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Just found out...

7 replies [Last post]
By vetiver on Fri, 05-08-09, 21:45

I had to rush my 2 1/2 year old baby girl to the ER after she touched peanut butter at school. I have twins in preschool and explained to the teacher early on that they had never eaten peanuts because I was waiting till 3yrs because of a history of eczema. She told me the room was nut-free at the beginning of the year. She didn't think that having their hands in it during craft time was a problem. "But they didn't eat it," she said. I didn't know for sure DD was allergic until then, but my intuition had always been to avoid peanuts entirely. It's a good thing I did.

Tests are back. She's a class 3 PA. I thank my stars that I hadn't just given them a spoonful of peanut butter one day. Just from touching it she swelled so badly and cried, saying her tongue hurt on the drive to the ER, during which I was wrecked. I'm in nursing school and know very well how quickly it can go badly for PA kids. Now that she's ok, I'm in shock.

I have devoured miles of support forum posts, trying to get a handle on this. I don't know where to start. My house is nut free. Her room at school is now officially nut free. What more can I do?

I read parents posts and I see different types of dealing....Immediately I feel fortunate to only have one PA kid and only a PA at that. Some of you are dealing with allergy lists so long it makes my brain hurt. So I know it could be worse. But some parents are fearful, some are angry, some simply get down to the work at hand of keeping their child safe. I am overwhelmed. How careful is careful enough? I read labels...but can I trust them? If I don't trust them, how can I feed her without a panic attack(that she picks up on and starts to feel uneasy about)? At what age do you start to teach your child about it and what in the world do you say?

Long post. Crying. I feel like I can handle this. But then I doubt myself. And I wonder how this will affect her confidence and her sense of freedom. I don't want her to always be afraid. (like I will be)

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By radarmichael on Sun, 05-10-09, 01:07

Hi my name is Michael Martin. I would let the teacher know that it is not okay for her to use peanut butter for a stupid art project when your child is allergic and if she does not listen to you let her know that further action will be taken you have any questions for me. you can emall at [email protected]

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By AdairBear on Tue, 05-12-09, 17:23

I could have written that myself (on how you are feeling).

We just found out our 21 month old son has a peanut/nut allergy. It takes awhile to get your head wrapped around it and like you we are doing tons and tons of reading on how to handle this and how to make our son safe.

Try to relax about it and don't let your daughter see you overly worried about it. As our son it too young to understand things yet, we can't explain it to him, but we can make darn sure those people in his life are educated and knowledgeable about his allergy.

We went to www.epipen.ca and signed up for a trainer pen which we will show all family and friends how to use. We made up safe packs of snacks, epi pen and wipes to leave at family members homes and we got him a medical alert bracelet from www.petitebaublesboutique.com

Read the labels, if you don't trust them contact the company. Make sure people know not to give her random food and she can't share other peoples food. Eating out will now become a challenge, but that might be a good thing ;)

Teach you daughter to be careful, but don't scare her with this. As she get older I am sure she will start to understand things more and more.

Good luck and I hope I have helped a bit.

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By TJuliebeth on Thu, 05-14-09, 03:54

We have been living with my DD's allergy for about 4 years now. Joy was diagnosed when she was 6. Shortly after, she experienced a horrible anapahalactic reaction. It was so bad, I didn't know if she would make it to the hospital.

Joy has not had another reaction since. We are doing everything we can to prevent another. We taught her that peanuts are a poison to her and she must stay away from them. She has had to miss out on some parties and sleepovers because of her allergy. Once, she had to get up and run out of a classroom because someone started passing out PB cookies. (Joy is home schooled, but she attends enrichment classes each week.)

In spite of the problems the PA brings, Joy still lives a full life. She has made wonderful friends who go out of their way to make sure she can be included in various things. The allergy has really not held her back from the things she wants to do and I think it has given her a strength to stand up for herself.

In short, I can tell you that living with a food allergy will get easier. With vigilance (and a lot of prayer) it will be possible for your daughter to live a happy, fairly normal life.

I wish you the best.

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By vetiver on Fri, 05-15-09, 19:49

Thanks for the empathy, ladies. I am beginning to feel more confident as I learn more and more. I have elected myself to the post of 'food allergy advocate and educator' for my kids' preschool. I have arranged to make a presentation to the teachers and parents at the start of the new school year. This alone has made me feel more positive about handling her allergy.

I would love to find other mommies in my city who can relate. There is no support group here, as far as I can tell, so I may just start one myself and advertise through local schools. We could all use the help and the contact with other PA families, I think.

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By BeyondAPeanut on Sun, 05-24-09, 14:58

When my son had a biphasic anaphalactic reaction at 14 months my Doctor called our Day Care. After speaking with both the Director and the Owner she did not feel it would be safe to keep him there. They were not understanding the seriousoness of the allergy.

I work outside the home and had to find a school that would care for him. I did not find a peanut free school or one that was trained to understand the vigilance that would be necessary in caring for children with food allergies. I found a school that was willing to learn. I worked with them on safe kithcen policies, parties and emergency plans. They ended up implimenting more safety policies than I could have expected.

What I realized during that time was that I had a school willing to learn and no training tools. Since then I have developed a curriculum "Managing Food Allergies in a Child Care Setting" and "Beyond A Peanut - Food Allergy Awareness Cards". You can learn more about them at www.beyondapeanut.com I recently presented the program at the National Association for Child Care Providers. It was very well recieved. Schools know they need to get on board and I think you will find them appreicative for your help in getting them there.

Being your child's advocate is a full time job, but educating the school will pay off and provide the peace of mind you will need to leave them.

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By shliney on Sun, 11-07-10, 19:02

We found out our daughter was allergic to peanuts when she was just 2 years old. She had eaten a peanut butter cup. 5 hours later she was not feeling well and throwing up. I didn't even think of the peanut butter cup she had eaten earlier until her eyes started to swell 7 hours after eating it...that's when I started to go back and think about what she had eaten that day....then it hit me.... the peanut butter cup! I ended up rushing her to the children's hospital where she received treatment for her symptoms.

We were told to get her tested for the allergy and sure enough our family doctor confirmed she is allergic.

My way of dealing with this information was to start teaching her right then and there that she has a peanut allergy...even though she was only 2. I wasn't sure if she would understand what I was talking about but I had to start sometime. I would tell her that she has this allergy and that she can't eat peanuts or anything with nuts in it...I'd explain the reasons why to her and tell her that I'd always make sure she'd have something safe to eat. I'd tell her that she wasn't to share anything with anyone at school or at other people's houses. I would tell her this often, sometimes several times a day. Also, educating family/friends and the school of her allergy. We have been living with this for almost 8 years now and my daughter is so careful to make sure that everything she eats is safe... She carries an epipen to school with her and I'm happy to report that we have never had to use it in the almost 8 years. Birthday parties, I make her cupcakes to take along, that way she's safe. She's not to eat any candy unless I've been able to read the ingredients first....she's been awesome about all of this and has really embraced that this is just a fact of life for her.

I have been blessed with three beautiful children, and I'm thankful that the other two don't have this allergy! I have also used this horrible allergy as a tool in teaching my kids not to take anything from anyone, especially strangers because you don't know what's in it!!

It's amazing at how many things are out there that "may contain traces of nuts" or "made in a nut facility". Things like ice cream, popsicles and chili to name a few. You also have to know that there are other things you have to look out for that may contain the peanut oil when reading ingredients... like hydrolyzed plant or hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

Do your homework and research and eventually you and your child will learn to live with it.

Lots of great products you can get that are peanut free....so a huge thank you to all the companies out there that care enough to have made the change! There is a great product called Peabutter that looks just like peanut butter and almost tastes like it too but made with peas! It's also gluten and soy free! My duaghter loves it!

Since posting this a few weeks ago, a co-worker of mine gave me some sample packs of a new peanut butter substitute called Wow Butter. Google it to see where you can purchase it. It looks just like and tastes just like peanut butter only made with soy. I will be replacing my peabutter with this new product.

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By HookwormIsHope on Sat, 10-23-10, 01:08

An art project???? Once in science my teacher used peanut butter in an experiment...ahhh, that was awful. You have my sympathy!!!

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