Seven years ago, when I sent my now 9-year-old-son to his first day of preschool, I realized that for parents of children with food allergies, the ‘hand off’ of our children to another caregiver, will always be accompanied with a heavier layer of worry.
Along with the emotionally-laden thoughts: “I hope he has a good day”, “I hope he’s ok without me” “ I hope he will like his new friends, we also have:
How will this teacher remember what my son is allergic to compared to the other two food-allergic children in his classroom?
Will she remember what anaphylactic symptoms look like?
Will she remember when and how to use the Epipen?
Will she feel comfortable and ready to use the Epipen if she needed to?
How can I be certain she will remember any of these vital details that I am telling her?
And so belay was born.
We want to make it easy for parents to share the essential medical information with their children’s caregivers and likewise – we want to make it easy for the caregivers to take it all in. We wholeheartedly believe that parents should always take the time to verbalize this critical information, but caregivers have a lot on their minds and our children cannot always be at the forefront of them. So we have built a system to help ensure that this vital information is always within reach, easy to understand, and hopefully, life-saving.
The more we can help to educate and to raise awareness about a medical condition that is so poorly understood, the more we can help prevent food-allergic reactions and any unnecessary deaths.
Because it does in fact, take a village.