The psychological toll of food allergies
Allergists and pediatricians are aware that food allergies lead to a lot of worry for parents. The psychological burden can be overwhelming, for reasons that aren't entirely clear. Unlike asthma, where many families can't be bothered to stick to a medication regimen, some paretns, especially mothers, seem overwhelmed by anxiety with food allergies. I'd guess the difference is that food allergies seem entirely controllable: if you (or your child) avoid the food entirely there will be no symptoms. Asthma on the other hand comes and goes; even patients who faithfully take their medicine will have symtpoms sometimes.
Just how burdensome food allergies are is made clear by this study
more than 60% of caregivers reported that food allergy significantly affected meal preparation and 49% or more indicated that food allergy affected family social activities. Forty-one percent of parents reported a significant impact on their stress levels and 34% reported that food allergy had an impact on school attendance, with 10% choosing to home school their children because of food allergy.It is a small study (87 families) and there may be some selection bias (the more worried the parent the more likely they are to fill out a tedious questionnaire), but still, 10% homeschooled because of food allergies is an enormous number. I know many families who won't eat out because of concerns of inadvertant exposure. I usually try to get this type of parent to relax a bit, at least to the point of eating out, always checking with the kitchen to make sure the food is safe.