The first day of school worries for a parent of a severe food allergy kid are completely different worries than a normal healthy non allergic kids parents.
Most parents worry about their kids starting school( and this is just what I imagine they worry about since I have never been a mom to a non allergic kid), the normal parents brain or what I imagine it would be.....
I hope my kid does well in school
I hope he listens to the teacher.
I hope she's well liked.
I hope he's kind.
I hope he fits in.
I hope she doesn't get lost.
I hope they make friends.
I hope she doesn't get sent to the principle.
I hope they don't get left behind.
I hope they are included.
A parent of a food allergy kids brain before starting school.
I hope my kid doesn't die from the hundreds upon thousands of peanut butter sandwich packed in all of the hundreds of school lunches through out the year.
I hope we have instilled in our child that he can not put anything , I mean ANYTHING in his mouth. No Food , drink, and even his own fingers in his mouth while he is a way from us and out of our protection. Germs! Who cares about germs!! Those are the least of our worries!
I hope that the kids and teachers wash their hands after every meal, snack, and treat.
I hope the other parents follow the no food parties rule and not bring deadly cupcakes in for their kids birthday. Will he be left out of they do? Did I pack a special treat so he isn't left out if they do have a party? Will he be able to resist anyone and everyone that may offer him food or a treat?
I hope he and all of his teachers remember to take his epi pen with them where ever they go in school.
I hope he won't be all by himself at the peanut free table, an out cast to the rest of the kids.
I hope he's brave enough to never take food from a friend or an adult ( or to give in to peer pressure) even if they say it's nut,dairy, and egg free, when they clearly haven't a clue that it is.
I hope the other kids don't bully him because of his life threading food allergies.
I hope my sons anxiety that he feels around other people's food isn't to terribly overwhelming and stressful.
I hope my kid doesn't die from cross contamination on a toy, desk, the playground , and even a freaking door handle.
So yes, I'd say starting school for the non allergic kids parent , may be stressful, but have you ever thought in your life....dear lord I hope a door handle doesn't freaking kill my kid!?!?! I bet most of you haven't!
So parents if your school just happens to go nut free, or ban parties with food in them because of a severe food allergy kid. Please, Don't make a fuss .... You have no idea the worries we face as parents with children that, if they put their fingers in their mouth after touching a door handle, after a kid that ate a peanut butter sandwiching ( fill in your food allergy here) they just may die. Because believe me, we would all rather not have theses worries and we would all rather be able to have our kid eat cupcakes and peanut butter sandwiches. But unfortunately that just isn't the reality for kids with life threatening food allergies.
For a food allergy parent all we can do is hope and pray that his teachers watch him, and follow all the strict hand washing rules and no food for celebration rules, and that we have instilled in our own child to never put anything in their mouth including their own fingers. And pray that if there is an exposure to their food allergen, the epi pen is always near by and the fire department is close enough. And that your own cell is always in service and ready in case you get that terrifying call of your kid going into anaphylaxis. So yeah, you can say this mama is a little stressed out about kindergarten!
And don't get me started on the worries I have about his skin and itchies. Ain't motherhood grand!!?!?!?
Stay safe everyone this school year...and don't share food, and wash your hands!
Xoxox Loren and Kline ( anaphylaxis to dairy , egg, all tree nuts and peanut)