As if having a food allergy and asthma is not challenging enough, the reality is kids with food allergies and asthma may have their plate full if not overly spilling with additional challenges they’ll be facing at school. We don’t intend to enumerate each one of them but we wanted to give emphasis to what can mentally and emotionally affect our kids.
We need to consider that like our kids, the other children in their school are also learning and expected to behave like kids under the guidance or presence of adults so however they treat or understand food allergies is dependent on how they’re introduced to it. Given this mindset, we’ll see how these kids can be dangerous without food allergy knowledge but may easily turn into an ally if made aware of its severity.
Studies show that kids with food allergy have a higher chance of developing other allergies such as asthma or eczema compared to kids that don’t have food allergies. These kids don’t only mind their triggers or allergen but also how they are being perceived or seen by their classmates or teachers.
Due to their condition, it’s inevitable for kids with allergies to be excluded in a group, activity, celebration, parties, etc. It’s part of a safety procedure to ban problem foods inside a classroom and some kids won’t easily get it and it may result to negative perception of food allergy or the person who has it. Another safety measure that parents’ support is excluding them to games or other physical activities that may possibly trigger their asthma or eczema. Though our main priority is our child’s safety, we can’t deny that it affects how our child is perceived by their pears that may later result to discrimination or worst, bullying.
We understand that there are people who really wanted to show that they care hence, the special treatment but most children with food allergies want this radar turned off. They choose to be treated equally and normally, of course without compromising their own safety but it’s very difficult to do so since food allergy is a condition that needs to be communicated to others.
All these obstacles and experiences will eventually take a toll and may result in self-pity, sadness, and lack of self-confidence. These kids may also lack the energy to participate in school or worst, even attend their classes. Parents, be sure to be vigilant about our kids’ behavior and actions both in school or at home.
Sadly, common in school, bullying is not only immature but also a showcase of injustice. Many kids are bullied every day and it can scar them for life. Some studies even prove that bullying is a major ingredient in creating criminal minds that result in criminal behavior. We made a separate and detailed article about food allergy and bullying at PracMedic Bags® Blog.
Our kids needed a strong heart and mind to counter all these negative experiences and parents are its first and maybe the major source this strength. Talk to your kids about their challenges at school but don’t make them feel as if they’re at fault; always make them see that they can trust you even with their secrets. Most kids whose undergoing these situations are secretive and you can’t force them to open up unless they chose to so always be there as their first choice to vent out with. Parents’ intervention is key but may scare other kids as well if done publicly so talk to school administrators, staffs, and faculty discretely about your kids’ condition. Make them understand that exclusion is inevitable but make an interesting alternate plan so that your kids can be included to parties or other celebrations scheduled at your school. Educate your kids’ classmates by planning a fun activity for food allergy awareness or education.
Healio – https://www.healio.com/pediatrics/allergy-asthma-immunology/news/print/infectious-diseases-in-children/%7B9e9ec3dc-3372-4a84-b236-d268f1497709%7D/managing-food-allergy-poses-challenges-for-patients-parents-physicians
Education Week – https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/11/15/food-allergies-are-on-the-rise-are.html
Allergic Living – https://www.allergicliving.com/2014/08/21/food-allergy-at-school-avoiding-shame-segregation/2/