Avoiding reactions

Posted on: Wed, 02/03/1999 - 3:33am
tracy's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

I've read several posts which say (to the effect) "no matter how careful we were, my child was exposed to peanuts and had a reaction."

I have several questions regarding this. Has anyone been successful in avoiding peanuts and therefore reactions? If so, how do you do it?

Secondly, if you (or your child) did have an accidental exposure, why did this happen? How could it have been avoided?

Thanks for any and all information.

--Tracy

Posted on: Wed, 02/03/1999 - 9:14am
Christine's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

<p>Tracy,</p>
<p>Personally, I have been successful in avoiding peanuts for my son. His accidental exposure occurred at his daycare center. The entire staff is alerted to his allergy. One day a substitute was working in his room with the usual teacher's aide. The teacher's aide went down to the kitchen to help out there while the children were napping (leaving the kids with the substitute). The children awoke from their nap prior to the teacher's aide returning from the kitchen. The substitute thought she would be "helpful" and she would get their snack started which just happened to be pre-packed peanut butter crackers. My son ate two of them before anyone realized it (10 minutes after he ate them). Fortunately nothing happened to my son, which was a miracle. After this, the director instituted a peanut ban in his classroom so that it wouldn't happen again.</p>
<p>I have found it very easy to avoid peanut exposure. I never give my son storebought cookies, cakes, etc., even if they do not have peanut listed as an ingredient. There is too much risk for cross contamination. We eat out frequently but NEVER order dessert. All ingredients at restaurants are checked such as oils and gravy bases (peanut flour can be used in gravy mixes). We stick to chain restaurants and plain food for him. I have yet to have a problem in 4 years. Stay away from ice creams, candies, cookies---anything like that which you do not prepare yourself and you should be fine. We do go to Dairy Queen for ice cream. He is never allowed ANY toppings on his ice creams since the nuts could fall into the hot fudge, etc. I also don't let him eat any soft serve yogurt/ice cream from "gourmet" places like TCBY because they often make a peanut butter flavor. One day the peanut butter flavor could be in one of the tanks and the next day vanilla could be in the same tank. Too risky.<br />
Christine</p>

Posted on: Thu, 02/04/1999 - 11:56am
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Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

<p>Hi,</p>
<p>I have only had one reaction in my life and I'm almost 30. Luckily, that reaction was fairly slow, so I had medical treatment in time. It was a cross-contamination thing. The grilled cheese sandwich I ate at the high school cafeteria had been cut by a knife that had cut a peanut butter sandwich at some point.</p>
<p>I have been successful at avoiding any other reactions because I am careful and I tend to eat what I know I've eaten before. I refuse to eat if I even have a small sense that the food could be unsafe. This means if I think the waiter didn't really ask the chef about the ingredients or if I think my friend's kitchen is a little too messy and she eats nutty things when I'm not around. I think only of myself and surviving. I take bagels or crackers...some kind of snack I know is safe...wherever I go, so I have something to eat if I can't eat wherever I am.<br />
Also, I carry an Epipen at all times. I go nowhere...not even for a minute..without it.<br />
It's really not as scary to me as it used to be. I know the symptoms of a reaction, I have an Epipen, I always check ingredients, and I educate everyone I know. You don't have to worry if you do those things. Then, if you have cross contamination/accidental contact, you've done all you can and that's all you can do. </p>
<p>Hope that helps.</p>
<p>Kyla</p>

Posted on: Thu, 02/04/1999 - 12:28pm
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

<p>Tracy, this is a life long day by day process.The advice given by the others is really good. I have been very lucky with my sons allergy. After the first one (the worst so far)we have only had 2 small reactions. Both of those have been when he was in the church nursrey. Now he carries what we call his emergency kit and I hand it to the teacher each time to remind them the seriousness of the allergy. WE have not had a reaction in 3 years Praise God! we also make sure there is a least 1 maybe 2 people in the class that know how to use the epipen.<br />
In the kit is bynedryl(sp?)and the epipen and emergency #'s and instruction. I was told the epipen could be used even before the reaction starts if you see he has eaten a candy bar you know has peanuts in itby accidents. GOD BLESS! LORI</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/05/1999 - 7:49am
tracy's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

<p>Everyone,</p>
<p>Thanks for your stories and suggestions. It's good to know you all have been successful and how you've done it.</p>
<p>I think I'll feel better once my son (who is 13 months old) can make his own decisions, recognize symptoms and take care of himself. Right now, it's difficult to tell if he feels funny (tongue tingling, etc.) until the symptoms have advanced.</p>
<p>For now, until I feel better and more confident, our plan it to make all his food and eat at home. That's not hard because it's what we've been doing basically. We just have more of a reason to do so. I'm hoping to join (or start) a support group locally, so I can get good information about schools and local restaurants. Or we can educate chefs and teachers...</p>
<p>--Tracy</p>

Posted on: Sat, 02/06/1999 - 1:33pm
Donna's picture
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Joined: 01/31/1999 - 09:00

<p>My son is 4 and has had a reaction from cross contaminated almond butter, bought from a food co-op. Believe it or not the manufacturer was aware of the problem and basically didn't care because they did nothing illegal. I was offered a refund.<br />
He had another reaction from some sherbert that shouldn't have been contaminated, so it could have been food coloring but he reacted as if he had eaten peanuts.<br />
He had several reactions from being near peanut products. I was told this wasn't possible and it took awhile for me to figure out what was happening, we thought it was cats but turns out it must have been peanuts.<br />
To avoid reactions we stay home and make almost everything homemade. He gets homemade icecream and fresh cookies all the time! He brings his own food and drink when we do go anywhere, and we just watch him very closely.</p>

Posted on: Sun, 02/07/1999 - 11:01am
tracy's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

<p>Donna,</p>
<p>I read about the almond-butter warnings from (I think) the Food Allergy Network. Your situation confirms what my husband and I have just decided is the right thing (for us) -- to avoid giving our son all nuts and nut products to prevent cross-contamination. Also, he's so young (13 months), we don't want to sensitize him to other nuts right now.</p>
<p>I can't believe the manufacturer knew about the problem and did nothing. I'm still new to this (we just found out about our son's allergy about 2 weeks ago), so I don't know about any laws or potential legislation. Does anyone know what the status is for truth in ingredient declarations on food packages? Sometimes a landmark lawsuit will get people's attention... have you thought of that route? (I am *not* the litigious type, but sometimes it takes extreme action to get manufacturers to take notice.) How long ago did this happen?</p>
<p>Thanks for your reply.</p>
<p>--Tracy</p>

Posted on: Thu, 02/18/1999 - 6:19am
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Joined: 01/27/1999 - 09:00

<p>I am rereading a lot of the posts, because as I learn other things are starting to become more clear or have more meaning. As I read this one it did make me feel better knowing that we are able to avoid a lot of these products. I too Tracy wonder how someone so young will tell me about her symtoms, mine is older than yours (3) but sometimes I think she says nothing itches because she knows its not good, and maybe not the truth. It also doesn't help that I am constantly staring at her when she eats. But it did remind me of two things my allergist told me yesterday. One was even a toddler will point to his/her throat and say hot, or just point. Also she said to go with your kids instincts. If they say they don't want to eat something don't push them. Too many parents she said (and I've done this) -just try it. She thinks maybe instinctively they know that they don't want it. Kids can and will be finicky eaters. Maybe thats o.k. Also my neighbor told me about a bagel shop that now has a big sign saying that they have discontinued making peanut butter bagels due to cross contamination concerns. I never heard of peanut butter bagels, but be sure that I will now frequent this bagel shop and personally thank them for being aware of this problem. Again another reason to make people aware of this problem. My neighbor was able to tell me about this and the bagel shop did something about it. Hooray for them!!!</p>

Posted on: Thu, 02/18/1999 - 11:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

<p>Hi Patti,</p>
<p>Along the same lines as the bagel shop, we have avoided Dunkin Donuts due to the donut rolled in peanuts. My neighbor advised me he went into Dunkin Donuts to get a peanut rolled donut (his favorite) and they told him they no longer had the peanut donuts due to so many people being allergic to them. Just to confirm for myself this was true, I called the nearest Dunkin Donuts to us and they said they still had the peanut donuts, so it must just be independent shops that either have it or don't. Will keep you updated on Dunkin Donuts!</p>

Posted on: Thu, 02/18/1999 - 10:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

<p>Hi Kyla,</p>
<p>Since you are an adult with a peanut allergy, how was it attending school with this allergy? How did your parents deal with the teachers? I'm just trying to compare back then (not implying you're old...I'm 34)ha ha...just with you having only one peanut episode, how were things done with you attending school verses things done today?</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 2:06am
Patti's picture
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Joined: 01/27/1999 - 09:00

<p>Kyla,<br />
I would also love hearing more from you. I think as parents we feel so bad for our children thinking it is going to be so hard for them. What were your experiences growing up. Unfortunately I think we have a lot more peanut products today. But if you had a few moments I would really be interested in hearing more from you. I think you are a great role model at handling this allergy with only one experience. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks so much!<br />
Patti</p>

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