Can You Trust Again? Post-Allergy Trauma

"Maintained over time, anxiety can be harmful," said Robinson, who pointed out that children mirror adult emotions. "The child might become fearful, not wanting to eat any food or go to school."

In severe cases, particularly when the anxiety begins to interfere with other aspects of life, psychological counseling might be necessary to help a child get beyond the attack and put it in perspective.

"They have eaten a thousand times in their lives," Wood said. "This time is the anomaly."

In fact, anaphylactic shock is only responsible for about 200 deaths each year, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. This is far fewer than the 30,000 that go to the emergency room because of anaphylactic shock and recover, but it underscores the dangerous nature of allergies. Learning to trust food, a caretaker or even oneself again can be a difficult process.

Moving On

For a parent, accepting and addressing the risks associated with everyday life and moving beyond the attack is beneficial for them as well as for their child, particularly because children mirror adult emotions and fears. Ultimately, how families deal with these situations is highly individual.

"Some parents take the attitude that their child needs to live in the real world, that an attack is going to happen, just don't know when and where," Robinson said. "Others will tie themselves in knots to make sure it never happens."

Clowes recalled another incident in which her son had an allergic reaction when she kissed him after eating a candy bar and some pineapple, both of which he was allergic to.

"The only thing worse than giving your kids an EpiPen [epinephrine] is giving them one because you kissed them," Clowes said. "I could have a pity party ... but I'm not going to wallow in it. This is a very powerful message for kids. You do it and you move on."

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