Our 4 year old son has asthma. He is also highly allergic to dairy, which in turn, trigges his asthma. We are constantly reading food labels, carrying our own food & snacks, packing his lunch for school, providing his school snacks, etc., just so he doesn't accidentally ingest any dairy.
Keeping him away from dairy at school has proven to be a struggle this year (and he's only in Pre-K). Although I pack his lunch, and provide his snacks, he has eaten dairy once (he had it at his activitiy table – he mistook a green skittle for a green M&M) and the teacher tried to give him a Hershey kiss, but he stepped backwards and said "I can't have that". It aggravates me that his food allergy isn't taken more seriously; it seems to be met with a lackadaisical attitude because he doesn't launch into anaphylaxis after eating it. Does anyone else have similar troubles with food allergies in school?
What happens when he accidentally ingests dairy? He gets the typical runny nose, cough, red cheeks, and he'll usually get an ear infection. Last time this happened, he had all of the above, but after being on antibiotics for 9 days for his ear infection, he spiked a high fever. We were already doing breathing treatments because of his cough, but it turned out that he had also developed pneumonia (despite him being on antibiotics). All from a small amount of dairy.
My husband and I sometimes feel like we're constantly fighting to keep him healthy. I know we're not alone in our battle, I know that there are others that have it worse than we do. There are parents who have lost their children, who would give anything to be sitting up at night with their child, doing breathing treatments, for nights on end.
As I sit here on the couch with our 4 year old for night 2 of round the clock breathing treatments, I know things could be a lot worse. But I do feel like we're fighting a constant battle with his asthma and food allergies. I've made it known to his school that dairy poses a huge issue for him. They know of his asthma. Without being a jerk (because I work at his school as well), I don't know how I can convince them that this is a big deal, that's not to be taken lightly.