My Son Has a Peanut Allergy Too: And I’m Scared

By: Theresa Marie Green, Guest Writer

Theresa is a mother who knows all-too-well how serious food allergies can be. Her son is allergic to peanuts and although she takes every precaution possible to protect him, she also knows that danger lurks around the corner. She spent the night in shock after hearing about the recent death of a young child and explains that “her worst fear came true for this Richmond family.” She expresses her feelings here for us. She also includes an extensive listing of tips and resources to help us keep children safe, in her article “Food allergy parent’s nightmare became a reality!”

Ammaria Johnson, a seven year old first grader at Hopkins Elementary School in Chesterfield, VA, died while attending school.

Tears! Shock! Fear!

Tears...How could we not protect this child? We failed her! The system failed her!

Shock… The school supposedly did not follow Ammaria’s food allergy action plan.  And it was reported that when Ammaria’s mother attempted to leave an EpiPen with the school, they instructed her to keep it at home.

FEAR! I have a child who is allergic to peanuts and attends first grade at a local public elementary school. This could have been my son. We can’t let our guards down.  We are our children’s protectors!

My mother writes, “We pray that hearts will be lifted and that some ray of light or hope can eventually shine in this family’s life. While our hearts are heavy, our heads must stay cool while the story unravels and we get to the truth.   And at the same time, we must be vigilant, stay sharp and do whatever needs to be done to protect our children, grandchildren….our families.”  I could not have said it better.

It is suspected that a friend shared their treat with seven year old Ammaria Johnson, which may have contained peanuts.  I have read that Ammaria’s food allergy action plan was not followed and that there was NOT an EpiPen on hand at the school for her.  According to CBS 6 News when Ammaria’s mother, Laura Pendleton, attempted to leave an Epipen with the school’s clinical aide, she was told to keep it at home.

EpiPens - because every second counts!

Please keep in mind that the facts of Ammaria Johnson’s death are dependent on the accuracy of the media.  The cause of death has not been confirmed by the Medical Examiner and the school has not released information.  Lets work together as parents, schools, caretakers, and teachers to keep all children safe.

Additional information on food allergies can be found at Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network or Kids with Food Allergies. These are non-profit organizations with invaluable education, advice, and support.

EpiPen carriers can be found at Allergy Apparel.

Theresa Marie Green is the owner of Allergy Apparel, dedicated to protecting and educating children and adults about the dangers of food allergies, and offering apparel and other things to create a safer world for children.

Rhonda is the mother of two adult daughters and a grandmother to five wonderful grandchildren – and our only grandmother on staff. She spent 25 years in corporate healthcare managing prenatal and disease management programs. She is the Content Manager for Richmondmom and contributes her expertise as both a mom and grandmother – while sorting out the many opportunities for our valuable advertisers.