Provide Allergy-Friendly Alternatives at BI Community Events

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The purpose of this petition is to raise awareness of the 1 in 13 children (or two in every classroom) in our community living with food allergies and to advocate for small changes to be made to our community events that would provide a safer and more inclusive environment for our families.


One of the best aspects of living on Bainbridge Island is the sense of community and the events that bring us together.  However, many of the events catered towards children can be tremendously stressful and potentially dangerous for families that have food allergies.  


Food allergies can be life-threatening.  In fact, every three minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone in the US to the emergency room.  There are many families on Bainbridge who have witnessed first-hand the terror of their child having an anaphylactic reaction to food. In many cases, our children have required life-saving treatment from food-induced anaphylaxis.  Therefore, we are required to be extra vigilant to keep our kids safe as they participate in normal activities. 


Currently, at many of the community events, candy/food is given to children. The food is often unlabeled (thus unable to determine safety) or contains items from the top 8 allergens. This makes participation and inclusion difficult and sometimes impossible for food allergy families. And while we don’t want to change the spirit of these community-building events, we are asking for allergy-friendly alternatives to be provided such as:

 
-Non-food items such as small toys are a great alternative to candy 

-If candy is provided, please provide some that is free from the top 8 allergens (wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, egg, dairy, shellfish, and fish)

-If food is offered, please provide nutritional/ingredient information so that our families can adequately determine if food is safe for our children


On behalf of Food Allergy Families on Bainbridge Island, please support us in advocating for some of our most vulnerable community members, our children.  



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