A note from Ria Sharon of Checkmytag.com, and note from me on what it’s like to be an allergymompreneur
Most of our friends and family are amazingly thoughtful and ask, “Is this safe?” before they give our little guy anything to eat. A few just give me the box so I can check the label. But almost all will admit their discomfort with making the call themselves, partly because they are not sure what to look for when they are reading packaged food labels.
Next week is Food Allergy Week so we are making extra efforts to promote food safety for our food-allergic friends and loved ones. The Spring issue of our bulletin, Be Aware. Be Safe. is devoted to taking the mystery out of the new labeling laws. Please help us raise awareness and understanding of food allergies, by passing this .pdf along to your friends, co-workers, educators, and childcare providers.
Also, visit our Community page, http://www.checkmytag.com/community.html beginning May 20th to read personal accounts from the blogosphere on how food allergies have changed the daily lives of a growing number of families.
Thanks for helping to keep kids safe,
Ria is a very warm and helpful individual. Please check out her site! It is not just about “selling shirts” for her.
Someone recently accused me of only doing this blog to direct people to my allergyware.com site. She didn’t say it accusingly, but rather matter-of-fact. As if. 😦 Why do I make the shirts? Why did I do it in the first place? Because allergies are a “growth industry?” Because I was looking to make a quick buck? C’mon. My kid could DIE if he eats a peanut. There were no shirts at all out there for sale except from England, when he tested positive for peanut. What would YOU do?
Honestly, it is issues like the above that I am using this hiatus to think over. I don’t want anyone to think that it is my desire or motivation to profit from my son’s life-threatening allergy. The fact is, I’m not a millionaire who can set up a fund to research the cure. I do not have the time to volunteer a lot and do a lot of political stuff, plus I do not have the temperament for it.
What I am is a writer with a degree in accounting. I am a business person by training and a story-teller by birth.
I write this blog and I sell tee-shirts because I buy the tees myself. My kid also wears shirts by other allergymompreneurs. He took his first field trip today with his medicine in a bag from allergykids.com (thanks, Robyn).
If you are so cynical that you think for the past five years I have enjoyed some kind of status as Allergy Tee Shirt Emperor, then you are forgetting the heartbreak and daily stress and agony that go along with safe-guarding a child who is too young to speak for himself.
Pushing six years old, he is finally getting closer to being able to speak up for himself to people about his allergy. He still can’t read, give himself his epinephrine shot, or measure out his own Benadryl. He is dependent on any adult in his vicinity to notice if he develops hives, has trouble breathing, his eyes swell up, etc.
So I made him shirts. When he was recently fed a nut-containing brownie at school, I sent him to school the next day in an allergy shirt, in addition to talking to his teachers about what happened. You know what? Call me materialistic & opportunistic and any other “istic” that you want, but I FELT BETTER knowing his shirt said this in big letters:
(this was him four years ago, nearly exactly!)
This is him today, in a Nut Free Zone hoodie:
I love this child. He is not a model, a product spokesman, a clotheshorse, or a mannequin to hang shirts on.
HE IS MY CHILD.
If you think I’m doing this blog and doing my shirts for the money, or you wonder why I don’t do more: I am doing what I can, where I can, with what I can.
I love my children, all three of them, and I am doing my best. This blog is filled with photos, links, articles, podcasts, recalls, news, you name it. I am doing my best. I doubt I will ever give up the blog, but for now I am not in the frame of mind to do videos or audio podcasts. I probably will again. I do not feel like I am “done,” you know? But my time is sort of maxed out right now.
Now head on over to Ria’s site, or any of the awesome Allergy Mom (and Dad) sites listed in this blogroll.
Sorry for the tangent, but I think it deserves to be said: Allergy Moms who started Allergy businesses have their hearts in the right place. They should be commended, not distrusted!
courtesy Karen Blue:
Children already coping with life-threatening allergies face a new threat in the school playground – being bullied with foods that are potentially deadly.
Click here for the rest of the story.
I heard a story on This American Life about an American family that broke up over playground teasing and bullying, paired with harassment from a teacher. Dad ended up moving out. The stress was too much. They were Islamic and this was post-9/11.
Sometimes it is difficult to process how much pain and suffering human beings are capable of causing one another. Why does one difference, or weakness, or human frailty elicit such base responses in others?
I do not get it.
I mean, I wasn’t brought up in the best home–even I don’t GET this.
It is not okay to play “kill the beast” on the playground.
Read more here
I know it’s a little off-topic here on the Allergy News blog, but not really…you’ll see why in a second!
Just wanted to recommend a literary podcast known as Authors In Your Pocket, and its little sister Bookclub in Your Pocket, from the warm and wonderful podcast team known as TriCom. Wali Muhammad is a great host–professional without being phony or self-promoting. The team behind Wali is knowledgeable, courteous, and very friendly, especially L. Peggy Hicks! I just love the show, have been listening to it for a year…and this week they gave a shout-out to Allergy News!
Have a listen to their latest, an interview with Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), and subscribe to their show through iTunes!
Courtesy of Karen Blue:
I know Celiac’s disease is not the same as Wheat allergy, but it sure can make you feel like you are allergic to everything, over the long term.
This episode’s topics:
- Listen here, or choose to get automatic updates through the mp3 player of your choice
- asthma update (albuterol, inspirease, advair, nebulizer, cats on the property, chronic bronchitis)
- Poison Ivy drops for under the tongue (it IS sublingual, I’m not crazy after all!)
- asthma screenings in schools
- Please do not email me about your lice stories. 😉 (Apologies to the lice-having community.)
- AllergyTranslation.com helps with your overseas trips – now you can travel with confidence, despite your allergies!
- Kyle’s Food Allergy Links blog
- GMOs, Genetically Engineered foods cause food allergies? Why does the FDA do nothing? Kraft is going NO-GMO in China
- When was the last time you heard someone say “informaton superhighway” with sincerity?
- Tobacco companies linked to GMO-producing companies?
- Is it socially acceptable to be a thoughtless consumer in the US?
- Why can’t we label for GMOs like we do for food allergies?
- Allergy to sex can be cured. (Some women are allergic to semen.)
- Christmas trees can trigger allergic response
- Allergy syrup poisoned
- Leslea offends the lice-having community as her IQ drops 60 points
- Treat next year’s allergy symptoms now (avoid getting sick!)
- Are your eyes irritated? It might be peanut allergy! Yes, really!
- music this time from the podsafe music network, as usual: dream traveler (kcsalto), Kraft Singles (In Need of Sympathy), Can’t Breathe (Keith Varon), Liberty Jones (The Shakes), soapbox (sevensidedstar) , Canon in D by Pachelbel performed by Mario Ajero
- Winner of the goodie giveaway announced! Congrats, and get in touch!
- Your emails and comments: tips and reports about dealing with Halloween.
- Coming soon to allergyware.com: BreathXchange. Please contact me at email@example.com if you’d like one of these. I will put up links to the shopping cart ASAP. Please buy from me and support the podcast & this site!
- cafemom (add me as your friend!) I’m also at vox, here at wordpress, myspace
- The top-ten best-selling allergyware.com products of all time:
- Do Not Feed This Child (by a landslide)
- Nut Free Zone
- Don’t Feed The Animal
- Contents: One Really Cute Kid
- Warning: This Shirt May Contain One Incredibly Precious Child
- What are you trying to do? Kill me? (Asthma shirt)
- I Love My Kid
- No Child Lost to Food Allergies
- Peanut Free Zone
- Peanut Allergy Awareness
- A contest for the kids out there!
- Who uses a 504 plan? Is someone at your school responsible for that?
- Tootsie Rolls are free of several allergens (but do contain milk), other updates from Karen Blue at the Milk Allergy site
- Listen here, or choose to get automatic updates through the mp3 player of your choice. I ask you to use these links so I can track user stats with an additional online tool. 🙂 Thank you so much!
- Have an awesome Thanksgiving!!! Call and let me know how it went, will you? Dial 1-888-654-2278(1-888-65GCAST), and when prompted, enter the phone number 225-553-7532 (CALL-LESLEA). When prompted for a pin, enter 1111 #. Then leave me a message! It doesn’t matter if you “save it” or “post it,” just record it! I will check the comment line once a week or so and if your comment works as part of the show, you might just hear yourself “on the air.” (Or should that be “on the wires”?) If you’re calling from outside the US, call +1-305-437-8719, then CALL-LESLEA, then 1111 #, just like above.
- Email me your address if you’d like a magnet, some small calendars, maybe some other allergyware.com freebies.
- Cafepress coupon codes are always listed on my products page. Check it out.
Coming soon to allergyware.com! BreathXchange masks!
I finished my business in Illinois early and got to come home two days ahead of schedule…
However, that means I didn’t yet finish the upcoming podcast. Don’t worry, though, it’s more than half-way done!
In the meantime, if you are looking for a good podcast, try the edition of Writers on Writing in which Christina Adams speaks about her memoir of early intervention into the case of her child’s autism. There are connections between food and autism, and as I have wondered about aloud on my podcast and on this blog, there are medical connections between the allergic response we typically see to food, and the autistic response.
Hope you are having a terrific Friday!
Reposted to add: these are non-demoninational. 🙂
Recently, I ordered a big stash of cards, calendars, and magnets to send out to my allergy buddies. The only problem is, I don’t have your addresses!
If you’d like to get a greeting in the mail from me this year, please email me your address to:
If you purchased something from allergyware.com (thank you!!!), I don’t have your address or even your email (unless you bought AllergyZone air filters). cafepress keeps all the info quiet besides name and city. I suppose I could stalk you through the internet, but save me the trouble and send me your addy, will ya?
Thanks for being out there, thanks for being a friend!
And in case I forgot to mention it, the latest giveaway contest is open to suggestions and tips not just from Halloween, but also from Thanksgiving. I want to give some stuff away, people, I’ve only had six entries! C’mon, drop me a line!
Click here and learn how to win lots of free goodies!!!!!