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Saturday, March 9, 2013

At last: acknowledging food allergies.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/magazine/can-a-radical-new-treatment-save-children-with-severe-allergies.html?ref=magazine&_r=0
Thanks so much to the New York Times Magazine for choosing food allergies for its next Sunday's edition cover. A most important issue yet most incomprehensibly ignored by Health and Education institutions in most places,  the media... and society.  So people in general are clueless, or worse: full of mistaken ideas thinking they know when they don't.
This is specially sad here because that ignorance is these children's biggest danger. If people were aware of a few simple facts they would be so much safer. And they deserve to be.
Thankfully there are parents, doctors like Nadeau and organizations (FARE  is one of the most active, its youtube channel here) fighting hard to raise awareness and make big advances. Pls get informed, chances are that sooner or later you'll interact with these parents and their children (after all it now affects 1 in 13 children, in different degrees from mild to severe). Pls take them seriously, and please bear in mind that unfortunately -and contrary to general judgement-, when talking precautions they (we) are not exaggerating.
While the NYTM piece mainly talks about a new trial, it still provides a very good insight into the world of children with severe food allergies.
Read the whole article, The allergy buster, here.
Regarding how serious it is, you can read this.
Update 2014:
This other article, "What parents of kids with food allergies want you to know", is also very informative. And for parents of children with allergies, this will ring a bell. Ugg.
If putting one more face to it helps, this is my (of course) music loving son years ago. At one and a half yrs old it had already been a year since he had already suffered his first anaphilactic shock.
 
We've been very lucky and he's recently outgrown some of his allergies, this is him now at one of his now favourite places. We still need to be very careful every day.  
Everytime there's a food allergy story on the news, the comments section is atrocious. It's taken over by pettiness, selfishness, the most arrogant  ignorance. I haven't seen this ruthlesness with any other illness (see an example here or here). No wonder the world is such a brutal place.
My son has no problems if someone eats nuts close to him, thank heavens (and still flying is such a daunting scary experience). I know that some children aren't that lucky, their parents are sadly not overreacting or exagerating (despite what total ignorants who have never read a single serious article about allergies or talked to a single allergist in their lives decide to judge so irresponsibly and hurtfully). Yet if I was asked to give up eating nuts, it's a no brainer, and I'd smile at that child and her mother, he needs to be so brave at such an early age, she's goine through so much. I want to think that if my son wasn't allergic I'd do exactly the same. I refuse to think that I could be such a monster.
Just for the record, if they are allowed to wipe their seats and no one eats peanuts/treenuts or whatever it is, they are safe. That is the only thing they ask for. Is that such a ridiculous demand?. The joke is, anyone can suddenly become severely allergic anytime. I have friends who never had food allergies suddenly in their 30s, their 40s become sensitized to apples, to shellfish, to treenuts...one bite sends them to the hospital. Anyone can be next, so if only out of selfishness, which is the only language some people speak, they might want to think twice.
This was recently on CBS here
Please remember, one single person can make a huge difference either way.