'Talk Back' on Food Allergies

Emalee: "It's Emalee and I'm almost four years old."

Mom: "Do you have some food allergies?"

Emalee: "Of course I do."

Mom: "What are you allergic to?"

Emalee: "Tree nuts and peanuts and eggs and mustard and penicilin. And what else?"

Mom: "Kiwi."

Emalee: "And Kiwi. And I just got a new bracelet. It has my name and my phone number and everything that I'm allergic to. And I wear it to preschool."

Mom: "Our biggest challenge this year is getting Emalee ready for preschool. I have to think about and assess my child's safety, every second of every day. We spend countless hours trying to educate others, provide a healthy diet with numerous food substitutions, prepare for and evaluate the safety of everyday activities, make sure she has her emergency medications and identification with her at all times and that her caregivers have been trained to recognize and respond to her life-threatening allergic reaction. All while trying to instill in her knowledge and confidence to face a world where food can be deadly."