It's been a while since I've ranted a bit about food allergiesand I'm quite certain you've been pining for a good old-fashioned food allergy rant from little ol' meso I'm happy to oblige.
Before I get starteddoes anyone know how to read Japanese? Brendan's cousinwho is living in Japan (her husband is in the USAF)helped out with the Flat Ryan Project (an update on that soonpromise). She sent us lots of information about Okinawasome real shisa (who now hold a place of honor on our mantelpiece with our other gargoyles)and lots and lots of yummy-looking treats! And we have no way of reading the labels. :( I have an idea that peanut usage in Japan is much less than in other areas of Asiabut I don't really know that for certain. Anywayif you have a leadlet me know!
Now on to my rant . . .
A couple of weeks agoFree Range Kids ran a story about one school's ridiculous (I think) food rule outlawing apples and pears with peels intactdue to the possible choking hazard that apparently exists. I don't know . . . isn't all food kind of a choking hazard? My toddler is still has trouble with yogurt sometimes. I suppose it's a risk you need to takein order to getyou knownourishment for your body.
The conversation in the comments touched on some food allergy issues (which were mentioned in the post)and I was moved to actually write a comment. Somebody wrotein part
As long as you don’t smear it [peanut butter] across the allergy kid’s face or shove it down their throat there is no actual hazard to protect them from.
This is not strictly trueas those who live with food allergies know (and hopefully those who have read about this stuff here on my blog). I had to think about whether to respond or notbecause sometimes people get all riled up and want to argue. I decided to leave oneand only one commentand not to get engaged in a pointless debate. So I said
All I'm interested in doing is educating people--there's a lot of misinformation out thereso I feel like I should do my part in correcting some of that. It's a way in which I can support my son.
I only checked back once (okaytwiceincluding today). Most of the comments have to do with the ridiculous ban on peels. Some remarks about food allergies (not necessarily directed at my comment) include [my emphasis]:
Okay then. The general idea of these posters is that we food allergy parents "just" need to teach our kids how to avoid their allergenand then everything will be hunky-doryand nobody else's meal choices need to be affected.
Well why didn't I think of that? Starting right nowI'm going to teach Ryan about peanuts
What a wonderful idea! Why didn't I think of . . . wait a minute . . . I HAVE BEEN TEACHING HIM THESE THINGS! From the second we left the hospital when he was only 25 months old. First I'd educate myselfthen Brendanthen Ryan--and now his siblings are undergoing an education of their own. And his friends. And his family. He understands all of thisand he understands what's at stake.
So I have "just" taught him. But here is another point--he is seven-and-a-half years old. Old Enough to Know Betterperhaps?
Let me paint a picture for you here. Imagine if you willa health scaresuch asoh I don't know . . . let's call it "swine flu." It's spreading like wildfire among the kids at the local elementary schooland making kids (and adults) reallyreally sick.
Well I saysend your kid to school anyway! Yup! Just teach him to avoid germs! Teach him how to sneeze into a tissue and throw the tissue away. Teach him how to cough into his elbow. Teach him not to touch his eyes or mouth or nose. Teach him how to wash his hands thoroughly. Teach him when to wash his hands--after touching doorknobs or the lunch table or his desk or fellow classmates. Teach him not to borrow a pencil from the kid at the desk next to him. Teach him not to share his food or drink at lunch time.
He'll be fine right? Oh wait a minute . . . he's in second grade? About seven or eight years old? Hmmm . . . . And yesyou've taught him wellsureand he's ALWAYS perfect in following these rules--especially the 'no touching your eyes and nose and mouth' rule. Uh-huh.
But what about those other kids? You knowthe ones who manage to sneeze a hot mess of snot across the lunchroom? The ones who lick drinking fountains? The ones who like to give big friendly hugs to their buddies?
So you'd really be comfortable sending your seven or eight year old into a swine flu (or regular flu or pertussis or ebola or what-have-you) infested schoolbecause you've "just" taught him right?
Yeah. THAT'S all I'm sayin'.