There is a blog that I like to read called Free-Range Kids.  As with everything else I should now by not to read the comments on anything.  However, I am a slow learner sometimes.  As I read the comments to today’s blog post about a school in Maryland canceling Valentines Day for “the good of the students”, I found myself in the comments of the blog.  It’s hard not to because this blog begs for reader interaction.

An article from the Fredrick News Post was quoted in this blog post, and that excerpt reads:

Romance between students has no place in the elementary school classroom, [Principal Stephanie] Brown said, and the obsession of boy-girl relationships on Valentine’s Day was inappropriate for the school setting.

Another issue caused by the holiday was the exchange of cards, some of which had candies or other treats attached. Brown said she and her staff didn’t want to take the chance of causing problems for students with  food allergies.

While it sucks that Valentines Day was canceled at the school there could have been the compromise that no candies were given out and kids still could have given out cards.  Personally, as a kid, I hated Valentines Day being forced to give cards to people I didn’t like. I could go on forever about this but this isn’t what this post is supposed to be about.

This post has to do with the ignorance of people.

Some of the comments from Free-Range Kids about food allergies:

My daughter isn’t allowed to give out candy because of food allergies, either. But who ever heard of a lollipop allergy?

Then there was this comment:

I must also mention that the reason our kids have food allergies these days is because we are too clean. So yes, this has everything to do with “free range” kids. Get the kids out into the dirt fields, encourage them to play with animals, eat dirt, be outdoors. I can guarantee you this would reduce all these ridiculous food allergies

I third person said, “Don’t play the food allergy card.” then retracted her statement saying she didn’t realize how many different things were in the different kinds of candies.  Someone else stated this:

The entire school is peanut free (don’t get me started on that, very touchy subject, really angers me) so there was no worry about allergies.

To these people I hope that your child never develops a food allergy and you have to watch them struggle for breath while calling 911 because they had never had the signs of any food allergies before.  I hope you never have to do 20 trips to the doctor and have to put your kid through allergy testing or have to keep track of where epi-pens are because of careless people.

There are at least 57 food allergies in my house.  No that wasn’t a typo.  Here, I will spell it out fifty-seven.  Want the list?

  1. Corn and all products made from corn including high fructose corn syrup and corn starch.
  2. Milk
  3. Shellfish
  4. white fish
  5. tree nuts
  6. peanuts
  7. wheat (not only an allergen but members of my family also have celiac disease)
  8. kumquats
  9. pepper – both the spice and the plants and all things made from them such as paprika
  10. mango
  11. pineapple
  12. spinach
  13. broccoli (the worst part of this is it’s the favorite food of the person who is allergic to it)
  14. sweet potatoes
  15. carrots
  16. asparagus
  17. cherries
  18. apples
  19. pork
  20. chicken
  21. cauliflower
  22. flax
  23. chocolate
  24. blue cheese because of the type of mold that makes it blue
  25. coconut
  26. eggplant
  27. tomatoes
  28. raspberries
  29. sauerkraut
  30. garlic
  31. grapefruit
  32. beans of all kinds
  33. honey
  34. zucchini
  35. watermelon
  36. squash
  37. potatoes
  38. peaches
  39. olives
  40. okra
  41. kiwi
  42. strawberries
  43. cinnamon
  44. chocolate
  45. annatto (it’s a spice used to color milk products and sometimes popcorn)
  46. snow peas
  47. Caffeine (not sure if this is an allergy per se or something that causes a bad intolerance like questionable blood pressure and bloody noses)
  48. eggs
  49. beets
  50. red food coloring
  51. carrageenan
  52. turkey

Crap, I am forgetting 5 of the allergies in the house at the moment.  Now I am worried when I go to the grocery store I am going to kill someone this week.  Still, even incomplete you have to admit this is an impressive list.  It’s a lot to keep track of.  Not only do I have to worry about someone coming into direct contact with any of these foods, I have to worry about food being cross contaminated.  For the person who said “Whoever heard of a lollipop allergy…read the ingredients of several types of lollipops at the store, you will find HFCS, egg whites, red food coloring, beet juice and carrot juice.  Then you have to worry if they were made in a facility that also makes peanut products.

For person number two, food allergies do NOT come from being in a too clean environment.  Environmental allergens do.  Believe me, eating dirt doesn’t stop a kid from being allergic to eggs.  That theory has been thoroughly tested in house.  When my youngest was much younger he had pica and he ate everything.  Some of those things I am surprised didn’t make him very sick or kill him.  He still has a laundry list of food allergies.  We have pets and my kids are free to go outside and roam within reasonable guidelines.  They play in the creek behind the house (at least I hope it’s a real creek and not a drainage ditch), they play in areas where they can pick up ticks (and have).   In short, my kids do no live in a bubble and they never have and yet, here is an incredible list of food allergies.  Environmental allergens aren’t as bad.  I know they could be a lot worse.

I really hate that holiday celebrations revolve around food, be it candy (Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween) or just food in general (Thanksgiving, Christmas).  I can not, and do not, expect anyone to accommodate the dietary needs of my family.  People need to understand that if a food protein is in the air a person allergic can have an allergic reaction without ingesting it.  Steaming shrimp in the grocery store and send someone with a severe shellfish allergy to the hospital.  The same with cooking eggs.  The same with being in the same room with someone shelling peanuts.

For the person who is put out because her school is peanut free, it must really be nice to be you and not have to worry if you are going to send your kid into a potential death trap every day they go to school.  Sorry kids like mine inconvenience you and yours.  Ask yourself this, would you want to be the person responsible for inadvertently sending a child that wasn’t yours to the hospital or even killing them because your kid had to have a bag of peanuts at lunch?  I wished I was wired the same way you are to be offended that I would be forced to consider the safety of another human being over my own convenience.

I suggest people start educating themselves before opening their mouths about something they don’t know anything about.   It’s because of your ignorance some of us have to extra anal retentive about our children.  You pose a bigger threat to kids like mine than child predators. You are the person that feels that giving someone with a food allergy “a little bit” won’t do any harm and will do it even after you have been told someone is allergic.  You are the person that likes to give me jacked up parenting/medical advice about giving my kid a bit of what they are allergic to and increasing it to up their resistance.  I really hope your kids don’t develop a food allergy because you may just end up killing them because of your ignorance.

Here’s your daily Year of the Rabbit bunny…isn’t he so cute you could puke??

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