2yr old just diagnosed w/pa. Lots of questions unanswered. Help!!

Posted on: Mon, 01/14/2002 - 2:49pm
janis's picture
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Joined: 01/15/2002 - 09:00

Hi everyone. I've just learned this last Thanksgiving that my 2yr old son is very allergic to peanuts & walnuts & other nuts. I was suspicious on a few previous occasions but wasn't sure until I finally had him tested (blood test CBC).
I've read quite a few letters & responses you all have posted. Great info & insight to lots of things I would have never thought of. I just discovered this pa site so I am very new to all this.
Please help me on this - I am trying to find a list of foods to watch out for that may contain peanuts or may be cooked in peanut oil or any other nut that may be hidden. So far I've had no luck on finding such a list. Is there one?? Please help. I've read hundreds of labels but what do I do when ordering food at a restaurant? How do you know if some of their food is cooked in peanut oil? I don't think that most waiters/waitresses are aware if you ask. Instead of having to ask the cook every time we go out to eat it would be nice to have a good idea already of foods to avoid.
Thanks to all of you that are on this site. It is an invalueable tool that I'm sure has probably saved some lives already!!
Thanks for the help!

Denise

Posted on: Mon, 01/14/2002 - 9:00pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Denise, You have a good question,but a tough one for us to know how to answer correctly. It all stems from gut instinct and trust! MY son has been allergic for a long time he is 15 and since 10 months old we knew. Over the years there has been so much to learn and to tell you the truth we are always gettin hit with a new problem.
As far a waiter and waitresses I always give them a chance to learn and get educated with the allergy. My brother is a waiter and I know they are not all careless and ignorant, My other brother is a chef and totally gets the whole allergy thing.
Basically Chris sticks to eating hamburgers and fries. Fries are not always safe but we always ask to see. If you want the truth we always check with the restaurant when we enter. If we aren't comfortable then we simply leave.
I am finding that most people are kind about checking labels. As far as unsafe foods that one is starting to get hard for people because some things our children have eaten are now being a threat to them. There are certain cookies that a PA child may have eaten and now they are unsafe. We never ever get dessert out when Chris is with us. Desserts I think are the most dangerous things to try. As far as seafood we have found that to be the best type of food for him. He loves lobster and shrimp,clams. They usually don't use any peanut oil in seafood restaurants. Friendly restaurants have not been good for him. I don't know if I am any help to your question but i am trying to cram in all I can this morning. M&M candies have been a huge problem for us because as a baby people would offer them to him,and as you know they really do have peanut in them. Skittles candy has been a problem for a friend of ours.
You will see that you'll learn to read every single thing you buy,and NEVER worry about asking people questions. At 15 I still ask a million things when we go anywhere.
I think as you read certain posts here you will see some of the answers you need. I bet your doctor would help you make a list of dangerous foods. Best wishes to you and your son. claire

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 1:12am
leers's picture
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Joined: 07/09/2001 - 09:00

Not to worry Denise you will soon get into your 'comfortzone'. Right now I know everything is very overwhelming. I am still learning as well. And you are right this website is EXTREMELY helpful. To answer your question about restaurants and food to avoid, you just have to ask the restaurants and read, read those labels. We try and avoid Chinese restaurants because they use alot of nut oils and nuts in there foods. There is one restaurant we go to quite a bit here in Ontario and they put a little picture of a peanut near the meal that may contain peanuts. I still and will always let the waitress/waiter know of his allergy just in case. You can never be too careful. Like Claire we stay away from deserts unless I make them. Cookies especially..... As far as food items go you will get used to reading labels and what foods are no-no's in the grocery store.
Good Luck

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 2:21am
dad of three's picture
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Joined: 01/14/2002 - 09:00

The majority of PA deaths in adults result from staff in restaurants giving misinformation. Some staff have the right answers and some don`t. It will be very hard for you to know which is which. For this reason, when we eat in restaurants, we bring all the food for our two PA children. I have always taught them if it doesn`t have a label you can`t eat it. The same goes for restaurants. The only thing in a restaurant that has a label is dry cereal in a box, which we do allow after reading the ingredients. If the worse case scenario were if the waiter is wrong you will get a stomach ache or vomiting or hives, we might chance it. However, with PA the worse case scenario is death. I won`t put my childrens` lives in the hands of someone who may know very little about PA. Too many deaths already of others who have been given wrong information by restaurant staff.

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 2:47am
nopeanuts's picture
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Joined: 06/20/2001 - 09:00

If you haven't joined FAAN, yet, they may be a good resource. You can get cards with lists of ingredients to avoid so you can read labels better. They also have newsletters that give out alerts to foods which may have problems (though you can also get info on this board, of course). Check out the manufacturer board of this site, too, where you will read lots of opinions on the safety of different manufacturers. It will become less overwhelming with time, hopefully!

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 7:57am
janis's picture
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Joined: 01/15/2002 - 09:00

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me so much info. Looks like we all learn from each other & our experiences more than we can from most doctors. I guess there is no magic list of foods to avoid. I will get alot more info right here on this PA site. Also thank you for mentioning M&M's. I never thought of plain M&M's having peanuts in them until I read quite a few letters on this on this site. I have given my son plain M&M's & so far I've been lucky. He will no longer get plain M&M's again. Definitely not worth the chance.
Also he loves seafood. I'm glad to hear this is fairly safe. Thanks
I am not sure if this is where I respond to your reply to me or not. I am new at this. Should I be typing all this somewhere else for all to see please let me know. Thanks again!!
Quote:Originally posted by Claire:
[b]Denise, You have a good question,but a tough one for us to know how to answer correctly. It all stems from gut instinct and trust! MY son has been allergic for a long time he is 15 and since 10 months old we knew. Over the years there has been so much to learn and to tell you the truth we are always gettin hit with a new problem.
As far a waiter and waitresses I always give them a chance to learn and get educated with the allergy. My brother is a waiter and I know they are not all careless and ignorant, My other brother is a chef and totally gets the whole allergy thing.
Basically Chris sticks to eating hamburgers and fries. Fries are not always safe but we always ask to see. If you want the truth we always check with the restaurant when we enter. If we aren't comfortable then we simply leave.
I am finding that most people are kind about checking labels. As far as unsafe foods that one is starting to get hard for people because some things our children have eaten are now being a threat to them. There are certain cookies that a PA child may have eaten and now they are unsafe. We never ever get dessert out when Chris is with us. Desserts I think are the most dangerous things to try. As far as seafood we have found that to be the best type of food for him. He loves lobster and shrimp,clams. They usually don't use any peanut oil in seafood restaurants. Friendly restaurants have not been good for him. I don't know if I am any help to your question but i am trying to cram in all I can this morning. M&M candies have been a huge problem for us because as a baby people would offer them to him,and as you know they really do have peanut in them. Skittles candy has been a problem for a friend of ours.
You will see that you'll learn to read every single thing you buy,and NEVER worry about asking people questions. At 15 I still ask a million things when we go anywhere.
I think as you read certain posts here you will see some of the answers you need. I bet your doctor would help you make a list of dangerous foods. Best wishes to you and your son. claire[/b]

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 8:07am
janis's picture
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Joined: 01/15/2002 - 09:00

ok. I think I got it figured out now on how to respond to your replies.
THank you Claire for your response above.
Thank you leers & dad of three for your responses.
Yes, dad of three I agree with your aproach. Never worth the risk for any food (if you don't know, don't eat it).
I have one more question for you, DAD OF THREE. Do all three of your children have this allergy? I was wondering if this is genetic. What do the doctors tell you?
In my family & my husbands family we don't know of anyone else with PA.
Thank you again everyone for your quick responses. Looks like I am going to learn the most valuable info from all of you. I still have lots of questions & concerns but I am beginning to see that alot of them are answered right here in this PA SITE. So until I get a chance to read some more, I will hold off on more questions right now.

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 8:11am
janis's picture
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Joined: 01/15/2002 - 09:00

Also. thank you nopeanuts for you info. I will check that out!!
Great stuff

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 8:30am
Boone's picture
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Joined: 08/24/2001 - 09:00

Our comfort level includes eating in restaurants. We usually ask the waitperson to speak with the cook/chef about peanuts and peanut oil. Nine times out of ten the cook will come out and talk with us. If he/she doesn't we usually double check with the manager about safety. We always use the words "peanuts can kill him" to whomever we speak with and that gets the message across. Once we had a snippy teenager who appeared not too interested. I told her "if he gets sick, I will hold you personally responsible and I will sue you for every penny you hope to make the rest of your natural life" Usually not my style, but I had had a bad day at work and boy did that make me feel better. ;-) She was the only one we have ever had problems with.

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 9:30am
n5vox's picture
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Joined: 04/17/2001 - 09:00

I have a question for you. What state are you in? If you list that - maybe someone there can give at least a list of restuarants close to you that are safe. When I came to the site - that is what I did. I got a lot of info that way!

Posted on: Thu, 01/17/2002 - 1:08am
leers's picture
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Joined: 07/09/2001 - 09:00

Good idea. I will start a new thread with that and see what happens.....

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