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peanut butter everywhere

13 replies [Last post]
By rscollo2 on Tue, 02-08-00, 17:24

i will admit I am an overcautious mom of a two year old with pa and other ana food allergies. Yesterday I was visiting a friend and just about freaked out when she mentioned her children ate pb & j for lunch. As I was sitting at her table I looked at the chairs and it was everywhere (not in big globs; in fact it was probably from last weeks lunch!) I had her change her kids clothes (messy eaters) and rewash their hands and face; and I was extremely nervous the rest of the visit. What do you do about this??? I can't stop visiting and even if friends promise not to eat it that day, I still worry about table, chairs, door knobs being contaminated! AM I overreacting or do others feel this way?? Any suggestions???
In my perfect world there wouldn't be peanut butter but there is and I don't know how far is to far!!! HELP

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By Christine on Tue, 02-08-00, 17:44

You must do what you are comfortable with. If you are afraid that your child will come in contact with peanut butter, by all means, discontinue going to that person's home. If they really like you and want to be with you, they WILL take the necessary precautions. I would probably take my 5 year old to a house where they eat peanut butter, but he does the type of playing now where he is no longer all over the other children like when he was a toddler. Basically, though, it comes down to choosing your friends carefully and having everyone work together. I know this may sound crazy but I have to do this myself because of my cat allergy. While my cat allergy is certainly not life threatening, it causes me great discomfort. When I was a teenager I used to just "suck it up" and go hang out with people who owned cats. I was always miserable and sick for days afterward. Now, I absolutely refuse to be in a home where there is a cat. I pick my friends based on whether or not they own a cat!!! Problems arise when my friends who don't own a cat GET a cat. I have one very good friend in Florida whom I visit yearly (I don't stay overnight though because of the cat). Before I come over, she vacuums (with a HEPA vacuum) her house for hours and cleans like crazy and tries to keep most of our activity outdoors. So far, it has worked well as I have very minor reactions in her home. Other people (coworkers) have invited me over for dinner and I flat out tell them that I cannot come if they have a cat. For those that do, they save their invites for the summer and we have cook outs. The point of all this is that, because of your child's allergy, you have to accept that there will be some places you cannot go. Hopefully, if the person is kind enough, they will bend over backwards to accommodate you--most good friends do this. If not, you should cross them off your list because you will never be comfortable there.

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By CB on Tue, 02-08-00, 18:46

Hi rscollo2
I have a 5yr old with a life threating allergy to pb. She has been to 3 bd parties, and when we make play dates, I ask that pb not be used that day not even for breakfast., as her allergy is contact and airborne also. I am pleased to say that the parents of my daughters friends have been very compliant with my request. Actually i hve yet to meet up with a no, Good luck [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By rscollo2 on Wed, 02-09-00, 00:12


My main concern is the pb left behind from a previous day!. (My friends usually do abide by my wishes) Do you get concerned about that????

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By DMB on Wed, 02-09-00, 04:28

I wouldn't say that I was "overly" cautious, but if I would have been in your situation I would've felt uncomfortable. Just as an example, I've stopped taking my son to my sister's house for this reason alone--she lets both of her children eat pb/jelly sandwiches. Her youngest is extremely messy. The last two times my pa son was at her house, he broke out in hives around his eyes. I know for a fact that he didn't eat anything peanut, so the only logical assumption for me was that there was some kind of peanut/peanut butter on some toy in the playroom. At the time I didn't use the epi-pen because I was confused as to why he broke out in hives when he hadn't eaten anything--I had given him Benadryl and it cleared the hives within a matter of minutes. But since I figured it had to be some kind of a reaction to peanuts (it's the only thing he's allergic to) I made the decision to stop taking him there. Since every exposure increases the severity of the next reaction, I just don't feel comfortable subjecting him to another possible exposure. I think all of us as parents of peanut allergic children feel uncomfortable in any type of a situation where we know that there are peanuts being served and the possibility of exposure. But on the other hand, we can't shut our children off from the real world. My son is only 2 right now so it's somewhat easy to shield him from this allergy. I'm just dreading the day that school starts. . . but that's another story!! Hope this helps.

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By Momma Kitty on Wed, 02-09-00, 04:32

My daughter reacted at a friend's house by merely sitting on carpet that thier toddler had gotten pb in earlier that day. The Mother thought she had sufficiently cleaned the carpet so the amount must have been miniscule. We had to aviod that house and did for a long time. The panic and constant worry I felt was not worth it. The Mother felt terrible and had her carpet steam cleaned, mopped floors etc. They stopped eating pb altogether. After 2 months I chanced it again and my daughter was fine. My worry diminished but never disappears.

Additionally, we do not visit people with dogs or cats. It is very hard and limiting and exhausting. I just came to the conclusion that we will just have invite people to our house instead. And of course the first thing people must do is wash their hands. People may think I'm over-reacting but our true friends will understand.

Whenever we go any where like the Mall or play ground we inspect what everyone is doing and if their are eating anything peanuty. I feel crazy at times but vigilance is my motto and could save my daughter's life.

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By Diane on Wed, 02-09-00, 15:08

With life threatening allergies we would be putting our children in danger if we weren't being "too" cautious. If my daughter had a reaction at my friends house I wouldn't be at all uncomfortable with telling her and explaining before I come over again that it has to be really clean of PB. And explain in details that even old PB dried from the previous day will give her reactions. Also invite her over so that she doesn't think it is her! And like Momma Kitty says your true friends will understand. If there is any doubt at all about PB being around your child, how can you feel comfortable enough to even enjoy a visit. I am taking my 4 kids on a skiing trip for a few days with my friend and her 2 kids. My 3 yr old is PA. I asked my friend when you pack your food for the trip, can it be peanut free? She looked at me like I had 2 heads! Of course it has to be peanut free she said with a laugh. How silly of me to think otherwise! She said the other day she was going to eat a peanut butter and banana sandwich but then remembered that we would be sitting together with my (PA) daughter at the school basketball game later and didn't want to take the chance of giving my daughter any reaction.

I don't think there is any universal measure of being "overly cautious".Christine is right; you have to do what makes you comfortable.
(DMB,I too dread starting her in school!)
Stay safe. Diane and Leah

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By CB on Wed, 02-09-00, 19:22

Hi all
I didn't mean to come off lightly. She doesn't go anywhere without one of us or her older sister. My daughter is in school, and my stomach is in knots until she is home. She too has cat and toher food allegies. The friends that she does visit, I have seen the scrubing. This happens because one day we went over unplanned and not thinking on my part, we went in and all ic ould smell was pb . Within 15mins our daughter began to sweel out the door we went and gave her some atarax. Thoughtful friends accomadate whenever they can. I don't think that with everyone combined that we have the engery to eradicate ignorance.
Take care [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By Marietta Carter on Thu, 02-10-00, 00:25

What I really hate about this allergy is having to call attention to it. I always feel like I'm making a big deal even though I know I'm protecting my child's life. As for the playdate thing, I try to do as many of them as I can before lunch and at my house. I also try to schedule all my son's activities (Gymboree, music, library) before lunch. I know equipment could still be potentially gooed up from after lunch classes day before but at least he doesn't get peanut butter breathed on him. I'm also trying to get the nerve up to make visiting children wash their hands the minute they come in the door. I also started a food allergic playgroup through my Mom's club which is nice. We have different allergies but we are very careful to keep each other safe. And we serve safe snacks like homemade muffins and fruit.

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By dhumphries on Thu, 02-10-00, 02:13

Throughout this thread, I noticed the prevalence of parents with cat allergies. I have read that there is a connection between one or both parents having dog or cat allergies, and at least one of their children having peanut allergy. I am extremely allergic to cats and my husband is allergic to dogs, now my three year old son has peanut, dog, and cat allergies. Interesting!

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By Tlarrab on Wed, 02-16-00, 20:31

This has been a huge concerned of mine. My PA son is 18 months old and has been diagnosed since 14 months. I never visit anyone unnannounce anymore because I am afraid of the presence of a peanut product. I have been very disturbed by some of my family members who think it is alright to feed him what ever. Despite my efforts in trying to educate them some still think I am over reacting. My son has had several reactions and I am scared any time I leave the house with him. Your first concern has to be your child. If after educating your friends/family about PA they still dont treat this serious either dont go to there house or invite them to your house where you can control the setting. Thats what I had to do.

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By katiee on Wed, 02-16-00, 22:08

Hey Marietta,

I have a question for you, with regard to your setting up a playgroup for children with allergies. How and where did you go to do this??? I would love to do something similar for my son Wade. We had to stop going to our playgroup as it was not safe to continue because of his peanut allergy and since then I have found it quite isolating and would love to start up a group for kids with allergies in my community. I am sure that there are many other mom's in my area with the same or similar concerns.

Thanks, any information or direction you can give me would be greatly appreciated!


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By gw_mom3 on Wed, 02-16-00, 22:21

This is in response to the post from Tlarrab. I, too, have had trouble with family members. My in-laws don't take my daughter's peanut/tree nut allergy seriously at all and when we go over to their house, especially around the holidays, my MIL insists on putting nuts on EVERYTHING. Then it's left up to my husband and me to explain to my daughter why grandma never makes anything she can have. I'm afraid it's going to take a bad reaction (she's never had one, thank God) to open their eyes. I have tried to explain to them out the wazoo, but they just look at me like I'm looney and say "Oh really?" I've already boycotted some holidays, but I hate to completely cut off contact with them, especially since my kids love them. No advice, I guess, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one with this problem.

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By Michelle P on Wed, 02-16-00, 22:26

Hello, all-
When my son was as young as some of yours, he ran from PB (just the smell), but he wasn't tested/diagnosed until first grade, after a reaction in a restaurant.

He goes to the public school in our town, and the school and particularly school nurse have been wonderful. He chose to eat with friends who weren't eating PB, passing up the option offered of a special allergy lunch table. Only a month ago (he's now 8 and in 3rd grade), he asked for the allergy lunch table. Avoiding the smell was just too hard for him. Now each week he can invite one friend to eat at his table for the week, and that child's parents are told he cannot bring PB to school.

This cafeteria serves no PB, and he is able to have some of the school lunches his friends have, which he loves. I would not even consider this if they were making PB sandwiches in the same kitchen.

In some cities and towns, the public school cafeterias still serve PB. If I ever have to move, I wouldn't even consider such a city. Just my experience, but I hope this is reassuring for some of you with preschoolers.

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