Food Allergies: For Those Who Don't Have Them
No Laughing Matter
Written especially for children (but for adults, too!)
"Food allergies? Ha ha! People who think they get sick from foods are 'nuts.'"
Those with food allergies may be laughed at or made fun of due to their seemingly strange disorder. However, food allergies are accepted by the traditional medical community, and are becoming more and more common. Food intolerances, although not as serious, are also becoming more common. In fact, it is estimated by some that many people are lactose intolerant by/in adulthood, and just don't know it. But we're here to talk about food allergies, not intolerances.
Why are people so rude to those with food allergies? You may have found yourself laughing at the idea of someone getting sick from a certain food. It sounds silly, doesn't it? You are able to eat any food you want to, and you only get a tummy-ache if you over-eat on hotdogs and ice-cream and pickles all at the same time! But people with food allergies have to be very careful with each food they eat. Did you know that the foods mentioned contain wheat (flour), milk, and eggs? People with food allergies might be allergic to those. The reactions they can have range anywhere from a slight stomachache, or annoying rash or eczema (skin itches), to death. This seems really very strange, doesn't it? Maybe it even sounds silly. But it isn't. Food allergies are a disease of the immune system, and they really aren't funny to the people who have them. It is very important to respect people who suffer from difficulties and disabilities, and to make them feel as normal as possible.
If you met someone who was blind and needed help crossing the street, would you help him or her? Of course you would! You and your parents would help the person cross the street and make sure s/he was okay before moving along. You would also hold open a door for a handicapped person who needed your help. It is always nice to help people, and it can make you feel very good about yourself! Well, believe it or not, you can also help people with food allergies!
Do you have a friend with food allergies? If so, you
can help your friend by being very careful not to
eat foods s/he allergic to while around him or her.
Maybe your friend would like it if you tried
some of his or her different foods! You can learn as much as you can
about food allergies, also.
Also, please don't be worried that you will catch food allergies from your friend. People don't catch food allergies from one another.