I have been reading your posts about all the great ideas for snacks on the go. Some of you are very creative and I appreciate having some novel ideas for our next outing. I just want to plant one little seed for the next time you are packing snacks to go: for the parents of children with severe peanut allergy, peanut butter and other peanut snacks present a life-threatening situation for their children. I know, I have a 4 year old who reacts to the smell of peanuts.
Now before this post turns into a thrash fest, I want you to know that I am writing this in the interest of raising awareness and opening dialogue - not to pit parents against parents. I know that when I take my children to a public place, it poses a threat to my youngest son's health and well-being. I know this, I weighed the risks many years ago when we first learnt how serious his condition is, and I made a decision back then that I will not let his allergies define who he is and allow them to impact all of the positive, normal activities he needs to do in order to grow into a well-rounded, confident person. I take him everywhere - the beach, the playground, the waterpark, everywhere. And I take benadryl and 2 epipens and disinfectant wipes. And I am on high alert every time. I am trying hard to maintain a balance between using reasonable precautions to keep my son safe and being a crazy woman. Some might say it's far too late for the latter, but I know that information and cooperation are far more effective tools in keeping Luc safe than maniacal rants and accusations.
If my son did not have anaphylaxis to peanuts, I would probably never think twice about what I was packing in my snack bags. But he does, and he is the most precious thing to me, so I do what any parent does - do the best I can to keep him safe. But keeping my youngest son safe is a great deal trickier. So on behalf of the thousands of children out there with severe peanut allergy, and their desperately-trying-not-to-be-too-crazy mothers, I simply ask you to try to be aware that there are children whose throats could constrict, preventing them from breathing, and creating a serious, life-threatening situation if they smell or come into even slight residual contact with peanuts. Perhaps wiping their hands and faces after consumption, not eating peanut snacks on play equipment, keeping to your area and not wandering into other family areas with peanut snacks, etc, would be reasonable precautions. Just little things we can all be aware of to reduce risk to any child with this condition.
I think a picture is worth a thousand words, so I am including a picture of my little cutie-patootie, Luc. Thank you for you time and consideration, and I hope you all have a great summer.