New Parent to the Peanut Allergy World?
Welcome to the complex world of being a Peanut Allergy Parent. Get ready to proofread food labels, get creative with meals, and constantly hold an Epi-pen close to your heart. This diagnosis is a turning point in your life and your child's as there are a lot of adjustments to be made.
In such a new and oftentimes scary environment, there’s nothing more valuable than genuine advice from others who have experienced exactly what you are going through.
We asked our Facebook fans:
"What's the number one piece of advice you would give a mom who just found out her little one has a peanut allergy?"
We were really impressed by the genuine outpouring of detailed advice, and we’d like to share a few popular ones with you:
Amy Kloos: We teach my daughter the following: "You have a peanut allergy, it does not define who you are." Just recently she had to list 10 things about herself for something at school, and "peanut allergy" was not on the list. I think she has learned the above statement beautifully.
Jacci Madden Boechler: Teach your child to only eat what you give them and not to accept any food from other people.
Amy Watson: Be an agressive advocate for your child at all times, because they will learn from you that it isnt a joking matter and it could save them to be in the know.
Alycia Marie Green: Tell everyone! Never let your guard down. If everyone is not on board and ready to embrace food allergies..then tell them to jump ship!! The life/safety/well being of your child is your number one priority.
Amanda Reed: Always be verbal with your child about their peanut/tree nut allergy. My son is almost 3 and can clearly inform people that "Ben doesn't eat peanuts. Peanuts Make me sick." and "Ben has peanut allergy." We are now working on identifying what foods to stay away from. I am hoping that he will remember all this when offered food/snacks in an environment where I have less control (ie: daycare, school, etc.).
Cm Cawley: Start reading every label of every food that comes into your house..and everytime you buy the same package of cookies..or whatever it is...read the label..even if it's only been a week. They change labels all the time and add things without you knowing it. Also..teach your young one to never accept food from anyone without your ok. Too many people out there don't take it seriously! Including family members.
Mar Carroll: Educate yourself, your child, the rest of your immediate family, extended family and friends about food allergies in an assertive, rational manner!
Angela Romero Faulkner: Make sure they understand the seriousness of their allergy while at the same time don't make them live in a fear cage where they are crippled when going out in public. It's a delicate balance.
Christine Smith Remm: Talk to friends with little ones who have a peanut allergy and get advice on how they handle situations such as parties, dinner invites, traveling on planes, etc. I learned a lot of great tips this way. And don't trust when a school tells you they are peanut free - don't get a false sense of security.
The themes that were most prominent:
• Educate yourself
• Educate your child - education teaches them to be advocates and you will be more likely you are to trust them at school, play dates, etc.
• Don’t ever be afraid to speak up in order to educate those around you or fight for your child’s rights
• Read labels - even if you think you already know
• Carry an Epi-pen and Benadryl at all times
• Seek advice from other Peanut Allergy parents
Coming into this nut-free world is not easy, but with access to lively and passionate communities, like Peanut Allergy’s Facebook page, everything will be okay!
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