One of the most annoying parts of having an allergy is explaining to someone why it’s a serious concern and not just a dietary restriction. Sometimes getting people who don’t have an allergy or who don’t have a family members who has an allergy, understand what it’s like or why it’s as serious as it is can be a daunting task, especially if you have to do it over, and over, and over again.
I reference my mom a lot in these posts, but it’s because she was a trail blazer for allergy awareness in my small town. When we moved into the community, there wasn’t an allergy awareness program in the elementary school. I was actually one out of only two people who had a serious allergy in the school! When my mom approached the school’s then principle to ask about cautionary protocol for allergies, she was told it was only one person’s concern and so the school didn’t have the right to tell other people’s children what to do.
So what now? Well, my mom was not satisfied with that answer. Luckily for her, the principle left and when the vice principle took over, my mom approached the idea again. She went before the parent advisory council and made her case for an allergy awareness program to be implemented in the school. Finally, they agreed and gave her a bulletin board in the school to post information and facts.
The bulletin board had tips and tricks, allergy-free products, information on EpiPen-pens, and pretty much anything you could think of that has to do with allergies. She also had the school agree to telling parents not to send peanut butter with their children for lunches.
Ignorance tends to be about lack of information. If you’re worried about your child staying safe at school, I recommend being the source for other parents to find out more information. Maybe you can start your own bulletin board in your child’s classroom, the school, or send out information in the school’s newsletter! The more information people have about the concern, the easier it is for them to see your point of view.