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Balancing Anxiety and Risk

Don’t get me wrong, the point of this image/question isn’t to scare you, but rather to provide a bit of perspective.

After all, we’ve all been there. We take our kids out for an hour to run off their energy, and a few hours later the crankiness begins. It’s followed by sniffling or a cough, and within a day they’ve got a full-blown cold. We all know that kids share germs more readily than they’ll share anything else, and if your kids seem to spend at least half of the winter with one virus or another, you’re hardly alone.

Germs insidiously hide just about everywhere. You don’t have to see a snotty kid at the playground in order to be exposed. Germs can be deposited and linger on any surface that people touch, and popular kid havens (playgrounds, libraries, activity centers, pools, indoor play spaces, etc) are veritable breeding grounds for every virus known to man.

But as food allergy parents, when we look at these places we see an additional threat. We see the all the fingers covered in Cheetos dust, the hands smeared with peanut butter, the kids who climb on everything while munching from a bag of pistachios or sunflower seeds. We see the tuna fish and egg salad sandwiches, and all the other remnants of a culture that encourages parents to constantly keep food available to our kids in case of the slightest drop in blood sugar. I’ve seen parents who are downright afraid to take their kids to any play space because of these risks.


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