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!