We’ve heard from too many parents who have lost a child to a life-threatening allergic reaction. The month of October tends to be one of the months in which too many of these deaths occurred.
So I reached out to a mother that contacted me and asked her to share her thoughts. She lost her son Joseph to a life-taking reaction to milk on Halloween. She remains a powerful advocate, especially leveraging her voice this time of year in the hopes that no one ever suffers the same loss and heartache.
So we asked her, “How can we make a healthy and safer time for all children?”
So many children face illnesses that remove them from enjoying Halloween. Many are diabetic, have food allergies or other food intolerances. We are looking at a current generation that has reached a higher level of disease management and health care. They did not ask for it.
I believe Teal Pumpkins had been designed to help food allergy children, but it helps all of them.
We lost Joseph on Halloween 2014 due to his life-threatening allergy to milk protein. As we ALL prepare on the upcoming days, I would like to ask you to remember these things.
We’ve added to her list to help ensure that all children are safe this Halloween and always.
- We are ALL responsible for preparing a safe day. No one wants to harm a child, let us hold empathy to offering a choice when they ring.
- Ask before you offer. When a child runs ahead of their parents or family or friends to be first at the next door, let us ask ” Are you allergic to anything”. Then offer a choice.
- Think ahead to having a choice. A few nonfood items can make a great substitute to a moment that can add value for many.
- Be prepared. Carry epinephrine and your cell phone.
- Know who will be with your child, are they prepared to help, do they know the signs? Stop ahead of Halloween to have a one on one with whomever is with your child, even if you have spoken about this before. Tell the story of my son, Joseph.. If a reaction takes place have the tools needed and use in this order. If you suspect an allergic reaction, call 911 and use epinephrine fast.
- Read all labels. Not all labels are the same. Some products come in bigger sizes and are labeled one way, others come in smaller sizes with an entirely different label. Read the labels every single time.
- Have wipes on hand to wipe down faces, little hands and anything else your child may come in contact with.
- Know the signs and symptoms which you can review here.
Julianne 44, born in Brooklyn NY, os a mother of two beautiful boys. Anthony age 18 and her youngest son Joseph, who she lost to a life-threatening allergic reaction to milk on Halloween 2014 at the age of 7. Julianne had been part of the food allergy family since 2007. As a full time working mom, with a child of food restrictions she knows the battles. She is a fighter for truth with an enormous amount of compassion for others. She continues daily to help others with food allergies in memory of her little boy, Joseph.