A Toronto playground was found covered in smears of peanut butter, threatening the lives of peanut-allergic children in the neighbourhood. I would love to say it's shocking that someone would stoop this low, but the truth is that over the last 6.5 years of my son's life, I've come across a number of monstrous people who feel those with allergies deserve little respect. There's hatred in online forums, insults thrown in parenting groups on Facebook, and now someone has willfully risked the lives of children by making what should be a safe, fun place, a life-threatening play structure.
Make no mistake: it is a monster who would do this.
I just got the call this morning to tell us that our son's oral food challenge to peanuts can be done two weeks sooner than we'd thought, and my immediate reaction was, "YESSSS, I'll be finished talking about allergies if this goes well!" I don't want my son having to fear for his life anymore. I don't want to stress about every crumb he ingests. And I sure as hell don't want to have to fear for his life when he visits a playground, of all places.
I am mad. I'm livid. This aggressive act is criminal, and I hope that the person who did this is found and punished to the full extent of the law.
To find allergies an inconvenience to accommodate is one thing, but to attempt to harm children with life-threatening allergies isn't brave, it's the ultimate act of cowardice.
Shame on the person who did this. My heart is with everyone who has to live with life-threatening allergies in a world that shows such hostility. It breaks my heart that this is a reality.
Please be diligent when taking allergic children to parks and playgrounds. Bring wipes if you have to, and always, always carry EpiPens.
I feel very Fox Mulder saying, "Trust no one," but sadly, it seems this is how life for allergy families is now.