Every 3 Minutes Food Allergy Sends Someone to the E.R. In the United States | May is Food Allergy Awareness Month

Did you know? Food allergy reactions send someone to Emergency Room every three minutes in the United States?

We have been twice for my sons reactions.

The first time for his first anaphylactic reaction when he was a baby, as I recounted in my previous post.

The second time was from a reaction at a friends birthday party.

All of the children were playing with one of those popular miniature kitchen sets. There was a little refrigerator, a little stove, a little oven, little pots, little pans and lots of little pretend food.

It seemed innocent enough.

At some point another child that had eaten or touched something with peanuts, had transferred that peanut protein to some of the pretend food that they were playing with.

It could have been days or even weeks ago.

It wasn’t enough to even be noticed by the naked eye.

My son, joining in playing pretend with the other children, put a cute little wooden piece of toast in his mouth.

His throat began to tighten, he was not able to fully breathe normal, and his voice sounded like a frog.

He didn’t appear to have any other system reactions: skin, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular or other (anxiety, feeling of impending doom, etc).

So I gave him an antihistamine and drove him to the nearby E.R.

The medical staff said we handled it properly and they continued to monitor his vitals.

He slowly regained his normal breathing and voice.

This is food allergy. It’s not just a little tummy ache. It’s not the imagination of a helicopter parent. It’s not a picky eater (although we have those too).

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It’s knowing that food can kill, and all it takes is the smallest particles of the allergen to enter the eyes, nose or mouth. Always being aware and ready to act.

If you know someone with food allergy, one of the best things anyone can do is to understand their journey and be kind.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

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