Another Newbie - Peanut Allergy Information

Another Newbie

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Hi Everyone, I'm new here. My 15 month old son was just diagnosed with a peanut allergy yesterday. I think I'm just overwhelmed right now. Since yesterday, I've gone through the pantry and labelled and set aside everything with possible nuts. My husband and I haven't decided if we want to go entirely peanut free in the house yet, so we've just isolated everything for now. We're going to order a bracelet for him today. My son has broken out in a rash the last several times he had peanut butter, which is what triggered the trip to the allergist. I guess this whole thing is just kind of surreal and I'm looking for any advice you have, especially for those of you with kids who were diagnosed young or have other kids without allergies. So far my older son (4) has been very supportive. He's been eating jelly sandwiches since my little guy's diagnosis. I'd appreciate any support or guidance you guys could provide.

Thanks!

By kickert on Jun 5, 2014

My daughter says that she gets a metallic smell in her nose when she is close to peanuts/products - she can identify immediately if she has ingested something that would cause her harm or if it is in the air - our last reaction was from a dog breathing on her - they had just given him a treat with peanut butter inside it - didn't even think if that being an issue - but it was immediate for her. So, if a young child doesn't seem to like the taste or scent of peanut butter I would keep it away.

By hmart27 on May 10, 2014

Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate it. I think that ultimately, we will not be a peanut free house. However, due to my older son only being 4 and putting his grubby hands all over everything in the house, I think we may have to temporarily ban it. We'll see. We're pretty sure my little guy's reaction is from ingestion only. It's hard to tell with him being so young. He can't really explain his symptoms to us. I guess I'm thankful he broke out after eating it so that it was a reaction I could actually see. I know that when he ate peanut butter he usually ate less than he would have had it been something else. I had originally figured he just didn't like it much, but now I'm wondering if he was experiencing some sort of discomfort. It'll be interesting to see what we learn when he can communicate more clearly. Thanks again for your response.

By jnn1416 on May 10, 2014

I honestly don't have any advice as my 7yo son was diagnosed only a week ago. My 17 month old daughter still hasn't tried any peanut products and instead will be tested in 6 months. I haven't made a definite decision, however, we are most likely not going to have a peanut free house. We will just have to be vigilant and teach vigilance when washing hands and faces. My thought is this...unfortunately, the world is not peanut free.

Not only is my son older at 7, but he is lucky in the sense that he does not have a reaction simply smelling/breathing it in the air. He actually has to ingest it (at this point at least). Therefore, we feel that we don't want to segregate him from his friends by sitting at the "peanut free" table nor do we want to eliminate from the house. If his reaction becomes more severe, we will revisit our thoughts on the subject.

By kickert on Jun 5, 2014

My daughter was diagnosed at 18 months - her first reaction was extreme - so we went nut free and a little fanatical for a while. At the time she was our only child - our second daughter does not have any allergies but had never had a nut or anything like it - she is her sisters biggest advocate - but I have to remind myself that she doesn't have the allergy and shouldn't have to always live with it - but she has been trained to have watchful eyes and be on the alert for anything that could harm her sister. It isn't fun in any way, there are days that you really just wonder "why us?" then I'm reminded "why not us?" My daughter attended the FAAN Teen Summit, after that and meeting so many other kids with multiple allergies she left saying "if all we have to deal with is nuts we can handle that". So, keep your head up, do your research, talk to people, be your kids advocate - the biggest thing is education - so many people still don't understand how this can turn out and as a result are not always nice during the process. I could sit here and write all night - but know there are a lot of us out here to support you - at any level.

By PeanutAllergy.com on Jun 5, 2014

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, PeanutAllergy.com is answering one of the questions posted in our community.

Our Answer:

Hi there! First of all, it’s great you are reaching out to get advice from the peanut allergy community. It can be extremely overwhelming at first when your child is diagnosed.

Labeling and setting everything aside that may contain peanuts is a good idea. You never know where peanut products may show up, and you don’t want to risk accidentally contaminating safe food. Additionally, be advised that many non-food items can contain peanut. This article has more information.

A medical bracelet is another good idea. Here is some helpful information on medical ID jewelry.

It is advisable, for the time being, that your son avoid any products with peanuts in them because he is so young. Some peanut allergy sufferers are also allergic to tree nuts, so be careful if and when you give him any foods that have or may contain almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc. You may want to have him tested for this allergy beforehand if you haven’t already.

Definitely consider making your home peanut-free as that is the only way to ensure your son is safe there. Also, be aware that if your older son is eating foods with peanuts he could have residue left on his fingers, face and/or clothing. Make sure he washes up before interacting with your younger son.

We asked our Facebook fans for their suggestions, and you can read their responses here.

By mj mom on Jun 5, 2014

Hi!

My oldest was diagnosed at 13 months. It was Halloween and he grabbed a Butterfinger bar and started to eat it. Before I could grab it, I said something like: oh well, let's see if he has a peanut allergy...haha...since no one did. Well, he broke out in a rash, so I got my answer to that one.

Similar to you, just a rash when he ate peanut products. We kept the peanut butter and other nuts away from him, but kept eating things like candy and such at the office, etc. We thought we were doing ok by washing our hands, etc. I had a mom at work go on and on about how even sharing a toothbrush could cause him to go anaphylactic. Ok, I would say...thinking, whatever, he just gets a little rash. However, I did educate my son constantly about peanut butter--what it looks like, don't touch it, etc. My mom actually scolded me b/c she thought I would scare him, but I felt he needed to be educated. If a little fear came with it, he's better off...

Then, after turning 3, we went to see Santa at the mall. At the last minute, I turned to my husband and said: grab the diaper bag, we may be there for awhile. We had our second son, only a little over 1 year, with us and anticipated long lines b/c of Christmas. The Epi-Pen just happened to be in the bag, but we took the bag for diapers, not the Pen specifically.

We stopped at the candy store and it was so busy, I was just trying not to lose my son and get out of the store. We purchased a candy ladybug that we had purchased before...only I forgot it was a peanut butter chocolate bug. My son bit into and came up to me and said: Mommy, this has peanut butter in it!

I almost died right there. How did he know? How did he remember? Should we use the Pen? My husband told me we weren't going to freak, b/c I did, and things would be fine. Within seconds he was grabbing at his throat, turning colors, etc. I gave him a sip of a lemonade b/c it had ice in it--a long time ago I had a reaction and a friend gave me an ice cube (I was an adult) to suck on til the paramedics got there to slow the swelling--not sure if it would work, but tried it anyway trying not to panic.

I went to go find a store to give him Benedryl, but by the time I had taken a few steps he was vomiting foam. My husband froze, my little guy was in the stroller waving my credit card I had used at the candy store, and people were walking in slow motion. I had to force myself to calm down and use the Epi-Pen and then call 911.

His reaction came back in the ambulance. He survived, but I will never, NEVER, NEVER take his allergy for granted again. On one hand, I am glad it happened the way it did b/c now I know. On the other hand, I will never forgive myself for almost killing my child.

So, now I'm the parent telling people to take it seriously. I am the parent that gets the--it's just a rash--speech. It's up to them whether or not they listen. But, at least I have shared my story and hope someone will take it seriously somewhere down the road.

It is manageable. It is going to be ok. It does take time to learn and research. The research never stops. You will be the empowered mom who takes on the school district and family and friends and strangers to help your little one. You can do this.

Good luck. I hope the best for you all--and hopefully it always stays just a little rash! I sure wish my son's had.

By mj mom on Jun 5, 2014

BTW, we do a team approach that if one can't have it, none can. We do it to keep each other safe, educate each other, and a one for all, all for one type approach. We want to be supportive and safe, and that's what we decided. They are almost 9 and almost 7 now, and agree with that decision. Most people I know don't do this. But, we decided that we can find safe alternatives for everyone to enjoy. As a team, we are supportive of each other regardless of a little sacrifice. Besides, none of us would ever want something to happen to the other one.

By shg18 on Jun 6, 2014

Hi, I can't offer too much advice as my son was just diagnosed at 13 months and I'm still a little in shock as no one on either side of our family has ever had a food allergy. We tried giving him peanut butter for the first time 2 weeks ago and he immediately broke out in a rash and hives and vomited everything up. We took him to the ER to be safe and thankfully he is fine. We have an appointment to meet with a pediatric allergist to get him tested to see how severe his allergy is and if he is allergic to anything else. As of right now I did decide to get ride of all peanut butter and nuts in our household until we have more information. He is my only child so I didn't have to explain to an older one why we no longer have it in the house. I've read alot of commentary on this site and it's nice to see all of the support and advice people in the same situations give. I know this is going to impact our lives in some ways, but I hope to be able to navigate it and keep my son safe with as much information as I can gather to know what to do and what not to. I can say this, it's a good idea to see an allergist and to get Benadryl and EPI pens to have on hand at all times to ensure your child is as safe and protected as can be in case he accidently comes in contact with it again.

By optimisticmomma on Jun 8, 2014

My son was Dx when he was 18 months, he is now 11. We have 6 children, so I was hoping we could still keep peanuts in the house, but we've had WAY too many close calls and within a few months of Dx we went 100% peanut free in our house. There is nothing so nutritionally amazing about a peanut that it is necessary for our diets. Protein can be found in many, many other things in this country. Our close calls were: peanuts in hamster food (we didn't know it!), peanuts which were not highlighted on the side of a box of a food with LOTS of ingredients, peanut butter residue on a table at co-op. JUST NOT WORTH HAVING IT IN THE HOUSE. OUR HOUSE IS THE ONE SAFE PLACE FOR HIM. If my kids want peanuts, they eat it at someone else's house and they also have to brush their teeth and wash their hands before they come in our door.

By VictoriaRosesmom on Jun 8, 2014

I chose to go peanut free. I felt it was more important for my daughter to be able to eat anything I have in the house. I know she can't eat everything everywhere, but I don't want her feeling excluded at home. It also saves me (or her family members, babysitter, etc.) from giving something to her accidently which is cross contaminated. There are safe foods available. I love Sunbutter and use it instead. (which is sunflower seed butter, no nuts). Hope this is helpful.

By Jeanzaffa on Jun 8, 2014

Hi I have a 9 yr old who has allergies since she was 1yr old.my older daughter who is 13yrs old has outgrown all her allergies except cod fish n cashew nuts. I am ok with that. My 9 yr old is getting worse. She is allergic to all nuts, all fish, cocoa, egg, sesame seeds n honey. My house is totally a nut and fish free home. If she smells fish she gets sick and vomits. It's so hard and scary because we are on edge always cos she cannot come in contact with fish at all.even when we fly it's so hard that they have to sit us away from most people because of the smell of the nuts. So I am very careful n cautious that's why I have a nut free home. We hardly go out for dinners unless we go to really expensive places where fish is not served and explain about the nut allergy and we get seated somewhere nice but away from those eating that stuff. :(

This is to protect your child. My school is great and very surportive where kids who bring tuna in go and eat in different classes n make sure they wash and clean they hands. I have 2 epi pens that I have to carry around with me for my 9 yr old. I totally understand all those with kids with allergies and I pray one day we find an answer n solution for that.

By jentifred on Jun 8, 2014

Hi there! I was diagnosed with peanut allergy at around the same age as your son is now. My mom said I broke out in hives and my lips swelled a bit. Growing up, the house was not free of peanut butter, but there were some precautions. We didn't have anything with not-obvious nuts, for example. All I had to avoid was the jar of pb as the rest of my family used separate utensils for the jelly.

Of course, this was back in the mid-70s when there was not the awareness that we have now!

My personal opinion is that while certainly precautions need to be taken, an all-out ban is often unnecessary and can sometimes lull a kid into a false sense of security. As a result of having it "in my face" every day and having to think about it, it was really ingrained in me that I had to ask about ingredients and I was very good about it by the time I was around 6.

Food for thought (pun intended).

By samsmommy99 on Jun 8, 2014

Mine was diagnosed at 8 months old..... I kept peanuts and peanut butter stuff in the house for a few months until I got scolded by the pediatrician..... He said I needed to remove all traces of peanut from the house.... The risk was too great. I ate TONS of peanut butter when I was pregnant, and when Sam was born he had a ton of eczema issues as well..... That was apparently a precursor to the allergies to come. Peanut is the only one he has ANA too.... The rest just cause some digestive issues. He still eats tree nuts with no issues, but only if they are not in contact with peanuts..... As it turns out, he has a Legume allergy, he is allergic to lentils, chick peas, peas, and most of stuff in the legume family..... I think people forget peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes. There are peanut desensitization trials going on currently with good results, so it's just a matter of time before they can figure out a solution to the peanut allergy crisis..... I have to admit..... It would be nice to not have to freak out and get nervous to the point I'm sick every time we fly on a plane or go to the mall, or playground, or any other place normal people go.... Who don't have peanut allergies.

By Akitchens on Jun 8, 2014

When my daughter, now 11, was 16 mos old, her daddy had waffles with peanut butter on them. He was kissing all over her neck and face and she developed welps all over. We then had her tested. She has a severe nut allergy to all nuts. Same thing happened when a child at school ate peanut butter for lunch then touched her. I also have a friend that her daughter had a reaction after drinking from the same bottled water that her daddy drank from after he had eaten peanuts. They had to take her to emergency room for steroids. Having that said, we kept all nuts out of the house. It wasn't worth it for us.

By ddvt on Jun 8, 2014

Hi, My older daughter was diagnosed at 15 mos., and today she is 16. Having tested at the severe end of the scale for so long, we have always been so careful. My house is peanut-free - it is not always easy to read all the ingredient labels, but we have lived well without peanuts. My younger daughter loves peanut butter, but can eat only Sunbutter at home. If she does eat anything with peanuts, she has to wash her hands before getting in the car or coming in the door, and keep her toothbrush away from my PA daughter. Holidays, parties and Halloween were the worst for my daughter when she was younger, emotionally, but I tried to provide peanut-free snacks and treats when she went to parties and at school. The most important thing, I believe, is to be prepared - always keep the medications up-to-date and carry them with you - often a challenge when the kids get older, into adolescence, because they feel invincible and like "you only live once". We have been able to successfully dine out and travel, but always with a plan and the right tools. Still, I am always the one who is worried that there will be peanut residues on cutlery and cookware, at peoples' homes or in restaurants, so we avoid places that have peanuts and peanut sauces, esp. Thai and some Chinese restaurants. Wish you the best as you learn about how to live with this allergy.

By Ralphi on Jun 8, 2014

My granddaughter (now 11) has a life-threatening peanut allergy. We have never had to use the Epi-pens but her allergy scores keep getting higher. She doesn't live with us but we have chosen to never ever have peanuts around. She is allergic to several other nuts too but not to the same degree. Her mother has NOTHING in her home that was manufactured in a nut factory and her brother also makes sure he doesn't eat anything with nuts in. They both read labels. We do like other nuts and I have a locked freezer in the garage for those items. Also, Sun Butter is safe for her so I would recommend that in place of peanut butter. I miss peanuts to a certain extent but then it just isn't worth it to have around. I can get over it.

Good luck!

By Pamela S Hughes on Jun 8, 2014

We found out our son was peanut allergic at about a year (introducing new foods) and thought it wasn't so serious because the reaction was just splotchy hives, crying, etc. but after a couple if those the next reaction was very serious. He was going into anaphylaxis this time. Now the EpiPens are required. The emergency room event that day was so scary and now we knew it was was very severe. I share this with you because just like your young child, our son stated out with reactions that weren't life-threatening, but just like our pediatrician said, it could get much more serious the next time. With cross-contamination from utensils & crumbs being a possibility, we opted to go peanut-free just to make it easier and less stressful, especially when babysitters are over. It's a personal choice. That's just what we decided and it's been really easy on the whole family knowing we're keeping him safe. I hope this helps. :)

By jap on Jun 8, 2014

complete peanut ban of any sort including traces, done this for 15 years.It shows support and stops possible mix ups and contamination. would you give your child candy with a made in the same factory warning, same applies to your home. nobody will die without peanut.

my wife and i get our peanut fix at a restaurant on our own or at a ice cream shop when we are out together.

My daughters school plan is posted. http://japmrp.tumblr.com/

Julian

By ivegot4 on Jun 8, 2014

I would recommend going completely nut free until your child is old enough to read labels and decide for himself what is safe. We have been nut free for 12 years now and knowing that everything in our home is safe for our 3 allergic kids gives me a sense of peace. Navigating food allergies at church, school, restaurants, and friend's houses is stressful enough. I need for my home to be a safe haven where my kids can go get themselves a snack or work in the kitchen without worry. My 13 year old has even told me that he loves being able to eat at home because he can be normal. He was also 15 months when we discovered his allergies. It is scary, but manageable.

By Barbee on Jun 8, 2014

My youngest daughter was diagnosed at 10 months when her older brother ate PB toast and then kissed her. Her reaction was frightening and she didn't even eat it! We have 3 kids, only one with a food allergy, but we are a nut free house. Maggie needs to have at least one place where she is 100% certain she can eat whatever she wants and doesn't have to ask, "Is this safe for me?" At 4, she is now very good about asking that question and knows not to eat ANYTHING unless mom and dad ok it. Her older brother and sister (8 and 10) are very supportive and protective.

By kricar on Jun 8, 2014

The moment we found out our daughter had a severe peanut allergy was the last time I had any peanut products in my house. Our daughter is 3 and knows to ask before she eats anything but still I wouldn't want to take a chance. Its just not worth it.

By ddvt on Jun 9, 2014

It is so good to know that your daughter will head off to college knowing how to keep herself safe, just as many other kids who have grown up in peanut- and nut-free homes will. Of course, the world is not nut-free. Making a home peanut-free does not teach that the world is nut-free, nor do we feel that we are living in a bubble - my daughter has traveled extensively both with her parents and with a group of high school students. She goes out with her friends and knows which fast food places to avoid, and how to order ice cream at Ben & Jerry's. But at the end of the day, when she does come home, she really can relax, knowing that there is less (not none, of course) risk here.

By mom1995 on Jun 8, 2014

After reading so many of the posts I guess I will be the rogue. Our daughter nearly died at 18 months when I fed her a peanutbutter cookie. Which I was informed by a doctor and allergist you should not feed peanut product before the age of two. I guess I missed that page in the instruction manual when we brought her home. She was skin tested just before starting public education and then blood tested after puberty (just before middle school). When they test blood they expose the the samlpe to the protein and then count the reaction. The scale they count on is 1-100. 100 being the most extreme allergic. When they tested her blood they reported back to the allergist that they quit counting at 134 but that she continued to react. Neither the lab nor the allergist had ever seen such a level of reaction. They gave her a 5 on the 1-5 scale for peanuts. We had EVERY nut they had the ability to test for done at the same time. Every nut was a 3-4. So for her she has to be mindful of so many things. I go into such detail as I want to tell you she has never had another reaction as we have learned to live in a world filled with nuts without living in a bubble. We never made our home nut free. The world is not nut free. She just graduated high school this weekend and she surrived 13 years of public education. There were many times when the adults did not make the right choice but she knew how to keep herself safe. Ultimately you and your family will do what gives you comfort and enables you to be safe. There were times duriing elementary that I did require nut free classrooms because when they are little they just can not resist touching everything. But we never asked for a nut free campus . Again I say the world is not nut free. As she is about to go off into the world and off to college I KNOW she is equiped with the skills to keep herslef safe. To ALWAYS be aware of her surroundings . To be sure that someone with her knows about her allergy where her epi-pen is and how to use it. She has had issues at school and even went threw a phase where she did not want to go to school anymore from fear. We would not let her live in fear. It is tough enough sometimes to feel empowered as a girl I was not going to let her allergy add to that. We taught her that she was not defined by her allergy but rather by how she kept herself safe and educated those around her. I hope this helps you in your quest for knowledge and that your son never have another reaction because he learns how to LIVE with his allergy.

By dkdkdk on Jun 8, 2014

My daughter had her first reaction to peanuts at 18mos. It started with a rash on the mouth, then another, then swollen eye and the last with a swollen mouth, tongue. So you can see it gets worse with each exposure. I didn't "feed' her any peanut containing foods but she found a nut on the floor (because thats what babies do). I allowed her older sister to eat peanut butter sandwiches and she touched the knife which caused the swollen eye. I was told not to worry about any nuts other than peanuts. She ate a pistachio which caused the swollen tongue/mouth and a VERY scary trip to the ER after using the Epi Pen & Bendadryl. Not to scare you, but please take this seriously. I did not and I have learned my lesson. She has learned if you don't know whats in it, don't eat it. She deals with it very well. She is 8 now and of course very well aware. She will remove herself (if she is able to) if there is a chance nuts are around. You will do fine with him if you stay on top of it. Read labels, read labels, read labels! The 7 most common allergens (peanut being 1 of them) are required by food manufacturers to use their common name, not their scientific name. If it says "Could contain," "processed on shared equipment," "processed in the same facility," "may contain a trace"..avoid these foods. Sometimes it can be found in foods that you would never expect, such as Walmart brand Onion Soup Mix (could contain almonds), but the brand name Lipton does not state this. Have your Epi Pen/Benadryl with you 100% of the time and stored at the recommended temp. If you take the precautions seriously and have backup foods for him (for birthday parties, school functions, etc, such as frozen cupcakes) he will be ok with it. He might not like it but he will get used to it. Get as much education as you can and make sure you know how to use your Epi Pen. I have 2 older daughters and they do look out for her and are ok with not having peanuts around. The WowButter (Soy Butter) is an excellent alternative. You get used to it after awhile. I wish you the best and pray your son will be safe and still be able to enjoy the many things that will come his way!

By ddvt on Jun 9, 2014

With all due respect, I was totally not judging you for anything like that; I was actually responding to your seeming to have judged those of us who do have nut-free homes because you first used the words you used - "living in a bubble", etc.. I am sorry that I offended you.

By mom1995 on Jun 9, 2014

'ddvt' You have been on here one day..... To emply our home was not a safe place for our daughter is beyond your relm of knowledge. I slight no one for choosing to have a nut free home. It is a personal choice that no one should judge. But thank you for contirbution and for making my point that there are still adults out there that make the worng choices in life. In your case judging others.

By ramona mcdaris on Jun 12, 2014

Hello! And yes, it is overwhelming, saddening, maddening, and frightening to learn that your child has PA. We have known for only 10 months with ours and I gave him an Epipen on his 3rd birthday, and called 911, who said, "Sorry, we have no EMTs available now." I could not believe my ears, but this is a big city, so, apparently that sometimes happens. Still, I think it is awful and I had to run him by stroller to the ER after giving the Epipen. Well, hopefully that will not happen to you. For us it was one M&M that he found. So, I am frightened by your and your husband's attitude (not criticizing, just frightened) about not removing all traces of peanuts (forever) from your home, immediately. This means washing hands and brushing teeth BEFORE touching your son if you have recently eaten peanuts or food containing peanuts, elsewhere. (Yes, anaphylactic shock has occurred from couples' innocent kiss - just after one of the two had eaten peanuts). And your little guy is obviously too young to read your "labels." But mostly, you must adopt a more serious attitude about PA, NOT of panic, but of total distrust of ANY FOOD to the point of calling the manufacturing companies' Customer Relations person and asking if the food, although showing no peanuts on the label, was possibly in contact in any way with peanuts. This could be from shared equipment with other foods, or from using the same conveyor belt in transporting them. Some reps will try to assure you that "your health and safety are our primary concern, and we WASH THE EQUIPMENT THOROUGHLY BETWEEN BATCHES." Assure them each time you hear this that this is, unfortunately, not good enough. One almost microscopic particle of peanut protein left in a crevice of a machine or mixing bowl can kill your child in 30 minutes. Simple as that. So buy ONLY foods made in a SEPARATE facility from those made with peanuts. I bake my own bread and I called first to be sure the flour was not milled with PEANUT FLOUR in the same facility (before we got involved with PA, I did not know there even was peanut flour!). Hodgsen's is a good company brand for nut-free facility flour. But, ALWAYS CHECK FOR YOURSELF! Do not trust another individual who says, "We have always done fine with X-Brand." Obviously not every grain of flour, for example, will be cross-contaminated, but the one in a hundred that does could be just the one your son eats in his cupcake and shock WOULD likely ensue For a better understanding of this awful allergy, and especially as you are just beginning to learn about it, you and your husband might want to Google recent cases of death by peanut ingestion, even a tiny taste, especially in children. Doing anything you can to avoid anaphylaxis is not "living in a protective bubble." Rather, these deaths from peanut ingestion ARE the real world. Start by reading a couple or three of the articles found by Googling "Natalie Giorgi, 13-year-old Twin Dies" This was last summer, and there were several others deaths from same cause then, but this one will show you what you need to know. Her father was a doctor and she died in his arms after NOT EATING, but only biting into and spitting out a rice-krispie cookie laced with peanut butter. I am not trying to unduly frighten you; rather just trying to get you and your husband onboard the reality of peanut allergy's seriousness. YOU TWO must be your child's most fierce, relentless champions, because you will run head-on into folks, most often family members, who will NOT take this seriously, or else, are simply not aware enough of this fast-growing allergy to care right now. I am an RN and we did not even study allergies (except hay-fever types) in my nursing school. It is the past dozen years that have seen an alarming rise in the number of children diagnosed with peanut allergy. Good luck, and with the newly-adopted attitude that you will, to the best of YOUR ability, keep you child safe (this includes educating his baby-sitters, relatives, anyone at all who is in his presence), he will do fine. But you must be forever vigilant and read, read, read about this allergy, so you are at least armed with KNOWLEDGE of its potential harm, as well as knowing what you CAN do to make your child safe. Remember, unlike your sweet Aunt Mary might say, a TINY BIT of peanut is NOT O.K.! I know you will do fine, and as we did, occasionally show your little boy a peanut, both with and without skin, as well as peanut butter, to demonstrate what he is not to eat, and openly let it be known to him as well as his playmates and their caretakers that he CANNOT SHARE ONE BITE OF FOOD OR DRINK WITH ANY OF THEM--not even one M&M! Do this fairly often and he will not, at this age, be shocked by it, but will gradually realize that peanuts in any form can make him and some, but not all, other kids very sick. That is all he needs to be told for awhile. And we have signs posted on our front and back doors, as well as on our bathroom doors, "No Peanuts or Peanut Products Allowed in Our House--Severaly Allergy!" Your boy will grow up knowing this and will adapt to it and live a normal, happy life. Best of luck to you all

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