A key element in raising awareness for food allergies includes reaching the local communities.
Don’t let the idea of raising awareness in the community turn you off. There are many excellent methods to make people aware of the dangers of food allergies. Before we get down to the topic today, I’d like to highlight a few that might make it easier for you to take an active part in this vision.
- Your Story
What it is that makes this cause personal for you? Is it your own allergy? A family member’s? An experience with a friend? Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. There’s no shame in sharing your story.
- Social Media/Blogging
A potentially excellent way to reach your community is through social media outlets. This allows you to continually share important information while, hopefully, building a following.
- An Existing Blog
I thought this deserved its own bullet point. Think about these questions. Do you have a blog? What do you normally share with your audience? Photography? Writing? Life? What harm would it do to share just ONE post to educate your followers about food allergies?
In fact, we’re going to make that a challenge. If you’re a blogger, consider yourself nominated. Share ONE POST this week to make your followers aware of the facts about food allergies. Share as much or as little as you want, and let me know when you’ve done it! The challenge begins now.
*Back to the topic*
Okay, so in any effort to raise awareness in the community, there are certain aspects of food allergies that must be covered, ESPECIALLY among local businesses.
- Possible contamination at cash registers.
One of the kindest things a grocery cashier did for us was to wipe down the conveyor because an unknown flour had spilled there.
- The increase of allergen detection service dogs.
It is crucial that businesses, especially any and all with a reputation for challenging service dog access laws, are made aware of the nature of allergen detection training. A dog sniffing a box of cereal may look highly unprofessional, but it’s actually saving a life.
- “Exclude the food, not the child”
This pertains mostly to churches, summer camps, day-camp/similar events, day care, early childhood ed settings, maybe some libraries, etc. Steps can be taken to protect the well-being of kids with food allergies at any of these locations/events. Think about it: what would set a mother’s mind at ease the most – sending her child to camp with two Epi-Pens, a set of instructions, and warnings to the dining hall staff; or knowing that that camp is allergy aware and readily prepared for contingency, able to prepare food separately and safely.
These are just a few of the points that could/should be covered, but I believe these are the most important. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Now, back to that impromptu blog challenge. ONE post. With ONE post, you can make your followers aware of the realities of food allergies. With ONE post, you might make someone else’s home safer for those with allergies. Just think about that.
Now go write. 🙂