Thanks to everyone who participated in my poll, "What's Your Biggest Challenge as a Nut-Free Parent?"
Here's what you had to say:
According to the numbers, the most difficult challenge was "educating others about your child's food allergy." 33% of you voted for this one.
Coming in second was "Restaurants" (23%) followed by "School"(19%) and then, unfortunately, "Family members and friends who don't get it" (14%). "Travel" weighed in at 9%.
Nobody voted for "Child care" or "Play dates" which leads me to believe that many of the respondents are the parents of very young kids. When our kids are preschool age or younger, we have a much bigger hand in controlling their environments. And most preschools these days seem to be nut-free. It seems that once we get out of that realm is when we feel challenged.
I'm sorry to hear that family members, especially, aren't "getting it." The way to deal with that is by gently educating them and of course, not leaving our children with them (alone) until we're sure they do get it. I would hope that grandparents and close family members can be reasoned with on this issue--what have some of you done to accomplish this?
As far as "educating others" what do you think is the best way to do this? Personally, I'd love to give everybody a short handbook on nut allergies and ask them to read it. I'd recommend that we all make use of the brochures we find at our allergists' offices and take one home for grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Referring our family and friends to relevant news articles and yes, even blogs like this one, may also help.
The FAAN website is also a good place to refer people--I've had good success with that one.
Again, thanks for your participation. I'll have another poll up soon. It's helpful to see the areas in which we need the most support!