Annie's Mailbox: Concerned Food Allergy Advocate
Dear Annie: What is the polite thing to do with a guest who carries a gun?
I do not like guns in my house, but I have a friend who adamantly refuses to leave his gun at home when he comes here. Do people who carry a concealed weapon have an obligation to notify the host before entering their residence? -- Pennsylvania
Dear Pennsylvania: Yes. More importantly, it's your house. You get to set the rules, and if you don't want guns, say so. You can't force him to be honest about having a concealed weapon, but you certainly can inform him of your preferences.
If your friend won't leave home without his gun, you can ask him to put it in a drawer, cabinet or closet that you can lock. If he insists on wearing it in your house when you have asked him not to, we'd politely tell him to leave. If he says he won't visit anymore unless he can bring his gun, regretfully say that you'll miss him. People who are guests in your home should be respectful of their hosts.
Dear Annie: I would like to share some additional thoughts in regard to the letter from "Befuddled Grandma," whose grandchild has a food allergy, and who was unable to buy treats for her other, allergy-free, grandchild.
We have a young grandchild with a life threatening milk allergy. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, 1 in 13 children has a food allergy. Unfortunately, many people do not know about or understand the seriousness of an allergic reaction. It can be more than itchy hives or an upset stomach. In our case, my grandchild can go into anaphylactic shock, which can lead to death.
It is stressful for families. Reading food labels is a must, as allergens can crop up in unexpected places. There is often cross-contamination in processed foods, and in food preparation in homes and restaurants. It is not required by law for food companies to disclose if multiple foods are processed on shared equipment.
Sensitivity and understanding are tremendously appreciated by those dealing with a serious food allergy. Inclusion is important so that children are not made to feel left out when so many activities involve food. Perhaps schools (and others) will consider eliminating food treats altogether and choose some other "reward." You often don't know that a child has a food allergy until there is a first-time reaction, which can result in an unexpected life-threatening situation.
For more information, please tell your readers to look at foodallergy.org. The website covers such topics as food culprits, treatment of reactions, how to manage allergies, foods and their ingredients, and alerts. We can all help. -- Concerned Food Allergy Advocate
Dear Concerned: People often think food allergies are minor, or worse, optional. They think it's silly to have to cater to all of these food issues, and we hope your letter will open their eyes. We especially like your idea of nonfood prizes and treats, not only because it eliminates the danger of anaphylaxis, but also because it helps re-program kids to stop rewarding themselves with unhealthy, high-calorie edibles.
"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.