safety.
Thanks for being aware!
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