As a parent myself of a multiple food allergic toddler I would have to say that if not myself, my husband would toss that person out of the plane! For us it wouldn’t be as simple as having a particular flight go nut free because my son has a reaction simply from touch, so say the person who sat in our seats before us was eating peanuts even if our flight was nut free, it would still be bad news for my son. So I am definitely all for banning peanuts on airplanes!
Heaven forbid you have to forgo your bag of peanuts so as not to endanger the life of another person and yes it often times is a matter of life/death as far as peanuts are concerned.
I’m not sure whether this comment makes me more mad or the comment a person told me the other day which was to just make my kid eat a ton of whatever he’s allergic to and his allergy will go away…I will refrain from sharing what I replied back but i’m sure anyone with a food allergic child can guess.
Unfortunately I think it comes down to people being completely unaware of the severity of food allergies. Until you have dealt with it on a daily basis you can’t possibly know entirely.
January 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm Thanita says:
AMEN! I agree 100% with your response. It never stops to amaze me how many ignorant fools are out there! I especially love your statement that these negative comments are fighting just to be right rather than their civil rights (like us allergy families). Good job. You are a great mom!!!
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January 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm Jodi says:
Hopefully you know how much good you’ve done and how much comfort and help you’ve given to people like me who read your blog! It’s exhausting sometimes to try and explain to people at school, church – even the shopping center why they can’t give my son chocolate or candy or any food for that matter. (He’s allergic to milk, wheat, eggs and peanuts – He has anaphylaxis to milk and eggs and minor reactions to wheat. He has never eaten peanuts but has only tested positive for a skin test – I think I rather not have him try them!) He’s only 2 and I’m terrified about sending him to school in a few years. It really is about educating people. My allergist asked if I would join with him and participate in the ACE program. It’s been a great opportunity for me. I admire all that you have done and are doing to advocate for your children and for all people with FA. Keep up the good work and know how much you’re appreciated!
January 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm Sarah S says:
Thank you for posting this. I have a dietary restriction (non-allergy) and lived in a college dorm that went peanut free to accommodate an student’s needs. I am lucky now to be surrounded in a community that supports my need to eat a certain diet safely, and wish the same for all of us on medically restricted diets.
It is mind boggling to me that people can’t see that having a space safe for allergic kids AND non-allergic kids teaches EVERYONE something. Instead of lamenting over your child’s inability to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at school, try using this opportunity to teach kids how we can do nice things for someone else, and keep each other safe. Maybe that peanut-free kid will learn about bee sting allergies, or diabetes, or one of the other many invisible disabilities our youngsters (and not-so-youngsters!) live with. Maybe we can learn that these differences/disabilities are not an excuse for exclusion, but are just differences, and are all ok, and we can form a community to help each other be safe and grow up strong. This could be such a “learning opportunity” for our kids, and a way to raise awareness about issues like these. We might actually be able to teach our kids to support one another in their differences so we can grow together.
January 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm stephanie says:
As a parent of a child with a severe peanut allergy, I am always disturbed at how people can be insensitive. I often compare my child’s peanut allergy is like your child on a playdate where there is a loaded gun on the coffee table. Thank you for writing your response.
January 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm Kristy @momhatescooking says:
I have to say I’m a non confrontational person, but if someone said that to me, I’m with the previous poster. I know I’d toss them out of the plane!
The point being that many people who are not faced with this daily do not understand the issue at all. They do not understand that their little bag of peanuts is not more important than someone elses life. Your little bag of peanuts could kill a person who has allergies. It doesn’t matter if it’s managed or not. I highly doubt that person’s hand washing is managed?! Everything they touch the oil is all over it.
I guess in saying this, I have to remember that God is in control. That particular person will one day regret saying that when they have a child or family member with food allergies. They will wish they could take it back.
It’s so sad that there are people out there that value a bag of peanuts over a child’s life.
January 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm Kyra says:
JODI- except for the part about ACE I could have written your post. Our sons are the same ages and have the same allergies.
January 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm Lisita says:
What a shocking comment you received. Sadly, I think some people will never get it. It makes me thankful for all the people who are so kind to my daughter who has life threatening allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. For all the kind passengers we have flown by. You are doing a great thing Kelly, keep it up!
January 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm sarah k says:
That comment took my breath away. I admire you for giving such a calm, clear-headed response. It’s amazing how completely ignorant people can still be about allergies. Thank you for working to address that ignorance.
In response to Jodi’s comment: it’s my understanding that if a child has a positive skin test, he/she should definitely not try that food unless you are doing a challenge in the allergist’s office. Just a thought–but I’m sure you’re talking to your allergist about these things and I know their approaches can differ. We have those same allergies at our house (2 of my 3 and I think the 3rd as well) so I feel for you!
January 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm eos mom says:
What a great response to such an ignorant statement!!!
I am absolutely in favor of peanut free flights, wheat free flights, or whatever needs to be done to ensure the safety of those on a flight, but I would like to point out something that I feel is often missed by those who only deal with peanut allergies. Peanuts are not the only allergic foods. My 5 child old only has 1 safe food due to his eosinophilic disorder, and we have encountered several situations where people didn’t take it seriously because it isn’t just a life threatening peanut allergy. What I would like to see is the food allergy community come together and raise awareness for everyone with life threatening food allergies. Why does it just have to be about nuts on airplanes? What if a child has an airborn allergy to oranges or chicken? Will banning those foods insight the same level of passion to keep that child safe? In our family’s experience, it hasn’t. We have a long way to go in raising awareness for our kids.
Just food for thought.
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January 26, 2011 at 7:54 pm Mel says:
Great post. I think people just don’t understand. My daughter had a hives reaction in front of someone once due to her milk allergy. And the person said “Oh that’s not that bad, if that all you have to deal with.” While yes her reaction was small, she had maybe a tsp or less of milk to cause that reaction. Since our daughter is only 3, I really have no way of knowing what her mouth and throat feel like since she can’t really verbalize it yet. I just feel like giving up sometimes. Thank you for continuing to spread the word!
January 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm Lisa Case says:
Bless you Kelly for being such an eloquent crusader in your continued efforts to raise awareness of food allergies. I look to your blogs for inspiration and support. You are so important to our family!
January 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm Vikki says:
Thank you so much for posting this. Like a previous poster my 2 year old son has contact reactions to peanut, nut, dairy, egg, and mustard – instant hives and swelling, and has had an anaphylactic reaction to egg. I would challenge the person who wrote that negative comment to look my son in the eye and tell him “My snack is worth more to me that your life.” Because essentially, that is the message.
I have been following your blog since my son’s allergies were diagnosed, and have found it to be a source of ideas and inspiration. Thank you for helping me keep my son safe.
January 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm Laura says:
January 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm Marni says:
Congratulations on raising a classy, healthy kid. I’m a celiac who has anaphylactic reactions to carmine, and my husband and I are trying to have kids – my husband and I aren’t sure if, when we’re lucky enough to have a child, it will or won’t have food intolerances as well. Please keep fighting the good fight – with your words and education, and bravo on your son’s choice of role models! (Must be the great parents.)
January 27, 2011 at 12:58 am Lindsay says:
Great blog, Kelly! I hate all of the insensitivity too, and I could go on-and-on about that. But here’s another thought: What is the deal with all of the food in school nowadays?!? Seriously! Lunchtime is really the only time for food, in my opinion. We not only have kids with food allergies, but an epidemic of kids with growing waistlines, as well. Let’s get food out of the classroom! Maybe food allergy advocates should join forces with those trying to combat childhood obesity, change school lunch menus, remove vending machines, etc. We might be able to win some battles together!
January 27, 2011 at 12:59 am Libby says:
((((((((((Hugs)))))))))) to you and your wonderful son. You are an amazing mother to raise such a sensitive (and well fed) child. Hang in there!
January 27, 2011 at 5:30 am Debby Olivieri says:
As the mother of a child with severe life threatening food allergies, we thank you Kelly Rudnicki for all you do! Clearly the person who left that response is TOTALLY CLUELESS to this entire issue! Great response!
January 27, 2011 at 5:53 am Cindy says:
Such a good response to a ridiculous comment! I am a registered dietitian and also mom to 2 beautiful daughters (one with allergies to milk and eggs, and the other does not have any allergies). People are extremely focused on food, it is no wonder that 63% of Americans are overweight or obese.People truly are OBSESSED with food. They want it at meetings, playdates, games, and apparently even on an airplane! The wonderful thing about my daughter (and all of our FA children) is that she takes her allergies all in stride and she’s only 2 1/2! I say “sorry, you can’t have that.” And she replies with “That has milk in it? Ok mommy.” And goes on her way without even a second thought. These people with their ridiculous comments are truly just fighting to fight. I wouldn’t wish food allergies upon anyone, but if they had any idea what it’s like to live in constant fear and worry of a reaction…and all just because of food.
January 27, 2011 at 6:11 am Em says:
I am SHOCKED!! Obviously that person has not had to carry around an epi pen with him or her!! Unfortunately that person’s view, would only be changed by having to carry one around and care for a child or family member who has such a life threatening allergy!
Both my sons are peanut sensitive and my nephew could die if he comes into contact with it. There is NOTHING worse than taking him to the zoo, the circus or the thought of taking him to see his relatives on a plane and knowing that if some insensitive jerk like the one who made the comment has even just one ridiculous peanut, attempts to wipe his hands on something but, still manages to touch something that my nephew does or touches my nephew himself…..
To say that allergic people/children need to learn to manage their problems…..that poster needs to manage their manners! I mean really, how dare an adult be so self centered that they do not care if they risk the life OF A CHILD….to be so self absorbed that they cannot behave in a manner befitting an adult! I’m sure their mother would be ashamed of their comment here and God knows what someone like that does in real life! What is even worse, is that knowing that probably the only way to change someone who is so pig headed, immoral, pompous and self righteous as that poster, is for them to have some who is DEATHLY allergic to peanuts or milk or dogs or eggs, etc. in their life! I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Sadly enough, those of us who have that kind of allergy in our lives are more compassionate than that poster will ever be. In a way I feel even sorry for the poster of the comment, he or she has obviously not been shown some kind of compassion nor taught it. They’ve also obviously not been told that golden rule most of our own mothers taught us: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all! Sorry but, ignorance spouted out of a mouth that has not taken the time to actually be educated on a subject, really annoys and upsets me!
You’re doing an amazing job Kelly, keep it up! We’re all right behind you!
January 27, 2011 at 6:18 am Susan says:
I love the comment about food allergy being like a loaded gun on a playdate! As a mom of an 8yr old boy I constantly worry about him….I just cant understand why people dont understand that food allergies arent an EATING PREFERENCE but a LIFE THREATENING DISEASE!!!! Maybe FA should be renamed to something scarier sounding so people would pay attention and not think my son will sneeze if he drinks milk or eats the wrong thing!