While researching gluten free recipes, I stumbled across a children’s clothing trend that definitely did not exist when I was in primary school.
These t-shirts are a really interesting way of negotating the fact that most infants with food allergies probably do not completely understand their condition. Parents can monitor what their children eat when it comes to home-cooked meals and packed lunches, but at school or friend’s places this is out of their control. By alerting other adults that their son or daughter cannot eat certain food products (such as dairy, wheat, eggs or peanuts) parents can reduce the risk of a severe allergic reaction. This is a great idea in theory, as it helps to avoid miscommunication and potential disasters. However, I can’t help but question the practicality of this strategy. In order for the allergy awareness t-shirts to be effective, a child would technically need to wear it on a daily basis. This is particuarly unrealistic in Australia, where most students are required to wear a uniform to school. However, most parents would have already alerted the school about any allergies their child suffers from- meaning the shirt could be useful in other circumstances where they are away from the home.
What do you think? Would you purchase one of these shirts if your child had a food allergy, or do you think it is impractical?