Thursday, June 3, 2010

Food Allergy Backlash Again!--A Great Rebuttal by the Editor of Allergic Living Magazine

This article by Gwen Smith, editor of Allergic Living magazine, discusses the latest food allergy backlash that is based on news articles and faulty reporting. It is a must-read--but be aware, it wasn't published in Allergic Living. Many commenters at the end of the story are horribly ill-informed and they make the case for Ms. Smith's story with their ignorant remarks.

To all the parents out there: if your kids have had a serious reaction and they've had positive tests for food allergies, stay strong and don't let yourself be challenged by people who don't believe you. Ms. Smith has the right idea. You can't "tough out" a food allergy. You can't "make up" an allergic reaction involving swelling of the face and wheezing. You don't "imagine" dangerous drops in blood pressure or closed airways.

One thing many commenters complain about is that they are limited in their ability to send peanut butter (and in some cases, tuna fish) because of "one student." Usually it's more than one, these days, but one way we can help is offering lunch suggestions to our classrooms. What do you send with your child? If we have some options for school lunches that are allergy-friendly, that will help quiet down some of the parental objections to limiting certain foods.

For many people who have been recently diagnosed with peanut allergies or food allergies, I apologize in advance for the people who will not believe your child has a serious medical condition. Don't let it throw you. Gwen Smith's article makes some great points and I'm so glad she wrote it!


dannyscotland said...

It is definitely a problem, people doubting and reporting this doubt as fact. It has even affected my husband, who doesn't completely believe our daughter has a peanut allergy, even though I *saw* her hives, and we had her tested with both scratch test and blood test. It's infinitely frustrating. Fortunately, he is careful at home and her allergy appears mild at this point, but still. Sometimes he makes me so mad when he says he doesn't completely believe it. Ugh. We definitely need more reporting on this--factual reporting--and more awareness of how serious it is.

Libby said...

Thanks for the link to the excellent article. I get tired of the skepticism, even the well meaning question, "When's the last time your son had a reaction?" If I do my job, he isn't having an opportunity to have one! If I'm in the mood to educate, I'll start introducing the subject of RAST/IgE scores, which haven't dropped since the last full on reaction two years ago.

jenny said...

Jenny, I don't know how you do it, but I admire how you stay strong not just for your daughter, but also for your readers.
We just recently learned that my daughter's blood test number went up higher than 2 years ago with her peanut allergy. I was sad, so very sad for a week now. But again, what does these numbers truly mean? even if it goes down, she is still allergic. Let's forget the numbers and keep doing what we do - be an advocate and educate, educate people!