I am the mother of a food allergic child. My son Joshua, who is 10 years old, has an anaphylactic peanut allergy. I was both shocked and surprised watching the Today Show segment that joked about nut allergies. I found it to be insensitive to the millions of Americans who live each day with this invisible but potentially fatal disability.
The time has come for airlines to face the unfortunate reality that food allergies are increasing at an alarming rate. More and more people with food allergies will begin flying. As food allergic passengers, we don't ask to have others notified not to consume nuts around us because we secretly desire unwarranted special treatment.
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When my peanut allergic son was 5, he suddenly blurted out "Mom, don't worry about me, if I eat a nut by mistake and it kills me, I can just hit the re-do button and get another life, like in the video game." I became really scared that his child-like innocence prevented him from understanding the potential adverse ramifications of his own food allergy.
After we RSVP-ed to your little girl's party, you called my husband on the phone, and told him how excited you were that my son was coming to your party. That you planned to hire someone to clean the house for nuts before the event, and that you wanted to know where you could buy a nut-free cake. Seriously? Who are you? The greatest person on earth?
We are quite consciously taking great steps to make sure that our son knows how to manage his own allergies and doesn't perceive himself as a victim. However, when one of the below questions is asked, it always touches my heart and makes me feel a surge of appreciation and affection for the friend who is asking it.