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Posted on: Tue, 06/04/2002 - 4:12am
Grateful's picture
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Joined: 04/10/2002 - 09:00

Stuffguy, I agree with you 100%! My pa son has gone through 2 years of preschool and 1 year of kindergarten (as of tomorrow! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ) reaction-free, although neither of the schools or classrooms are peanut-free. He is not even 6 yet and is extremely responsible for his allergy. He is the oldest of 3, and as careful as I try to be I can't watch him every minute. He has protected himself multiple times from unsafe foods offered by well-meaning friends, their parents, and once a teacher who should have known better. He is very comfortable doing this, and is also very comfortable bringing his own "party snack" to birthday parties, etc. I do not worry about him going to middle school, hanging out with his friends at the mall or whatever when he's older or going to college because he is already taking care of himself so well. Just wait until he can read a label! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Thank you for sharing your experience, sometimes when I read what other parents are doing, especially regarding peanut-free schools, I wonder if I am doing the right thing. You confirmed my gut feeling that my son needs to live in the real world now, so that he will be well-equipped to be on his own someday. Also, my allergist says he would be much more likely to die from a reaction as an adult than as a child - all the more reason to equip him for the real world as well as possible!

Posted on: Tue, 06/04/2002 - 5:08am
TLSMOM's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2001 - 09:00

Grateful:
I also have a "very responsible" for his age 5 almost 6yr old son who is PA, sunflower, milk and egg allergic.
As responsible as he is, he is NOT ready to take on all the responsibility for takeing care of himself and staying safe. He is too young. It's not that I am not VERY PROUD of him, BUT unfortunately even as careful as he can be he has had accidental exposures, even with me being as vigilent as well!
More power to you if your happy with your situation, but I respectfully disagree with your casual approach with your son. In the real world you need to balance caution with normalcy.
Not meant to offend, just to tell you my perspective.
TLSMOM
[This message has been edited by TLSMOM (edited June 04, 2002).]

Posted on: Tue, 06/04/2002 - 5:31am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

TLSMOM, if you want a peanut free school, do you also want milk free? egg free? I don't understand why you treat allergies in a child differently. I don't know much about milk allergy, but I do know a lot of kids have anaphylactic reactions to egg.
I don't totally disagree with an allergen being banned from a school, if a child reacts to odour then yes, it is necessary. But I think all allergies need to be treated equally. As all children need to be treated equally.
Several years ago we had the nut-free issue come up at the school my son went to. The PA mom kept saying "but it's peanuts" as if that made a difference. Another child had fish allergy (yes anaphylactic). His mother was OK about fish in the school but insisted I work his lunch table just in case. When the PA mom came in, trumpets blaring, that the whole school had to be peanut free, the FA mom said, only if it's fish free too. (Removing all the peanut butter would mean more people brought fish) Somehow, the fact that other schools were peanut free made the PA mom feel that was a reasonable request, but fish free was unreasonable. (Apparently her son loved fish, according to his SK teacher)
I am allergic to peanut, but I sided with the FA mom. All or nothing.

Posted on: Tue, 06/04/2002 - 9:05am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Why peanut-free schools? It has to do with the numbers of deaths and the serious reactions to invisible traces of pb. I don't know of any children dying at school from allergies other than pb, (this could be ignorance on my part.) It's the live and learn rule. If kids are dying at school from pb, then it's time to remove it.
Also, the possiblity that any type of exposure increases the severity of the allergy is a real factor. Stuffguy says it's worse than ever. Maybe it doesn't have to do with age but with exposure---all those years of being in close contact with it.
(I edited this message because although Stuffguy the "toughguy" could handle it---his parents are apparently reading these posts.)
[This message has been edited by river (edited June 08, 2002).]

Posted on: Tue, 06/04/2002 - 11:30am
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

AnnaMarie, I am going to assume that you asked the questions you asked because you really want to know, so I will answer them for you. My daughter became milk allergic at age 17 days, egg allergic at two and a half years old, and peanut allergic at age five. There is no medical indication to ask that a class be egg free, fish free, or milk free, but there IS a medical indication for a class of a severely pa child to be peanut free. The reason is the large numbers of airborne and contact reactions from peanuts, whereas these things DON`T occur with milk, egg, and fish allergy. When my daughter was "only" allergic to milk and egg, my life was so much easier. All I had to do was pack her the right food, and not worry about what others were eating. I NEVER asked for a milk free or egg free class, because airborne and contact reactions to milk and egg don`t happen. And I might add that she was SEVERELY allergic to egg---one bite of scrambled egg at age two and a half and I had to use the Epipen to save her life. When my daughter became pa, due to the high numbers of airborne and contact reactions to peanuts that simply don`t happen with milk and egg allergy, her doctor said she must have a peanut free table. If we fly, we have to get a peanut free flight, whereas we have never asked for a milk free or egg free flight. It is not a matter of prioritizing one allergen over another, it is simply a medical fact that airborne and contact reactions to peanuts are common, whereas this is not true for egg and milk. Despite my daughter`s severe egg allergy, I would feel fine about my daughter sitting in a classroom full of kids eating scrambled egg. In fact this happened, when on Dr. Seuss`s birthday, the kids made green eggs and ham. I packed something else for my daughter, but she was perfectly safe sitting there with 20 kids eating scrambled eggs. Contrast this to when the cafeteria serves peanuts and I pick her up at noon to get her out of there, before the peanuts are served (actually pb). The teacher must watch all children wash their hands thoroughly before coming back to class. If peanut residue is brought into the classroom, it can stay on surfaces for six months. If the whole class eats pizza with cheese (milk product), my daughter is perfectly fine if the children aren`t made to wash their hands.
I also have to comment on this issue of if a child is responsible, all will be okay. That simply isn`t true. My daughter who started preschool at age 3, has NEVER EATEN anyone`s food but her own. She is now 7. At age 5, when there was a sub who didn`t know about the peanut free table, my daughter got up and moved away from the kids eating pb. She is extremely responsible. Nevertheless, I saved my daughter`s life when she ate Vanilla Bean soy imitation ice cream, which was made on shared equipment with peanuts and not stated. Companies make mistakes sometimes or have shared equipment and do not always state it. That is why we are all trained to use the Epipen. Another example is some oatmeal raisin cookies my daughter used to eat. One day I ate one a felt something crunch in my mouth. Sure enough, it was a peanut. I called the company and found that they were using pan liners over and over. They also made peanut butter cookies, apparently they made a mistake and used that pan liner on the oatmeal raisin type. These are just two of many examples that it can take more than a responsible child to prevent a reaction, and that even if a child is the most responsible child in the world a reaction can still occur.

Posted on: Tue, 06/04/2002 - 2:50pm
poppys mummy's picture
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Joined: 03/23/2002 - 09:00

Just to say that my daughter who is allergic to peanuts, egg and milk does have contact reactions to milk. She once touched the outside of an unopened bottle of milk, the next minute her eyes and lips were swelling, she had hives and was sneezing copious amounts and was screaming. So yes unfortunately you can have contact reactions. She has also reacted to a dishcloth that I had used to wipe up a milk spill which had been thoroughly rinsed. Where it had come into contact on her arm there were welts which then turned into an eczema type rash that lasted a week. She has also reacted to a little friend who was eating a cream dip. Her allergy seems to be getting worse with each exposure, which admittedly is a little unusual for milk allergy.I too like the thought of a peanut free school but I certainly understand that parents of multi food allergic children would feel that their childrens allergies are being minimised by not having banns on other allergenic foods. Milk, cheese yoghurt could all kill my daughter as surely as peanuts and are widely consumed and very messy.Sure I would feel a whole lot better if these foods were well away from my daughter but realistically I think this would be massively difficult and I also know that it would be impossible to enforce. Milk and egg products are major food groups and I really couldn't expect anyone to forego them in their childrens lunches.Being multi allergic means she has to be extra vigilant and I have to teach her how to do this to keep herself safe. Certainly though, having a peanut free school would at least help lighten the load a little so to speak. Peanuts are afterall nonessential nutritionally so can be avoided by parents without detriment to their childrens diet.
[This message has been edited by poppys mummy (edited June 05, 2002).]

Posted on: Tue, 06/04/2002 - 4:32pm
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Joined: 05/11/2002 - 09:00

In reply to the comment made that anaphylaxis resulting in death is more common in teenagers with pa, the theory is not because they just have more anaphylactic type reactions as an age group but it is because they are more likely to experiment with things and become less careful with things in general (eg forget to carry their epipens with them at parties) - peer pressure. They are just a higher risk group altogether in general and unless they grow up realising their responsibilities to look after themselves (own the problem), they are the ones that would suffer the consequences.

Posted on: Tue, 06/04/2002 - 11:55pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Carefulmom, yes I did ask because I really did want to know. It's an issue I find confusing and I thank you for your answer. I would also like to point out that had the PA mom at the school wanted a peanut free table, or even a peanut free room there would have been no objection. She wanted a peanut free school and felt another child's health was not of the same value. Fish is also common to have anaphylactic reactions from touch or smell. I know of one person who had a reaction to egg she didn't even touch. It may be rare, but in those rare instances it should be taken as seriously.
In the school incident I referred to the PA mom orignally said her son reacted to touching things with peanut protein or even smelling, but in the end, it turned out he would grab other kids food and eat it. This happened with PB in daycare. This mom and child didn't want to take responsibility, they instead wanted 400 other people to take responsibility for them.
Personally, I think all daycare and kindergarten classes should ban any food one of the children is allergic to. I also think for the older grades either an allergen-free table or allergen-free room should be arranged if requested. One school could easily manage both a peanut free table and a fish free table and if needed an egg free table. In some schools entire lunch rooms (as well as the particular child's class room) could be free of their allergen. I just feel making an entire school *safe* can't be done in a large school if other students will not be treated the same because their allergen is not as common. Does that make sense?

Posted on: Thu, 06/06/2002 - 8:55am
TLSMOM's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2001 - 09:00

AnnaMarie:
Just wanted to clear something up.
I don't think I ever suggested at any time in any of my comments that I don't think other childrens food allergies are any less serious or of the same value as my own two children. All serious food allergy problems need to be recognized and dealt with in the safest, best way possible.
I failed to mention my son is anaphalactic to tree nuts, has asthma and recurring eczema that gets treated daily.
Currently the school system so far seems to be willing to implement a 504 certification for Tom's kindergarten class in the fall. So far so good. But it's still early .
Yes I will take my best shot at having a Peanut free kindergarten,if not a totally peanut-free school If there are other parents that have children with multiple food allergies they can do whatever they consider best. I would take steps to follow whatever guidelines they come up with.
My son has a right, as does EVERY child at his school to have the safest, best possible learning environment. Unfortunately, Peanut butter is something that can't be as easily seen and eliminated as other food allergens in my opinion, that's what terrifies me personally.
Theres peanut butter cookies, snacks, breads, cereals, Ice Creams, candies etc, etc. Again this does not make any of my childrens other allergies less serious, this is just where I'm coming from.
Not meant personally, just hope to clarify where I'm coming from.
All the Best,,,
TLSMOM

Posted on: Fri, 06/07/2002 - 10:15am
Marla H's picture
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Joined: 02/26/2002 - 09:00

I have to agree with AnnaMarie here. Although my 13 year old has multiple food allergies, I would never advocate a peanut-free school. I suppose that a peanut or allergen free table in a lunchroom would be fine, though we've never had one. I really don't think it helps food allergy awareness when PA parents claim--I'm not accusing anyone on the website of this, but people I know in everyday life--that their kids' allergies are the only serious ones, and when PA issues become magnified beyond all other illnesses and educational issues in a school.

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