A little thought over food allergies goes a long way
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Does an allergy rule your life?
I've been seriously allergic to things as long as I can remember. The list was pretty long, but luckily is shorter now. I am currently seriously allergic to dairy, beef, nuts and shellfish.
Growing up as a kid with allergies is hard, there isn't another way to put it. Between bullying, teasing and missing out on classic things kids get to do, managing potentially life-threatening allergies becomes even more difficult, but somehow I've made it thus far to the ripe old age of 19.
I was always lucky to have incredibly supportive parents, extended family members and friends (mostly).
There have been times where I wasn't allowed to be invited to a birthday party as an 8-year-old because the girl's mum said she couldn't be bothered dealing with my allergies; times where my lunchbox had to be kept in the teacher's cupboard because my lunch kept getting stolen; and times where I cried for days on end because the specialist had said I would probably grow out of my allergies by the age of 10, and I didn't.
I moved into a university hall at the beginning of 2014. When I was applying for these halls I was clear about the severity of my allergies and the extent of them.
The university and the catering company at the hall had said they could cater to me, but over the course of that year I had three or four anaphylactic reactions. There really needs to be a step up in regards to catering for teenagers' needs when they get to university. They deserve to be able to get the same treatment as everybody else in terms of attending a hall.
Let me tell you, the first year of university is hard enough without spending till 11pm in hospital due to a reaction, then going home to work on an assignment till 3am.
So cut the parent who's wiping down surfaces and asking you not to bring nuts to school some slack.
Think about how often that kid misses out on everyday treats and trust me when I say that a little bit of forethought in regards to food for an allergic person goes a really long way.
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