Hi! My name is Davis and I am 15 years old. I am allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish. Being in high school means that I still have to eat in a cafeteria. I was diagnosed with my allergies when I was four so I am now well practiced when it comes to managing them at school! In the early years, it didn’t seem too difficult. When you are eight years old you don’t really care about why you can’t bring this or that to school. If someone with authority tells you that you can’t bring something, then you just don’t bring it!
I think that things start getting more challenging once you get to the higher grades. As you get older, you start to question authority more. As you do this, you start to disobey more. This can lead to allergy-related problems for a couple of reasons. One, if kids know that you aren’t supposed to bring a food, they may be tempted to bring it once in a while just to break the rules. This can put you in serious harm if one day, they bring a food with one of your allergens to school and you have a reaction. Also, not many kids know what to do should a reaction occur.
Another problem you may run into is kids teasing you about your allergy. This didn’t happen to me at school, but instead when I went to a baseball game. I was with some of my teammates and one child didn’t quite understand how serious my allergy was. The boy had a bag of peanuts and decided it would be funny to put it an inch away from my face. I turned away and my mom quickly jumped in and explained the severity of my allergies to the boy’s parents. After that day, I always made sure to tell new people how serious my allergy was, especially if they had food close by that contained my allergens. Whether at school, a baseball game or anywhere, if you see something you are allergic to, you have to speak up and be proactive in keeping yourself safe. Also in case something does happen, the people around you will be better prepared.
I would suggest making sure that some of your friends, teachers, and administrative staff all know how to use an auto-injector. That’s where the beauty of free trainers comes in handy (check the website of your auto-injector for more information). They say practice makes perfect and practicing with a trainer is a great way to make sure you are always ready to help yourself.
I hope this has helped you in gain confidence when it comes to eating at school and has helped you feel more relaxed knowing that there is always someone there to help. Stay Safe!