Overcoming Food Allergy Fears: A Parent’s Perspective

Try and imagine yourself as the unprepared spectator in the following scenario.  Unless, you don’t have to imagine because, like me, you’ve lived this real-life horror.

He was all alone, desperately gasping for air.

One day, I walked into a class party organized by my son’s teacher. The sight of brightly colored balloons normally evokes feelings of joy.  However, as the mother of a child with a latex allergy, the scene was anxiety-inducing.  This anxiety quickly escalated to sheer panic when I discovered my son was having a severe anaphylactic reaction.  There he was all alone, desperately gasping for air as the color steadily drained from his face.

I immediately injected him with his EpiPen.

My brain went into overdrive upon.  Thankfully, I was prepared.  I immediately injected him with his EpiPen. Then we swiftly headed to the emergency room.  A place that is all too familiar for a food allergy family.

You can hear more about this and more when I am interviewed on the Killer Food Allergy Podcast.

How could this happen?  I had taken all the right precautions.  I informed my son’s teacher of his latex allergy and taught him how to be his own allergy advocate. 

What would have happened if I had not shown up at that exact moment? I was left with even more questions. Would the teacher have intervened in time to save his life?  How could I trust that this wouldn’t happen again? What is the best way to prevent this sort of incident from happening in the future?   

Allergy management is so much more than simply avoiding an allergen.

These issues boggled my mind and tugged at my soul.  I was eager to seek solutions.  Through many trials and tribulations, I learned to move through the fear by taking a comprehensive approach to managing my son’s allergies.  Because allergy management is so much more than simply avoiding an allergen.  The biggest lesson I learned is that I couldn’t do it alone.  Therefore, I formed a support network by identifying the key members of my family, my son’s school, and the community to keep him safe at all times.  I call them my AllerTribe.   

I think back to that day and reflect on what could have been a devastating tragedy.  Imagine how differently that situation would have been with the support of my AllerTribe.  I would have walked into my son’s classroom to find him safe and included while happily participating in the party festivities.  I feel at ease knowing he has a whole tribe of well-informed supporters working together to ensure he is safe.   

Food allergy disease impacts every waking moment of the family’s life and without the proper resources and support, it can be an isolating experience.  Unfortunately, we can’t always be physically present to protect our food-allergic children, which is why it is vital to develop a support system. 

What fears are keeping you up at night? 

Leave stress and anxiety behind and overcome your food allergy fears, by joining our online course: The Ultimate Guide To Finding Your AllerTribe.  We’re dedicated to providing you with the foundation you need to confidently speak to family, friends, educators, and doctors about your child’s food allergy needs.  For more information about the course and to unlock exclusive discounts to your favorite food allergy brands, click here.  

The Food Allergy Institute