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August 9, 2005

Teens with food allergies

What is it like to have a teenager with a food allergy? Actually, I have no idea. My oldest isn’t even out of elementary school yet! I just read an article in the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network newsletter entitled What Were You Thinking? (Vol. 14 No. 6) It’s for parents of teenagers with food allergies and is really well-written. It says that “studies have shown that teens with a food allergy are the highest risk group for experiencing a severe or fatal allergic reaction.” Great! No wonder I get butterflies when I think too much about the future. The article explains why teenagers engage in risky behavior and what parents can do to help their child or potentially make matters worse, specifically related to food allergies. For instance, a teenager needs to think about (or worse, ask) what their date ate before they can have a good night kiss. Wow. How do you encourage your teen to do this without being embarrassed?

It seems like a really good starting point in this whole parenting-a-teenager-with-food-allergies thing. I know I’ll be saving it to re-read in a few years. I sometimes feel very frightened if I think too far into the future but then I remember I have built a good support network, including FAAN. Most importantly, I am working hard on keeping my communication open with my children and learning all I can about food allergies. I would recommend reading the article and welcome your comments and suggestions.

Posted by Ann Marie at August 9, 2005 9:07 PM