As I have mentioned before, our daughter has severe food allergies. There are many challenges with seeing to her safety. One of the things that all parents of children that are allergic to peanuts knows is that a plane can be a very dangerous place for a person with peanut allergies.
Almost all airlines serve nuts, and almost all airlines could care less about anyones allergies much less them being humans that deserve a certain amount of respect. Recent events on the news highlights just how little airlines care about people. There are a number of blogs where people with peanut allergies have shared just how little airlines care about our issues. Some airlines are better than others, but almost all of them have had issues where certain flight crews didn’t follow the airlines policies.
Although our daughter has flown once, we are very aware of the dangers, and that was a very stressful situation. When you are in the air at 34,000 feet and something goes wrong, minutes matter. Most people don’t seem to realize that an EpiPen only buys you about 15 minutes of relief if it works. Severe reactions may not be stopped. So if your a parent and something goes wrong on an airline and you have two EpiPens you technically have about 30 minutes of relief should you need it. That means from the moment you inject someone, they have 30 minutes to be in an ambulance where hopefully they have more EpiPens or epinephrine. If you’ve ever flown you know that those jets take 15 minutes just to taxi down a runway, that doesn’t leave the plane much time to find an airport and land. And of course thats if you get 15 minutes, you may get way less from each EpiPen. I’ve read stories of people that had to take two back to back immediately to stop an episode.
Now I’ve read plenty of Peanut allergy sites about planes making emergency landings due to an event on the plane. And on the flip side I’ve read a number of blogs of people who fly all the time with peanut allergies. (It should be noted that peanut allergies aren’t a one size fits all issue. Some people are mildly allergic and some like our daughter are severely allergic.) There are a number of things that people do, from wiping down the seat and tray, seat and tray covers, dust masks, asking the airline to make announcements and asking if they won’t serve nuts.
On two recent flights that I took with two different airlines, I noticed that there was plenty of peanut particles all over the floor of both planes. And I believe that when people due have an issue on a plane it is most likely that they touched something rather than breathed in something. My little girl is constantly exploring and then touching her face. When she flew the first time she was in a carseat on the plane and only an infant. So it was easy to ensure that she couldn’t touch anything. Now that she’s older, not so much. We have seen what happens with her when she does hive out, a term we use to describe her having a severe allergic reaction. Its a very scary event.
Now I want to show her the world safely, but how to do it. We have driven all over the United States, due to job changes. Driving presents some issues as well, if something goes wrong you could potentially be hundreds of miles from help. But you do control the cars environment. However, trying to visit places when you live on a coast thats far from some of the major attractions (we are huge Disney fans) can be challenging. Do we take extra time off so that we can drive there and back or risk flying and the convenience of being there in just a few hours.