The thread on ideal practise room, which has been surprisingly interesting, contained a comment from Anne H regarding not having lollies (candy) available because of the risk to allergic kids.
It got me thinking:
The Sharelle Theory on anaphylactic reactions is the risk is signifcantly and dangerously exaggerated for many kids, and leads to emotional and physical dependence and loss of enjoyment.
As a child in the 60's and 70's with severe food allergy, I was personally responsible for keeping my distance from nuts, peanut butter sandwiches, cakes, pavlova - anything containg the egg, nut, soy, or dairy I might get 'the wheezes" to - and I know I was able to do this even at parties and in other peoples homes from about 4 years of age.
I didn't know I had ashtma until 15, when I was seen in full reaction by a doctor during a social event, when I was just feeling embarrassed because my face was so puffy and I couldn't breathe out (much less in). that was when I mistook a pinch of pavlova for whipped cream.
Even then, no one suggested this might be life threatening so I didn't panic. At an earlier reaction when I was 13, I was actually very scared that I wasn't going to another breath in in time, and I remember clearly the relief I felt when our very calm and in control family friend arrived on the scene about 10 minutes later - my breathing improved almost immediately to allow at least that next breath. Looking back, had I known the risk of what was happening, I would have panicked, and panic would have dire consequences. The family GP who saw me an hour later - still completely unrecognisabble to my siblings - didn't even mention asthma, let alone anaphylaxis, and I was taken home with cough syrup.
I see kids in my work who cannot stay in the room with me until they have been comforted by seeing me use the demonstration epi pen, whose school life is dominated by the safe lunch area, the special home packed food, but with utterly no ability within themselves to feel that they can control anything in their environment. May of them have reactions like an upset tummy or mild tingling in their lips, a swollen eye, relatively mild responses, but the family is in full emergency response mode ALL the time. Ongoing elevated cortisol and adrenalin in the system must have an impact.
The future for these kids as adults, when they have largely outgrown those severe anaphylactic reactions, maybe even the allergies that have so formed their identity and social skills, will be interesting indeed.
The Sharelle Theory without a formulated outcome ... I'll think onward to this.
More entries: September 2008
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