Why food allergy moms seem a little crazy peanut allergies

We all know that mom.

The one who gowns, gloves and wraps her child in bubble wrap before letting him go anywhere. Who won’t let anyone look at, breathe on or come near her child unless they have been hosed down and put into a decontamination suit. We look at this mom and think, “Geez, I hope I’m never like her!”.

Then one day we wake up, look in the mirror and realize we have become her!

How does this happen? Easy.

Allergens are sneaky. They are everywhere, they are in everything.Think I’m exaggerating? Take peanuts for example.

Everyone knows that peanuts are rampant in most candy, cookies, cakes, ice cream and cereals. Basically all desserts and breakfast foods not made in our own homes are suspect.

But what is surprising is that peanut butter is sometimes used to thicken sauces like chili, BBQ sauce and spaghetti sauce and is even used to seal egg rolls.

Peanuts and peanut oil are also found in the most innocuous of places: potting soil, sunscreen, pet food, shampoo, bird seed, stuffed animals, and more.

Let’s not forget the zoo, the ballpark, the circus, and several chain restaurants, where peanuts are not just being consumed in mass quantities, but are being shelled and thrown around all willy nilly!

We moms diligently read food labels, but just to keep us on our toes, peanuts can have all different types of names: arachis oil, satay, monkey nuts, beer nuts, goobers…you get the idea.

Finally, even if we have outsmarted and avoided all of these tricky little allergens, there’s always the danger of cross contamination. Did the guy in the kitchen cut a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before he cut little Jimmy’s grilled cheese? Was that ice cream scooper in the Peanut Butter Ripple before it was used to dip our vanilla?

But it’s not just peanuts! Other allergens are just as sneaky. Milk, wheat, eggs and lots of high risk foods show up everywhere. Avoiding all possible sources of exposure becomes an every day challenge.

We are the only voice our little ones have, and for some of these kids a slip up could be fatal. The Mama bear in us has to be on high alert.

Yes, that mom may be a little paranoid. Maybe even a bit crazy. It’s for a good reason!

So the next time you see a wild eyed woman chasing her child down with a wet wipe in each hand and an Epipen hanging out of her pocket, show her some grace.

Sure, she might be a little crazy, but there’s a bit of that crazy mom in all of us.

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