Teens in the Real World
  Food Allergies in the Real World  

Be sure to check out this video, "Eating Safely with Food Allergies," from Anaphylaxis Canada.

A Wise Approach

by Evan. Age 16. Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and soy.

 

I have been allergic to various foods since birth, and dealing with my allergies has just become part of my life. Experience, life’s best teacher, has trained me how to handle certain situations. Someone who has been recently diagnosed with an allergy isn’t blessed with this protective sixth sense, so they might find themselves in uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situations.

To anyone in this position, a newly discovered allergy can seem very daunting and dangerous, but there are several simple steps that I would recommend to make life with your allergies much easier. Learn as much as possible about your allergy, and then apply your knowledge to tutor everyone around you, further protecting yourself against ignorance, your most dangerous enemy.

While I was growing up, my parents handled a lot of the difficulties that come with having a life-threatening allergy, such as talking to chefs and waiters at restaurants, training my teachers in proper epinephrine autoinjector use, and studying the ingredient label for everything I ate. As I’ve grown older, I have taken these responsibilities upon myself, and now these tedious tasks are a necessary part of my life.

While you must always be aware of the situation, you can ease your burden by teaching your friends to help you. All of my friends at my high school know of my allergy, and they are always careful with certain foods around me. Whether my friends are checking the ingredient label of foods or carrying my EpiPen in their purse, they are always helping me. If they did not know about my situation, then they would never be able to provide this support.

Living with a serious allergy is difficult, and a newly diagnosed allergy is even more so. You must not only learn to live with your allergy, but also educate others about it. To someone with a newly diagnosed allergy, I recommend discovering as much as possible about your allergy, and then applying that knowledge to make your life safer.

 

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