Stay Away Itchy Foods educates the audience on the signs & symptoms of an allergic reaction, the eight most common food allergens, the importance of having an emergency action plan and the opportunities food allergies bring to a classroom environment. My training and experience guide me to appropriately tailor the message according to the developmental age of the audience. However, both audiences will benefit from the non-threatening terminology in the education program because it is positive and re-assuring.
Food is necessary for survival. Food is part of our family and school traditions. Yet, children cannot live in fear of their little brother or friend potentially dying from something they eat. They cannot hold such heavy facts. Likewise, we must be fair to children without food allergies so they understand policies that may restrict certain foods. Children need honest and simple information. It's effective to use non-threatening terminology and to harness the child's innate desire to be helpful and thoughtful.
Adults must be compassionate and consider the child's perspective. Adults must also be shrewd. They must know the heavy medical facts about what's happening inside the body during an allergic reaction in order to correctly manage the situation. Adults need to read each child's emergency action plan, to know how to use the medication and to have the confidence to secure the environment.