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This small picture book for children carries a big message about food allergies. According to the CDC, food allergies affect over 10 million Americans, and almost 4% of America's children. As the CDC says, "At present, there is no cure for food allergies. The best method for managing food allergies is prevention by way of strict avoidance of any food that triggers a reaction." With hundreds of deaths and thousands of hospitalizations every year, there is clearly a need for increased efforts at prevention.
But how DO you teach children about food allergies, whether their own or those of people around them? This charming little picture book is the answer. It teaches an important lesson about food allergies by telling the story of Kelly and the pesky peanut. Kelly's family discovered he was allergic to peanuts at his first birthday party, when his birthday cake caused an allergic reaction requiring a visit from the paramedics. From that moment on, Kelly's parents were careful to make sure Kelly never came into contact with peanuts in any form. Extremely, extra, very, very, super-dooper careful.
But as the story of "The Pesky Peanut" shows, shows, sometimes careful parents aren't enough. The CDC's call for prevention is a first step. But effective prevention requires education and understanding. This illustrated story is an effective tool to help fill that gap, and make sure children understand food allergies. While dealing specifically with the peanut, the story is applicable to any allergy. It takes a mysterious, scary subject and makes it easy to understand.