For many parents the adjustment to living with severe food allergies in their child is pretty stressful. It is understandable that we would all want a cure, a magic wand to wave all the nasty stuff away. There is nothing wrong with this, because hope still exists. Many children will naturally grow out of some or all of their allergies.
There is some fantastic research out there, and the results, like the LEAP study are bringing hope to the next generation of children. Supporting this research is important, and future studies reveal new understanding of the complexity of allergy.
Treatments that induce tolerance of an allergy, particularly peanut are improving the lives of some. So we should remain hopeful, and support the work of the charities that push for change and research.
The tantalizing idea of a cure is not something that we should focus all our energies on as parents. Trying alternative treatments is something that many try, particularly when access to the mainstream allergy clinics are either patchy or out of reach, or simply have no magic wand to wave.
It is an expensive business that promises much, but caution should play its part. Particularly when your child has severe food or environmental allergies.
Sometimes you do not look for an alternative treatment, they contact you. I did not take up the offer of a quick prayer over my son, and the advice to bring a teaspoon and jar of peanut butter. Faith has different meanings to many, and obviously mine was very different to the caller.
Our goal as parents is to keep that small bit of hope tucked away and concentrate on improving the quality of life for our children right now, by teaching them in small steps how to live as an allergic person. We need to be confident to do this, if we are capable of teaching our children how to cross the road, recognise their name in print, then we can do this. We can ensure our allergic children are prepared for the future.
I also have to mention that even though my children are all grown up, I still love Harry Potter and magic wands!