Birthday Party

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I have been invited to a birthday party by one of my husbands friends. Everyone is bringing something, such as salads and appetizers, well you know,a pot luck. My 15 month old son is allergic to peanuts, dairy,eggs,strawberrries. Do I go to this party or do I keep Dylan home safe away from all unknown food. My husband thinks we should just go and not worry about it.I am very nervous about everyone eating and then wanting to hold him. There could be up to a 100 people there. Any advice, HELP!

On May 10, 2000

I think you should be honest with everyone. Maybe you could bring something for your child to eat and try to keep him away from the main table. I know it is hard, but I had to do that with my son when attending weddings and parties. I even went as far as providing his utencils and cups. It is a hard decision to make, but people need to be made aware of the situation. Also, it is hard to always deny your child a good time because of the allergy. My son is now 7 years old and enjoys going to parties, but I attend the party as well. Some parents have said that if I have other plans I could leave my son, but I thank them for the offer and explain why I have to stay, and I have never had a problem, lots of questions, but never a problem. I'm sure things will work out.

On May 10, 2000

I agree...you should go and take him with you. Is the life threatening allergy the peanut or all of the ones you mentioned too? With that many people, I would think your son will stay by you anyway and you will have to watch him carefully...but don't deny yourself and him a good time either. Tell people, bring food for him...give him his own little lunch box with foods he likes so he is not tempted to try anything else. This is a good chance to teach others and they will find it interesting too and make things easier the next time there is a function...kind of like the first day of school or a new job. A stepping stone you both need to take. It's also a good opportunity to teach your son how to deal with situations and prepare you too for more get togethers. I do know how you feel though and I remember how nervous I was the first time at a big gathering. You know too, since he isn't old enough to worry about embarrassment, you could always pin a little "name tag" on his shirt saying I am allergic to... I never did it, but from a perspective of a guest at the party, I would ask questions and respect the mom for looking out for her son. You could also give him a little benedryl for safety precaution I would think...I have done that. I don't know the correct answer, just trying to brainstorm for you while writing. I do think you should go though, our children with PA and other allergies need to learn how to live in the real world, and the real world has peanuts in it...unfortunately. Go for it, if it's not this one, it will be another one. I know it is scary, but you can't let the fear of it rule your life, or you won't have one. Good luck.

------------------ I am a mom of two anaphalactic allergy PA boys and my daughter and myself also have allergies. You may e-mail me at: [email]mkruby@pcspower.net[/email]

On May 11, 2000

I do like the idea of a name tag. I made up big labels on the computer that said something like I have life threatening food allergies! Do not give me anything to eat! I printed it in blue with 'food allergies' written in red and would put one on the front of his shirt and one on the back.

On May 12, 2000

I just found this website after reading about it in The MA Report April/May 2000. The topic "Birthday Party" caught my eye immediately. The messages brought back many memories of parties when I was five years old. Now I am fifty-three. To explain to people--doctors included--how important it is pay attention to what is given to me, I tell them about the time I had a severe reaction when a friend's parent innocently wiped the peanut butter knife clean on a slice of bread and then made a cream cheese sandwich for me. My husband and children know that if they eat anything with peanut butter they can't stay in the room with me as even the smell of their breath makes me feel uncomfortable. I have learned to always be aware of what I am going to eat and know how it was prepared, or skip eating it. Stress the fun of being with friends, not the importance of what is being served to eat. I was allergic to chocolate and many, many other foods. Now my only food allergy is peanuts, but trying to avoid it is a growing problem. This website and everyone's contributions will be very helpful to me. Thanks!

------------------ Joan from Maine

On May 14, 2000

Just need to vent...Went to my good friend's house for a birthday party for her son. Been there many times, she has babysat my kids, and I let my guard down thinking she already knew not to serve peanuts outright. Well...guess again..after I socialize a bit, I go to check on my boys, and there they are at the pc, with a nice big bowl of peanuts at their side. All I can say is thank God they didn't eat them or touch them and other foods with peanut in them all over...after I helped myself to the kitchen area to read labels... My kids also would have trusted the food to be fine since they have spent so much time there...I guess the lesson I learned here..is to Only trust yourself, don't let your guard down, and basically...if you want it done right...do it yourself/count on yourself to make sure the kids are safe....no one else will do it for you. Thanks for letting me vent.

------------------ I am a mom of two anaphalactic allergy PA boys and my daughter and myself also have allergies. You may e-mail me at: [email]mkruby@pcspower.net[/email]

On May 14, 2000

We survived the party which I,m sure you all new we would. I was very nervous but as time went on we focused on the fun games instead of the food, that made it a lot easier.I took Dylan his own snack bag and any time he wanted someones food I got something else for him. He was happy with that.The gathering was a great opportunity to talk to everyone about his allergies. There was a lady there her brother has been PA since birth and he is now 28 and get this he has never carried an epi-pen. I would call that crazy or very lucky.I didn't make a name tag for this party but we have a 50th anniversary party to go to soon and I will make sure he has it on then.The only time I got sad for him was when some of the mothers brought chocalate bars and other treats for the kids and he couldn't have any. I guess that's where the homemade cupcakes come in. It's a good thing he is so young, he doesn't realize what's going on. McRuby I don't know exactly how allergic he is yet. All I know is his skin tests were all 4+ on all of his allergies. We get his rast test results on Wednesday I am really interested to see how they come out. Wow I am just typing away. Thanks for your help and thanks for listenig.

On May 14, 2000

DM2,

Glad the party went well. Just another note that I learned from the Food Allergy Network thing spring in Va .The allergist said -DO NOT GIVE BENEDRL BEFORE GOING OUT TO A FOOD EVENT- THIS COULD MASK FIRST SYMPTOMS OF A REACTION AND FOOD ALLERGIC PERSON MIGHT EAT MORE OF THE AFFENDING FOODING AND HAVE MORE LIFE THREATENING EVENT. I'm just sharing what he informed the group. Take Care,

JanB.

On May 15, 2000

Re: The name tag thing!

I don't think I would ever do the name tag thing! ...poor kid!

What about integration, I think it's important to inform everyone, tell them how they can help, make a safe environment, train people where needed and then make sure everyone knows our kids are just like everyone else, we all have our own special needs that make us unique whether it's glasses, downs syndrome, ADD, whatever, ...but to actually label our kids and make them walk around with it on them has got to have long lasting effects no matter how old they are!

I won't even post my daughters picture in the classroom. The staff room and the front office maybe but I don't want to make a spectacle of her in front of her peers. She's just like everyone else do we post the ADD's kids picture on the wall explain watch for him he might have an outburst?

Not looking for a fight just needed to express my opinion! ...and I am a very overprotective mother!!!

On May 15, 2000

I can guarantee you that a 15 month old will not be traumatized by wearing a name tag that says not to feed him because he has life threatening allergies. To compare it to labelling an ADD kid is rather absurd. Someone couldn't accidently kill a child with ADD because they didn't know he was ADD. I wouldn't make my 8 year old wear a label because he could speak for himself. I still might put one on my four year old pa son because his language skills are not up to par and he would accept a cookie from an adult at a party. I hardly think it would scar him for life to wear a label at a party of 100 people who don't know of his allergy.

On May 15, 2000

I recently ordered two buttons, one says "Careful, I'm allergic to peanuts!" (it has a big peanut with a slash through it) and one that says, "Careful, I'm allergic to eggs!" (some eggs with a slash through it). My son will be five soon. If I were at a big gathering I would probably put these on his shirt, especially since he is getting older now and would like to run around. I don't think he is old enough for me to trust him saying "no" to someone. I am sure that he *would* say no and he would not eat anything unless I said it was o.k. but maybe he would be excited playing and forget or something? I would much rather be safe than sorry. I also don't think it would harm his self esteem or anything. People can ask him about them and maybe he will be able to tell them. It would be a chance to educate others (and isn't that what we all want to see??). Tracy

On May 15, 2000

Wow..I didn't think my brainstorming would cause such a ruccous. I was thinking only in terms of a child being around the age of 18 months or less...I was not referring to older kids, although I like the pins that were discussed. Would I use it, I doubt it, but that is because my kids are older. I agree in not labeling kids, but the truth remains other people don't get it...so we as parents need to do what we are comfortable with to protect our kids...what works for others may not work for someone else. It is a personal preference and there is no right or wrong answer...just brainstorming.

------------------ I am a mom of two anaphalactic allergy PA boys and my daughter and myself also have allergies. You may e-mail me at: [email]mkruby@pcspower.net[/email]

On May 15, 2000

Cool! Guess it wouldn't be any fun if we all thought the same!

I guess I just wouldn't be taking my eye off an 18 month old or less!

...and a 5 year old, yikes couldn't do it!

We all gotta do what we all gotta do!

Hope we're still friends!!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On May 15, 2000

morgansmom: I have no problem with what you said at all. I just thought I would share the idea about the pins. And you are right. I don't take my eye off my son. I wonder if I ever will be able to. If no food were around I would let him play a little on his own with out my constant eye on him but if there was food I wouldn't let him run off. We are always together and he is very used to it. Tracy

On May 15, 2000

I am waiting to go get my 6 year old at his first birthday party by himself...a tad nervous..but older brother is with him and they are both allergic...Ikes! I don't know if I will ever stop worrying...I think I will worry until the day I die and then some. I guess that is what us mom's do...By the way, I did not take offense to the pin thing...not to worry...with everything there are pros and cons. We are still friends...lol [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ I am a mom of two anaphalactic allergy PA boys and my daughter and myself also have allergies. You may e-mail me at: [email]mkruby@pcspower.net[/email]

On May 15, 2000

I agree with mcruby on this one .I think its a great idea to put a tag on your little guy especially when they are so young and there is so many people there.Besides you can just turn your head for two secs and some is handing him a goody.I was just at my husbands grandmas the other, day went to use the bathroom and came out and she was handing her a candy "hello"I swear some people just don't get it.Shes still buying us chocolates with peanuts in them,but we just give them back.It happens so fast and even by people you know. To much of a chance to take with that many people there who don't know anything about pa ........Tania

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