In case anyone missed the cover story of last Sunday’s New York Times magazine, it described groundbreaking efforts by one intrepid researcher, Dr. Kari Nadeau, to desensitize highly food-allergic kids against multiple allergens. (Desensitization isn’t new – my niece was successfully desensitized to peanuts years ago – but this program is the first to combine a variety of food allergens in a single protocol.)
The article, written by a reporter with a food allergic child, also really brings home what it’s like to manage a child’s potentially fatal allergy, something the rest of us can’t always fully understand:
. . . food allergies amplify a kind of fear every parent experiences — of a child dashing suddenly into the street and, just like that, being gone. Your child is always playing near a precipice that is visible only to you: you may be able to keep her from falling off, but you can never move her away from the edge.
When you read the harrowing accounts of some of these parents, you’ll understand all the more why I feel so strongly that food-free classrooms should be the norm.
Meanwhile, thanks to Dina Rose of It’s Not About Nutrition, I just learned that there’s been a recent change in medical advice regarding the introduction of potential allergens in a baby’s diet. Apparently it’s no longer considered necessary or desirable to delay the introduction of foods like eggs and peanuts, a big reversal from what I was told when my children were young. You can read more in Dina’s post, here.
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