Why don’t my allergies count? that’s what my kids wonder and I think that almost daily. Tonight, the question was brought up again, As I infomed my boys ages 15 and 11 about Southwest removal of peanuts. My older child also saw some pretty upsetting comments on social media from other food allergy parents. Posts telling people you won’t react to powder dairy, or that you can’t have the same kind of reaction. Really upseting.
I have been accused of being angry at peanut allergy parents. I kind of find that funny, as I was a peanut allergy parent till my son was 6, and one of my kids is allergic to most tree nuts, as well as dairy and seseme. My other son is dairy, fish and beef. I am not angry, I am tired of having to constantly educate people that my kids dairy allergy is as bad as peanut allergy, I am tired of the fact that while the world will bend over backwards for a nut allergy they won’t for a dairy allergy.
My kids have had to learn how to live in a world filled with their allergens, and honestly at the end of the day, they are better off. But at the same time it still stings that pizza is at every party, Ice cream is everywhere, My boys could not take the school cooking program due to the fact they cooked with milk, yet it was nut free. It’s frustrating that many programs they are in are nut free, but don’t exclude the dairy, the one allergen that has sent both of them into anaphlxais more then once.
My kids are getting older, they see that the rules are unfair , they have had to speak up and say NO! they don’t have lactose intolrance, and no they can’t go to starbucks or sit in a pizza place as they will get a respiratory reaction. So tonight when they saw me expressing my concerns about SouthWest, they said what about our needs? Southwest billed this as something that will allow people with food allergies to fly comfortably, But clearly only if you have a peanut allergy. When I asked Southwest about other allergies they sent me a link that said they can’t accomadate other alleriges.
I know many feel this was a step in the right direction, but really it’s just more of the same. Just more of letting people think the only allergy you need to worry about is peanuts, and that if you don’t have the nuts your good. A step in the right direction would have been a policy that included ALL allergies. Having auto injectors on all flights and trained staff. Allowing for a buffer zone or allowing to have people change seats if someone is eating something one is allergic to, no matter what the food or animal.
This is just one more time I have to tell my kids sadly, to the rest of the world they don’t count your allergies the same. I hope one day all food allergies are seen as equal and rules and policys reflect that.