Olivia at the last field trip of the year…
We are crazy busy right now. There are three more days of school left and our calender is bursting with school functions, field trips, parties, doctors and dentist appointments, sporting events, sleepovers, and more. It’s organized chaos in our house right now—I’ve been on go-nonstop-mode for almost two weeks. I can barely keep track of everything I’m supposed to pack, bake, and attend. One of the most important aspects of my mothering jobs is to keep our kids safe. I am usually very good at this job, but I dropped the ball for a few seconds and it was an unfortunate, uncomfortable, scary reminder of the seriousness of food allergies.
Last Friday was Field Day at school. The annual picnic and game day end-of-the-year celebration are fun for all. Everyone is relaxed and the atmosphere is laid-back, but if you have kids with a food allergy (Olivia has an anaphylactic allergy to eggs) you must always be on high alert. Lunch was a breeze, as I was right there with her. Everything was going great. The day was awesome!
Kids played all sorts of outdoor games and had a blast. Everyone was smiling. The party was a success. Just an hour before the final bell of the day rang, I left the school to go on a grocery store run. Right as I was leaving, I noticed a couple of kids hand Olivia lollipops, which are eggless. Fun. I kissed her goodbye, she handed me her candy wrapper, and I left her with my friend, Julie.
I was two blocks from the school when my cell phone rang. Julie asked if I had looked at the label of the candy Olivia was given. I said no, as I know those particular lollipops are eggless. Julie said that Olivia complained that her throat and tongue were itching.
I turned around a nd drove back as quick as I could. Olivia looked scared. She has been to the ER before. We have had an ambulance at our home. She knows what could happen if she doesn’t get her medicine fast enough.
I gave her some Benadryl right away and then went to my car to look at the label she had given me. It wasn’t a lollipop. I didn’t see that she was given a mini Bit-O-Honey back at school, but there it was in my car. She had handed it to me and I hadn’t even looked at it because I assumed it was a lollipop wrapper. I read the ingredients list on the label—sure enough…egg whites.
Thoughts quickly swirled through my mind..What should I do? Should I give her the Epi-Pen, take her to the ER, or see how she does with the Benadryl. I could quickly tell by her slumped over disposition that we would go straight to the ER, which is across the street from the school.
We were there for a little over an hour while the doctor monitored her to make sure she didn’t have the second wave of allergic reactive symptoms. Luckily, she did not. We were in the clear this time. WE did not have to use the Epi-Pen.
I learned a few things that day and so did Olivia.
The doctor said that she didn’t have a full-blown anaphylactic reaction because of how small the item was and because Bit-O-Honey’s are so processed that by the time they are manufactured, the egg is almost diluted out. If that had been a baked good, like a cookie or donut, we would have had a much more dangerous situation on our hands. Olivia was definitely reminded how important it is to ask permission before eating something someone has given her.
Just a reminder to everyone out there who knows someone who has a food allergy: We must always stay alert! I didn’t think I needed a reminder, but apparently I did. I hope both Olivia and I learned our lesson and this never happens again!