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Posted on: Mon, 05/27/2002 - 3:18pm
LaurensMom's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

I'm sorry...but what bubble?
I am 34. Twenty...twenty five years ago, there was no eating in classrooms. There was no peanut butter in art class. There were no parties in the classrooms for each birthday each month. Birthday parties were going to someone's house for ice cream and cake and at that, there were only a few of them a year. There would not be holiday parties at gymnastics, story hour, school, neighborhood houses... Why must they teach about measuring with food...why not combined with a science project?
My daughter is not coddled because I make her classroom peanut free. You have been lucky enough to survive peanut allergies and have remained reaction free for a number of years...good for you. I envy you. My daughter does not eat cakes, cookies, etc unless they are homemade. She knows enough that this is safest for her. If something safe is not available, she will willinging go without. And, she is not big on them. She is huge on fruit and veggies.
Statistics say that accidental exposure occurs every 2.5 years and my daughter is right on track with that statistic. She does not eat many snacks. Rarely do we even have crackers in the house. This peanut allergy has helped us to all eat healthier by making most of our food homemade...homemade tomato sauce, pizza, bread, pancakes & cakes from scratch, etc.
When we go somewhere, we commonly bring safe food for her...a ritual I hope she carries with her into adulthood. That is how I am raising my daughter...to be responsible for what she puts into her body. And again, I can understand what you are saying from that perspective. But, every 2.5 years a reaction has occurred from something very unexpected. Most recently it was 5 reactions over a 10 week period due to "may contain" products in her classroom. Prior to that it was PB on a pool ladder (PB had been eaten on the table on the deck which was cleaned but the kids hands were not washed before climbing into the pool).
As a result of those reactions, the classroom is more carefully monitored for "may contain". The children who eat on the pool deck wash their hands with wipes before leaving the table and the table is cleaned. That is not coddling. That is as responsible as covering one's nose when sneezing or mouth when coughing.

Posted on: Mon, 05/27/2002 - 4:56pm
rebekahc's picture
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Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

Lauren's mom -
I'm sorry, but I must disagree with you. Twenty and twenty-five years ago there was plenty of eating in the classroom and pb used in art class. The reason I remember this is because I am PA and had to deal with it. Every child in my class had an in class party on his or her birthday complete with homemade goodies mom brought for everyone. There were numerouse pb birdfeeders made in crafts classes, pb desserts made in cooking classes, and teachers who passed out candy as rewards. Maybe your school was different from the ones I attended, or maybe it's more easily forgotten when your life's not at stake.
Through it all I managed to survive. I can only remember 2 reactions happening at school. One was my first attempt at making a pb birdfeeder at age 6. That's how I found I was touch sensitive. I had on gloves up to my elbows and still ended up with arms covered in hives. The other was facial swelling when sitting about 5 feet from a girl eating a pb candy bar at age 14. That's how I learned I was also very smell sensitive.
As a pa adult, I too agree with stuffguy's basic point. As the mother of two pa preschoolers however, I want to do everything humanly possible to protect them at all costs! That's natural. I've managed to find a happy medium that works for us. We don't take undue risks but we don't live a completely sheltered life, either.
Rebekah

Posted on: Mon, 05/27/2002 - 10:23pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

There have been plenty of threads on these boards about perspective, about not letting PA get the better of us, about living as normally as possible... and I've agreed with them, for the most part. Mainly because the message was accurate, but also because the attitude with which the advice was given was pleasant and understanding. Stuffguy's message came across too strongly for me, with a bit too much attitude. Especially from someone who is not a parent.
Sorry, Stuffguy. I agree with your "punch line", but not the "delivery". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] We have enough people harping on us about the things we have to do to keep our kids safe, we don't really need fellow PA people telling us we're doing this all wrong.
JMO.

Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2002 - 8:53pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

I think that Stuffguy has a little bit of jealousy going on with the fact that our kids are getting a little better treatment than he was given as a child. Because the allergy was basically unheard of he was treated poorly as far as the allergy is concerned. The fact that we protect and CAN is bothering him.
Yesterday I went shopping and 2 children were eating a huge can of mixed nuts. My 4 year old started stepping on them. I don't think it would have mattered what they were eating it was very rude of them to be getting food all over the store. Now they had a trail of them in 3 different isles. I had to wash my sons shoes and hope that he didn't get any in the car. Stuffguy I have seen my son almost die and will do anything I need to so that he is always comfortable in the situations that occur.
As another person on here said "why do people need to be eating in a classroom". There is a time and place for eating. I don't think it is a special attention that we want our children to have. It is survival.
Because no one was able to fight for you when you were growing up is terrible for you I am sure,but because we are able to do so now I would think you would be the first one out there to help us.
I watched my son turn blue and one to many times in my opinion and will never stop helping him as long as I am able to breathe.
As far as only moms of small children feeling angry with you mine is 16 and I protect him whenever i need.
It does get harder as they get older and I don't care what you say. There are way more issues that we deal with everyday.
I have showed your letter to my son with the allergy. HE said WOW he is really mean about the allergy isn't he.
My son is a very smart atheletic boy and by no means a sissy boy. So protecting him from something that could KILL him will always be done in my home.
Let me ask you this. Would you try and help your own child be comfortable or would you just sit back and watch HIM/HER be frightened every day they went to school?
People have been so good to my son and I have spoken up for many years. I don't think I have over coddled him I think I have raised him like a real mom should raise a child. With love,compassion,concern, feeling.
He takes full responsibility for himself and how would he have learned this if we had not spoken up for him. We don't expect anyone to give him royal treatment,but do expect them not to kill our child.
As Chris just said it sounds like you were never treated as good as him. Take care

Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2002 - 1:14am
LaurensMom's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

Rebekkah,
I agree with you. We also do not live a sheltered life nor do presume that Lauren's allergy superceeds the rights of every person on the planet (e.g. We leave unsafe situations or do the best we can to keep her as far away as we can if we cannot leave). We strive daily to find that balance between safety and normalcy. However, the line between safety and normalcy can be miles apart based on your experiences with this allergy. Stuffguy has had very different experiences than we have. He has not had an anaphylactic reaction from smell. What bothered me was his insistance that I am coddling my child when I insist on peanut free in her classroom or that people clean up properly after eating in public places(e.g. public places where it would be unsuspecting that someone was eating...like gymnastics or library) when it is only common courtesy.
If someone is offended by cigarette smoke, don't they have the right to request it not be blown in their face?
If someone has a cold, is it not common courtesy that they wash their hands after sneezing into them?
I put these examples on the same level as cleaning up after eating PB and/or eating PB responsibly. They are not even life threatening examples yet they are something society expects. People need to know that we *are* taking responsibility for our children. We *are* teaching them to take responsibility for themselves. They need to know we *are* careful of the things they eat. They need to we cannot control when/how every Tom, Dick or Harry eats PB and *that* is what we are afraid of. I feel an article like his from a PA person is irresponsible. Someone with *no* PA knowledge is going to read that and think StuffGuy knows what he is talking about and we are going to have a repeat of what happened in Texas last week (where the woman went into the PB free-classroom and handed out PB cookies...thread is around here somewhere).
I'm sorry for my rant. I am annoyed by ignorance (StuffGuy's)
[This message has been edited by LaurensMom (edited May 29, 2002).]
[This message has been edited by LaurensMom (edited May 29, 2002).]

Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2002 - 1:51am
pamom's picture
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Joined: 02/20/2001 - 09:00

Good for you Lauren's mom!
I love your analogy about cigarette smoke and a cold. I will definitely remember them. I also think you are right about more food at school. It seems like every cookie, candy and product out now has pb in it. (i.e. oreos and goldfish crackers.)
I also agree we cannot keep our kids in a "bubble" but it is only intelligence that tells us that the incidence of accidental exposure is decreased by a peanut free classroom.
Good luck!

Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2002 - 10:30am
Anna's picture
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Joined: 07/20/1999 - 09:00

Of course, there are some hard-hearted folks who feel that if a PA individual has severe reactions to touch/smell, society should nevertheless do nothing to ensure their safety. I've heard other peoples' rants on this topic.
One irate caller to a radio show declared that PA individuals who insist on peanut-free flights should drive or find some other means of transportation.
Another used the "bubble" comment and borrowed the "false sense of security" nonsense line (as if parents are merely sheltering and not educating their kids at the same time in order to prepare them) and said that kids who are smell/touch sensitive to peanut and are "that sick" should just stay home. (Of course, PA folks are *only* sick if they're exposed to the substance, and are usually otherwise healthy. D'uh!)
It's not so much Stuffguy's experiences I have a problem with. It's the fact that people such as the ones in the above examples may (and there are many of them, some of whom might come to influence policies) be even more fuelled by Stuffguy's rant, as LaurensMom has suggested, and endanger us out of ignorance.
[This message has been edited by Anna (edited May 29, 2002).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/31/2002 - 2:40pm
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I`m with Laurensmom and have a couple of things to add since stuffguy seems to be incapable of logic. This attitude of "in my pa childhood we had no accomodation and I survived" is totally illogical and in fact backwards. I, for example, was an infant without a car seat back in the days when there was no such thing as car seats, so by the same reasoning as stuffguy`s we should all refrain from putting our infants in car seats because we didn`t have car seats and we all survived. In fact, when my daughter went on a fairly new antibiotic for an infection because the old ones didn`t work, maybe stuffguy would expect me to tell the pediatrician that I survived without this new antibiotic so my daughter shouldn`t be prescribed it. For that matter, my grandparents survived with no antibiotics, so maybe I should refuse to give any antibiotics to my daughter.
Second, stuffguy, about this coddling thing and this issue of "shelter vs. education", where on earth did you get this notion that shelter and education are mutually exclusive? The whole point about raising a child with pa is that we TEACH our children to avoid things that are unsafe for them. Stuffguy, our children learn by observing us. I am proud of my daughter because I EDUCATED her not to sit with people eating peanuts, and at age 5 when she had a substitute teacher who didn`t know about my daughter`s peanut free table and seated a child with peanut butter next to my daugter, my daughter got up and moved away because I EDUCATED her to do that. To fail to educate our children how to avoid peanuts in order to keep themselves safe and ALIVE is irresponsible parenting, something I would think you would be embarassed to promote.
Third, you seem to be missing a point on avoidance, and oversimplifying it beyond any resemblance to reality. I saved my daughter`s life last month when she had a reaction from vanilla ice cream made on shared equipment with peanut butter fudge and NOT STATED on the carton. If you think avoidance simply means reading every label and looking for the words "peanut" and "may contain", that is completely incorrect. Listing a "may contain" is voluntary; THAT IS ONE OF MANY REASONS WHY WE MUST TRAIN PEOPLE HOW TO USE EPIPENS TO SAVE OUR CHILDREN`S LIVES!!!
Fourth, there are varying degrees of severity of peanut allergy. Some people have airborne reactions, some don`t. Some people have contact reactions, some don`t. Some people could have a reaction from one bite of a mislabeled "may contain", some wouldn`t. To assume that whatever level of severity of pa you have is the same as every other person with pa, is narrow-minded and ignorant beyond belief.
I`m with the people who posted who consider you DANGEROUS. Spend your time on a parenting site telling parents not to use car seats because you survived without one. You could risk more lives that way, which seems to be what you want.

Posted on: Sun, 06/02/2002 - 4:14am
Heartlander's picture
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Joined: 09/09/2001 - 09:00

I am curious how your mother handled your pa. Did she consider it your problem or hers as well? As part of a graduation present to my son lots of people wrote him letters. Part of mine said that I never considered pa as his problem but mine too! If she considered it your problem I do not blame her. She was probably doing what she was told. Lots of mothers now a days are being proactive. I know my MIL who had a pa son did nothing whatsoever to protect him. She had peanut products in the house, no epi-pen etc. He got sick a lot and they just left him to suffer in his room all alone. Maybe they checked if he was breathing. Who knows?I am so glad us moms today are overstepping our bounds sometimes to do the right thing all of the time. I still to this day feel sorry for my brother in law. My son knows how much he is valued. He is not defined by his allergy but face it, this situation is unique. Our kids face loaded guns that are in nearly every building in this country. That is the truth. He is not defined by his allergy but it is with him every day. From the Heartland

Posted on: Mon, 06/03/2002 - 1:38pm
pason's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2002 - 09:00

Get a clue: the same people who are fighting for Peanut free schools are the ones who are at the forefront of as you put it educating. They are the ones educating not only their children but also those in a position to care for their children. It's not about sheltering, it's about taking every measure possible to ensure the safety of these children and I gaurantee that they are being educated about the dangers of their allergy on an ongoing basis because they have parents who care enought to fight this battle to the end.
Quote:Originally posted by stuffguy:
[b]Ok.. Everyone calm down for a second.
I'm not trying to kill off your kids, nor am I trying to be blatently irresponsible. And I am by no means familiar with the allergies of someone else, nor am I trying to knock how you're going about dealing with it.
In wandering around these boards, I've found lots of messages from people who, no matter their approach are concerned about this allergy. I'm just sharing what I've learned, and the experiences that have affected me.
The peanut-lip thing burns like hell. As does inhaling it. As does taking a bite of a cookie that's "not supposed to" contain nuts. All are things that I've experienced at some point in my childhood. And all are things that stick in my head as constant reminders to be careful.
Listen, I'm not knocking any of you. It just frustrates me sometimes how sheltering is used instead of education. I read a post elsewhere that said "trust yourself, trust your child" that showed me that I've got less to worry about than I thought.
I apologize for any misconceptions. A doctor I don't claim to be. Up on the current state of medical understanding, I don't claim to be. Heck, I have never even heard of "TNX-901" though I'm about to google it to death.
What I do understand is what it's like to be a child with this allergy, and I do know which things were unexpected that almost got me, and I do know which things from my past constantly remind me.
I wrote the rant because the trend towards protection, not education was starting to both scare and annoy me. I shared it here, mainly because my readership is unlikely to care. Which, be it good, or be it bad, at least I found a group of people who care.
I'll edit the language in the article to take into account your respective feedbacks, and flames. Even those who think me an uneducated and underinformed individual, I appreciate the feedback..
SG[/b]

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