Teens in the Real World
  Food Allergies in the Real World  

Lunch and Checklists

By Margot. Age 14. Allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.

My friends are so helpful when it comes to my food allergies. They make sure that I have my EpiPen® before trips. They also make sure that the people around us are aware of my allergy. They make sure they clean their hands before talking to me or giving me a high five so they don’t give me a rash.

Right before every field trip, my super-organized friend goes through a checklist to make sure that our group has everything. It is always really helpful, because most of the time, we are forgetting something like the camera or our sunglasses. The most helpful part of her list is the part that says “Margot’s EpiPen.” Her list reminds me to check to make sure that I have everything, but it also tells me that my friends know that I have what I need, and if I need help, they know where to find it. I feel very safe with them after we have gone through the checklist.

If our class is having a snack or something, a few of my friends will blurt out that I need to read the ingredients, and then they go on a whole explanation of why I need to read them. It is good for me because sometimes I am a little shy about my allergies, but I would have said something, eventually. I appreciate that my friends care enough to ask about foods before I even have the chance.

My friends are also really great when it comes to their food. For example, if my friend ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, she might come to talk to me, then remember and say, “I had peanut butter for lunch. I’ll be right back after I wash my hands.” I don’t even tell them to; they just started telling everyone to wash up before being near me. It is so sweet that they know that if they touch me, they will give me a rash, and they don’t want that to happen so they take the precaution to prevent it.

“My friends are the greatest”; doesn’t everyone think that? I guess so, but I think mine are extra special. They are always looking out for me, and I always feel safe around them. I love my friends!

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