While a piece of Halloween candy, a slice of cake, or a home-baked snack at a party may not even register on the radar of families of kids without food allergies, for parents of kids who do suffer from allergies to particular foods, navigating around these common foods can be nerve-wracking. Help to alleviate the stress of your fellow parents by supporting them in keeping their kids safe.
When parents of children with allergies seem nervous at birthday parties, don’t wave away their concerns. Tightly controlled environments are a parent’s best friend when their child suffers from life-threatening allergies to common ingredients in snacks and meals. In a school environment, like Summit Kids Academy, parents know that their child’s caregivers restrict foods that can endanger a child, and at home, parents are able to keep track of what comes into the house and where it is stored. But at a party, chaos reigns. Cake, candies, and home-baked snacks may be strewn around the room, and kids with allergies can be exposed very easily. So, when you see a parent watching their child like a hawk at a festive kids’ party, don’t judge. Remember that this parent has been eyeing a plate of walnut brownies as its contents make their way around the room, and they know that keeping an eye on their kid will make the difference between a fun party and a trip to the emergency room.
When a parent tells you their child has an allergy, trust them. It’s easy to think that a parent might be making up the severity of a child’s food allergy, or even become a little annoyed that your usual snacks may not be welcome in the vicinity of their kid. But trust that a parent of a child with a food allergy knows exactly what their child cannot be exposed to, and what the consequences will be if their child does come into contact with a forbidden food. Just as you go to great lengths to keep your child safe, this parent is simply trying to make sure that others are aware of their child’s allergy and will help to keep their kid well.
If you want to make sure a child is safe, ask questions about her allergy. Are you planning a party, and you know one of the children invited can’t eat dairy? Ask her parents what you can do to accommodate her. But remember not to delve into all of the details of the child’s allergy while in earshot of your kids and the child in question. Children may not want to feel as if something is “odd” about them, and might not want to talk about their allergies in front of friends.
Because we take the wellbeing of every child seriously at Summit Kids Academy, our childcare center bans all outside food in order to accommodate children with allergies so that all families feel safe. If your child has an allergy to a common food, please let us know so that we can keep him healthy and well at daycare.