Situation Food Allergy: Safety vs. Empathy


Situation Food Allergy. Safety vs. Empathy

BLOG POST #171 —You’ve raised your child to be accepting of others. "After all," you've reinforced to him over the years, "You have a food allergy and want others to be accepting of you."

Your son has befriended a classmate, John, who has a developmental delay. Even though he is in fourth grade, John constantly has his fingers in his mouth. He then likes to hug friends around him. 

Each time the teacher asks the children to pair off, John asks your son to be his partner. At lunch and on the playground, John wants to be near your son. John even saves your son a seat on the school bus. 

How do you address the situation to accommodate safety while also reinforcing your life lesson of accepting others?


JJ Vulopas is a rising senior at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. An advocate for young people, JJ has lived with food allergies his entire life. He is the author of the children's book, Land of Not. You can read his daily blog at and follow him @thelandofcan on Twitter and Instagram.