Dear Parents of Children in My Son’s School,

The school isn’t allowed to tell you which child has a food allergy. All you know is that you’re not allowed to send peanut butter to school anymore. Or maybe your child is in a dairy-free or something else-free classroom because of a food allergy. You figure out who that child is pretty quickly because he or she learned how to advocate for themselves at a young age.

As the parent of that child, thank you. Thank you for teaching your son or daughter that food allergies are not fake or for attention. Thank you for listening when your child told you they had to brush their teeth and wash their hands again after eating peanut butter toast for breakfast because someone has an allergy and they want to keep their friend safe.

Thank you for reading labels and asking the teacher if a certain cookie or chip is safe for the class party. The teacher then emails or texts me and I let her know that while one brand of potato chip is gluten-free or peanut-free, another is not. And thank you for respecting that and for trying to keep my child safe. 

I know not sending a favorite lunch to school or your special dessert for the party is an inconvenience. We live with it every day, but we appreciate your efforts to not only keep our child safe at school, but alive. These food allergies can be deadly – believe me, I’ve read every article about a child who accidentally ate something with peanuts or dairy or gluten and died. I cry over every single one and hope to one day read about a middle-aged person with a food allergy who leads a completely normal life. Because that is all allergy parents wish for their children. Normalcy. 

So thank you, parents. For being understanding, for educating your children, for being compassionate and caring. I can worry less knowing you and your child are in our corner. 


Food Allergy Parents Everywhere

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