Birthday parties...

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One of my best friends had a birthday party for her daughter recently and despite her knowledge she had PB&J sandwiches for the kids! I didn't even see them on the table until another friend pointed it out to me after she saw several toddlers leaving their sandwiches everywhere. When I mentioned this to my friend she told me she made my daughter some jelly sandwiches. That was very nice, but you see? This will always make me want to go to every party she attends, even when I speak to the host! Shan

On Apr 7, 2000

Hi Shan,

I can undetstand how you feel. I am going to my sister's house tomorrow for my mom's 80th B-Day party. My 2 YO son Wade is PA, and everyone in my family is aware of it. My sister has ordered a cake from a bakery and I am concerned about Wade being exposed to it. I do not know if Wade is allergic to touch, so the thought of him being around un-safe food is a huge concern for me. I have to bake a seperate "safe" cake for him so that he will not feel left out!

You did not mention weather you stayed at the party once you saw the PB sandwitches??? Did you allow your child to eat any of the Jelly sandwitches?? Was the same jelly used for both sandwitches???

If it were not for the fact that it's my mom's B-Day I don't think I would take the chance of exposing Wade. Meanwhile, my sister (an RN by the way) thinks I am taking the whole peanut allergy thing too far!! I find it quite frustrating trying to keep Wade safe and my family "aware" of what poses a danfer to his life!

Take care!


On Apr 7, 2000

I didn't even think about cross contamination with the jelly! YIKES! Luckily, I didn't let her eat anything there. I stayed with her, but actually we should have both left after I saw the toddlers with the sandwiches. I just didn't want to seem like a jerk, poor excuse I know. It just seems everybody thinks we are obssessing, you know? Shan

On Apr 7, 2000

We buy a seperate jelly for Eli. I put some black electrical tape around it so I know which one is his. The only time I use it is for him, on his bread. (he is allergic to milk and eggs)

On Apr 7, 2000

Hi, We buy the Welch's Squeeze Jelly. That way, everybody squeezes out just the right amount and we don't worry about knives being stuck in the jar with something else on them.

On Apr 13, 2000

I just wanted to put in a good note on birthday parties. My daughter is 5 and has pa, this weekend she is going to a birthday party for a girl in her class. The mother knows about the allergy and asked about what other names peanuts have on labels, she had thourouly checked labels and wanted to make sure nothing had been left out. What I was most impressed with was the daughter. They were making up the loot bag and she kept asking her mom if the stuff was okay for J. Her mom said the licorice had peanuts on the label and so her daughter said J can't have that I'll go put it back. It made me feel so good that a little girl would be so thoughtful and aware of my daughters allergy. Just thought I would share this, maybe all the educating in the schools is really going to pay off. Michelle

On Apr 13, 2000

We always stay at the party with my daughter. I think it gives us a large level of comfort as well as the host of the party; at least until she is much older.


On Apr 13, 2000

My daughter is 6 and her K teacher has been so wonderful about educating other students in the class. I get calls from parents that are bringing snacks the next day saying their child ask them to call and check with me in order to make sure Jenna could eat what they bring. Although her teacher doesn't let her eat it unless an ingredient label is on it, it feels good to know they are concerned!

Mich, I know how good it feels to know parents like that. My friend has my daughter over sometimes and I know she is safe there. She checks everything, and has even pointed things out to me that I had overlooked.

I also stay at b-day parties.

On Apr 15, 2000

We had a similar experience with PB. when our daughter was first diagnosed. The hosts were offering bagles with a variety of toppings including PB. The jars of jelly had not been opened, so I calmly asked that the pb not be offered. It was taken back to the kitchen and the one or two children who had it already got their hands wiped before leaving the table. These friends have since stopped offering peanuts and have even put out the warning to others who offer to bring food not to use peanuts or nuts. Things do happen so we always bring back ups.

On Apr 15, 2000

As I read the posts I am very aware of the fact that right now my 5 year old son is at a birthday party. The mother and I talked and I sent a separate home made ice cream cake piece for Troy because the ice cream cake although nut free comes from Dairy Queen and I worry about cross contamination. Anyhow, my question is does anyone have a standard set of questions that they use when talking to parents about birthday parties. Do you insist that they practice with your epi-pen trainer or do you just walk them through it verbally? Who stays? Who doesn't stay? Does anyone not allow birthday party attendance? What do you all think? Please reply. Thanks.

On Apr 21, 2000

I have seen it many times in my own family growing up as a kid that the pb knife always gets put in the jam jar. It seems to just be an automatic habit with alot of peaple. Remember this the next time this may happen. We don't go to birthday parties but this winter a friend at our congergation had a kids party. She stayed up til 2 in the morning making a beautiful gingerbread house, barn, stable, path, bridge.....the works. She covered the table with cotton to look like snow and the table was full of this yummy looking farm. She had saved everyone of the packages of candy and cookies used so that I could look at the ingredients. All of the candy had no peanuts or eggs on the labels and I was confident that they were safe. At the last minute I asked "Surely there wouldn't be eggs in the frosting would there?" She acted surprised and said, "I forgot about that. There is eggs in the frosting!" The entire gingerbread farm was glued together with this frosting. Every piece of candy had it on. Who would put egg in frosting?! I never heard of such a thing. Well, a dozen kids stood around the table for pictures and then got to dig in to the treat. My poor son just watched. They did find a few safe cookies in the cookie jar but my son was broken hearted. Bottom line for me is I will always go with my son to a party or he can't go. Maybe you can volunteer to help out at a party so you can be there. If I wasn't there he would have eaten that frosting. Again, this is a long post. Everyone must know by now that I am a talker! Tracy

On May 5, 2000


. Anyhow, my question is does anyone have a standard set of questions that they use when talking to parents about birthday partiesall think? Please reply. Thanks.[/B]

I always stay, and never let her eat any cake.

On May 9, 2000

This past Saturday, We had a birthday party at our home for our daughter(her sixth birthday). I was very worried about the guests - 9 of her little five and six year old friends from school - eating peanut products at home before they came to the party. I was afraid that they would have peanut products on their clothes, hands, face and breath.

Because our daughter is PA allergic to touch, smell, and injestion of peanut products I decided to include a note about peanuts with each invitation. I asked that each child not eat peanut products the day of the party. I, also, wrote that if they did forget and ate peanut products anytime prior to the party to be sure and brush their teeth and wash their hands and face with SOAP. I did not have one complaint from a parent or child.

A couple of the parents asked if our daughter could visit their child in their home. They invited me to come over and make a safety inspection and provide suggestions on preventing an exposure at their house!!!

The party was a great success and our daughter did not get so much as a red dot on her face! It was a happy day for All.

Sue in Sunny Arizona

[This message has been edited by Sue (edited May 10, 2000).]

On May 10, 2000

When I allow my kids to go to a birthday party..I basically give it to the host straight. He is deathly allergic to peanut products and if he eats it he could die..plain and simple. I do it beforehand and ask if they want me to stay or are comfortable without me there. So far, when they were younger I stayed, now they can read and they know the rule..check the label, if you don;t know, go without. Usually though, the host will even give a goody bag made specially for my child and they don't end up feeling different.

After I tell the host the above, they go through the products and tell me what is being served...I know what is okay and what isn't, and if I am unsure, they read me the ingredients. I give them a quick run-down, but usually they are so careful that no problems have occurred. I leave the with them just in case and give them a basic demonstration on how to use it etc. I keep it simple and matter of fact. Describing the reaction to a bee-sting helps as people tend to know about that. Once you get first the initial part of it, it becomes easier and the host/parent becomes comfortable with it. It basically comes down to training. Now with cake and stuff like that with allergies, I think I would stay and make separate cake for my child, as that could be too risky with kids hands etc, until they were older to handle it on their own.

As far as family goes, until they see it for themselves, they just don't seem to get it, and it hurts to have them think you are making a big deal about it...but if it was their kid or themselves, they might think differently. heck, even my own husband will "laugh" at me when we go to get ice cream and such and I am a "pain in the butt". I basically take the opportunity to train him better and usually end up training the people in line waiting as they hear me explain the danger, and they even ask questions. We know what is best and if we get a tad neurotic, so what, we may just have ended up saving our kid's life.

The funny thing is, is when you get relaxed with it, is when you usually run into a problem. I learned the hard way and left a butterfinger bar in the car, the kids beat me to the car the next morning. The younger son went to take a bite, the oldest grabbed it from him, they both ended up in the emergency room from touching it. Needless to say, I no longer get relaxed with it. Although, I was proud of my oldest for risking his life to save his brother and saw his true character, and not to happy with myself for being so stupid.

On May 11, 2000

We attended a birthday party yesterday where the kids were served those lunchables (crackers, cheese, ham & candy). I was so proud of my 4 yr old son when he came over to me w/ the candy and said, "Does this have peanuts in it." My heart swelled with pride that he is beginning to realize how serious this is. However, my pride turned to anger when at the end of the party we decided to stay longer and let my kids play w/ the birthday girl a little longer. After dinner the mom brought out a cake that her sister made for her a few days earlier. It was a chocolate peanut butter cake. Oh, how mad I was that she didnt realize the fact that even though my son is not eating it he can still have a reaction. Escpecially when her daughter ate some and could easily get it on her hands or around her mouth. Needless to say it was time to LEAVE.

On May 11, 2000

My daughter Lauren had a PA reaction at my mother's house when someone brought over a Chinese food dish that had peanuts in it. After that incident, my husband and made the decision that we could not do this alone. We invited both sides of our families, friends of Lauren and their parents, and those adults who have frequent contact with Lauren to our house for brunch. We created a training session and went through the details of the allergy, which included how we want Lauren's reactions handled, how to administer the Epi-pen and a few videos from FAN. We also went through "danger zones" such as contaminated jelly jars, leaving a PB spoon wiped clean in the sink, "natural ingredients"...etc. We asked them to handle peanut butter as they would raw chicken (you wouldn't touch raw chicken with a fork and then put it in a mayo jar!) We also requested "peanut cabinets" for those houses that Lauren frequently visits. That way, if little Joey wants a snack and the adult had to go to the peanut cabinet, it would be almost instinctual to not let Joey have the snack while Lauren was around. We also established ground rules such that in the event we were at an event we felt was not safe, no matter what it was, we would need to leave. By the end of the training session, those who had once thought we were overreacting were offering cautions for potential dangers zones! Stay safe!

On May 11, 2000


What a great idea!!

On May 11, 2000

Andrea, Totally impressive! What were some of the comments you received from those there? I think what you did was fabulous! Lisa M

On May 12, 2000

Andrea! What a fantastic idea!

On May 13, 2000

Yes, we were very pleased with the way this worked out. Most of the "danger zone" comments were probably ones you've already heard. The encouraging thing was that people were thinking. We were cautioned to watch out for hair care products, M&Ms, eating peanuts then kissing Lauren. We were cautioned on going to restaurants because the wait staff might claim knowledge of ingredients that they just don't have. Someone suggested that we contact the local paramedics to make them aware of where we lived and the situation and to make sure they carry the Epi-pen on calls (a paramedic in the audience said that no all ambulances are allowed to carry the Epi-pen). There were a lot of comments/questions about how we are planning on handling this once she gets to school. Probably the most helpful one was a suggestion to have a "safe place" for Lauren's medical kit (Epi-pen and Benedryl) that goes with her everywhere. If she has a reaction at someone's house, whether or not we are there, carrying the Epi-pen will not help if they cannot find it or us. So we all discussed a safe place, that is, a single location that is common is all houses, where the kit will be in case of an emergency.