It's becoming more and more difficult to spend quality time with family members who continually introduce severe allergens into our kid's environments, an unsafe and uncontrollable threat that can be fatal. As avoiding food allergies when visiting family is getting tougher and tough, we're left with one question. At what point do you just stop visiting with family to protect your child with food allergies?
Avoiding Food Allergies When Visiting Family
During a recent visit with family who know our kid's most severe allergen is peanuts, drumsticks were purchased for all the children to eat for dessert. Yes, the beloved dessert with chopped peanuts on the top which have a tendency to fall off the cones when you eat them, leaving a trail of nuts all over the floor which our youngest kids could easily pick-up and eat causing a possibly fatal allergic reaction.
This wasn't the first time a peanut product was set free to be eaten throughout the house by children during a visit with this family either. We had a similar incident with peanut butter stuffed pretzels last Thanksgiving which did cause our son to react immediately, and we had to leave early to stop his reaction from escalating and keep him safe.
Unfortunately, because of the possibility of the unsafe and uncontrollable environment that was about to be created again with the drumstick desserts, we had no choice but to leave early. Not only did our food allergy kids miss out on spending time with family, our older children did too.
Why won't family include our son with food allergies?
Another issue we are finding with family is our kids being excluded from family events like birthday celebrations along with family desserts.
We have always stood firm that it is our responsibility to manage our kid's food allergies, not anyone else, and we have never expected others to go out of their way to assure our kid's safety, but it would be nice to know when something is planned so we can come prepared with a safe treat so our kids can be included and not the only children sitting with nothing to eat.
Sadly, it feels like we are never considered when family plans are made. This isn't just with eating and keeping our kids safe either, this is with everything. But when it comes to the possibility of life or death situation for our kids, I don't understand why a simple conversation can't be initiated to keep our kids safe and included in family events.
When keeping you food allergy child safe dubs you the bad guy.
The worse part of managing our kid's food allergies is hearing the family doesn't think we trust them with our children. At times, protecting our kids to keep them free from a food allergy reaction feels like a double-edged sword with all the criticism we receive.
But how can we trust someone with our children who have multiple food allergies when they are constantly put in unsafe situations? How can we consciously leave our kids knowing this family doesn't understand food allergies or the severity of a possible reaction? Who would be to blame if something tragic happened to our kids in this family's care? Wouldn't it be our fault for placing our kids in a high-risk situation? I could never live with the guilt of being the reason our kids suffered a severe reaction or death.
Maybe the best answer to avoiding food allergies when visiting family is to not visit the families that put our kids at risk. As much as we hate to do that, we just may have too.