Asking help from adults living w/ PA

Hello everyone. Asking help from adults living with peanut allergy or parents of PA. Our 22 month old son had a severe anaphylaxis attack, after testing we found he is highly allergic to peanuts, etc and eggs. What tips can you give me on how to raise a child that is aware of his allergies, without scaring him, but making him aware of how important it is. I am terrified of his allergies and want to shelter him from the world. I understand I need to do this in big way, however I don't want to do it too much. Does that make sense?
Also, what do you all do about restaurants and birthday parties?

Any suggestions are very much appreciated!!!!
Thank you.

By xxpinkpandaxx on Sun, 06-09-13, 01:14

Hi! this is gonna be super long but i hope it helps!!!!

I'm not a parent but I have been living with a severe peanut allergy (and others I've outgrown) for my whole life (18 years). When I was younger my parents made sure I went to an allergy doctor and he helped put together a food action plan that my mom sent out to all my schools/nurses/teachers/relatives, etc. My mom gave me a keychain thing to keep on my bookbag that had my picture and allergy info on the back, so I knew what I was allergic too. And it helped adults/teachers/play date parents, etc To read it. Also I have a medical alert bracelet, which your son can probably start wearing when he's a bit older. Anyways when I was little my mom made it clear that i was allergic but I didn't fully understand until I was maybe 4 or 5. This is because I started going to school, where my mom packed me "special" snacks to eat during the day that were obviously peanut free. So I guess from ages 1-4 she just made sure I avoided peanuts at all costs. Also she made sure I knew to tell her if ANYTHING felt strange. i ate a cookie w/peanuts at age 4 and told my mom immediately I felt weird, so we went to the hospital. I knew right away at school I was a bit different because I ate at a different lunch table than most kids and I couldn't eat anything kids brought in for parties. So my mom ensured that there was always a steady supply of safe snacks just for me when parties happened. And with bday parties my mom would call ahead and ask the parents about ingredients in the foods and stuff. For restaurants, my parents just avoided going out to eat. Much safer and more reliable.

I think my mom did an excellent job of sheltering me from nuts because she made sure there were no nuts at home, made sure to tell others about it, and taught me to read ingredient labels on absolutely EVERYTHING. She was totally honest with me, so honest that I would tell my friends I could die if I ate peanuts (when I was little). It's good I knew that because then everyone around me would instantly just remove peanuts. So don't be afraid of telling him what could happen because I think he should know since he may live with it the rest of his life. It was definitely hard for my parents but they became SO proactive. My mom bought tons of nut-free cookbooks and made a ton of my meals. She read a lot of books and articles about peanuts so she was well-informed. And she was pushy too. She made sure all adults knew, called airlines, yelled at flight attendants(not a good flight lol) just to make sure I was safe. Your sons lucky to have a parent who truly wants to protect him! Ik there are people out there who dont really care about allergies so im super glad my mom was persistent and headstrong about keeping my school/other places safe. Good luck with your endeavors :)

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By Sarah McKenzie on Tue, 06-11-13, 19:29

xxpinkpandaxx - Thank you so much for your help and advice!!!!!! Lots of good tips. I have joined a support group and reading lots of good books. Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and a good Mom!!!
Can I ask you one more question, did you hate sitting at your own table? Were you picked on? I am afraid of this for my son and all the other allergy kids out there. You and your Mom had a lot to go thru since it was unheard of when you were growing up.
Thanks again and Take Good Care of Yourself!!!!!

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By momtoemie on Wed, 06-12-13, 03:55

Very informative post xxpinkpandaxx. As a Mom to an 2 1/2 year old just diagnosed last fall with a peanut allergy, it was insightful to hear from your point of view how your Mom handled the allergy. Like Sarah, my heart breaks thinking of my daughter sitting in the lunch room at an isolated table. As a Registered Dietitian, I have been reading quite a bit about food bullying also...there was a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics last December. I know of an elementary school in Michigan that has a "nut" table that kids go to if they want to eat peanuts or other nuts & the rest of the cafeteria is nut-free. I like this concept because it does not isolate those nut allergic kids. You have to train all the kids where to sit regardless, why not do this? I plan on advocating for this at the school(s) I want my daughter to attend. Just an FYI.

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