children\'s attitude about peanut allergy

Posted on: Mon, 01/14/2002 - 5:51am
cammie caver's picture
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How does your children feel about having a peanut allergy? My children accept it and I really try not to make a big deal out of it to them. We always carry our medicine with us and obviously do not eat nuts. I hope that I am not giving them a false sense of security, but at the same time I do not want them to be paranoid. Where do you cross the line between being cautious and being compulsive? It is really a hard call to make. I worry about them when they are not with me, but I trust them to use common sense. How will we deal with it as they grow older and are not with immediate family and close friends as much?

Posted on: Mon, 01/14/2002 - 6:07am
Carefulmom's picture
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The problem I have is with the companies that make mistakes. FAAN has a list you can get on so that if a company recalls a product due to undeclared ingredients, you can be notified. I get notices several times per month of companies that made mistakes by having ingredients in products which were not listed. It is amazing and discouraging how often it happens. That coupled with the fact that on one occasion I found a peanut in a cookie that was not supposed to contain any peanuts or tree nuts didn`t even have a "may contain" on it, and knowing that if I had put that same cookie in my daughter`s lunch the school would have had to use the Epipen, is my biggest concern. Fortunately, I don`t want my daughter to live in fear of companies that make mistakes, it is beyond our control, so my daughter is unaware that I have this concern. I think she has just the right amount of concern about her multiple food allergies, enough to make sure that she only eats her own food, but not enough to worry about companies making mistakes. Just recently she has started to get upset about not being able to eat the same food as the other kids (she has multiple food allergies, so her diet is fairly restricted), and I really haven`t figured out what to do about that. But I don`t think she is really fearful or anxious about her food allergies.

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 12:53am
cammie caver's picture
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Thanks for your reply. I have already learned a lot since reading on this site. I feel stupid asking questions that I should know the answer. I am going to ask though for my own sanity. Thanks again.

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 4:26am
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Cammie Caver:
I have two pa/tna kids, 5yrs and 2 1/2yrs.
At this time Tom ,the almost 5yr old ,is pretty accepting about his PA. BUT it does seem as he's getting older and making more friends that he's becoming more and more aware of what he can't eat. He's also allergic to dairy and egg.
Of course it's things like Ice Cream and desserts and candies that he's most curious about and wishes he could have.
He likes to go grocery shopping with me, but I always feel sorry for him at the checkout line, because thats where the candybars are.
I've taught him NEVER to touch the candy, but he always points and asks me what certain candies are and if he can have them or not. So I always carry snacks he can have in the car that he can eat on the way home from the store and he seems fine with that.
As for the 2 1/2yr old she isn't really that aware yet even though I've talked with her a little about it. Since I'm a stay-at-homer she's pretty much always with me, whereas Toms in preschool during the week.
Best Wishes
TLSMOM
[This message has been edited by TLSMOM (edited January 15, 2002).]

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 5:05am
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TLS Mom,
Thanks for your reply. You sound like you are about in the same boat that I am. Thank you so much for writing to me. I am by no means glad that other people have this to deal with but I am grateful to have someone to talk with about it. What kind of reactions have your children had? Thanks for your reply. Cammie

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 11:27am
TLSMOM's picture
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cammie carver:
I also feel that Tom knows and realizes now that he's different from the other kids because of these allergies. I don't mean that in a bad way, just that he knows he can't eat the same things and can't do some of the same things the other kids can do because of it.
Tom has had four major exposures to peanut and/or nuts since he was born almost 5 yrs ago. His first was when he was 11 months old, this was how we found out about his peanut allergy in the first place. At that point I only knew about his milk and soy allergies.
Fortunately he has had only one epi-pen injection along with one ER visit. He was 2 1/2 almost 3 at the time. He still remembers it. He talked about it alot after it happened.
My daughter has fortunately had no such experiences and I hope to help keep it that way for a long time! In a way I fear more for her because thankfully Tom has alway been an observant, cautious child. Whereas, his sister is a reckless, almost fearless child that has been a major discipline problem for me.
It will be interesting to see how her personality shapes up reguarding PA/TNA as she gets older and more verbal. I have fears that she will be much tougher to keep safe!
Best Wishes
TLSMOM

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 11:52am
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TLS Mom,
Joseph is much more daring than Kate is and I feared that he would try a peanut to see what it would do to him. I have always told them the truth and how bad the allergy is. He has surprised me by watching out for Kate as well as for himself. Good Luck

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 3:12pm
Anonymous's picture
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cammie caver, welcome! I think my 6 year old PA son Jesse is pretty accepting of his allergy. It's just part of who he is and not a big part (do you know what I mean?). He wears his MedicAlert bracelet and his Epi-belt and he reads labels among the best of us now.
I have seen Jesse disappointed because he couldn't eat a certain food (i.e., wonderful looking multi-coloured popsicle), but as soon as he found out it wasn't safe, it's "That's okay, Mama".
I have seen Jesse vocal about his allergy which I think is excellent.
I have seen Jesse angry about his allergy - the wish that there were no peanut products on the earth and that God would take them away.
I think for me, the hardest thing (and this may sound really stupid) I had to do was tell Jesse last year that Nestle was going to start making Smarties "unsafe" and he could no longer have them. When I received the news, I was sitting at the computer crying.
When I told him, it was "That's okay, Mama, when I grow up I'll have a place where we make Smarties that are safe".
I think I've found through Jesse, perspective. I think most of the times our PA children "get it" so much more than we do.
Both Jesse and Ember watch a show called PB&J Otter (Peanut, Butter, and Jelly Otter). Well, I cringe at the name of it. That's MY problem.
Jesse's watches it. He is accepting of the fact that there are peanuts out there (for the most part) more than I am.
I think the other thing for me is that no matter what I'm feeling re his PA or what difficulties I'm dealing with with the school (for example), I never really let Jesse see how stressed I am about it. Since he has just turned 6, I am starting to explain what we do do to get him safely into school each year, but I don't go into what work that entails or the meetings that are involved. Not at this age. I'm sure that that will come as he gets older and can actually join me in making the decisions.
Also, since I was able to find this board almost two years ago, Jesse has learned that there are other children with PA. There weren't any other children where we used to live (when we did move, there were two other PA children finally in the new school). And we've moved to another place where he is the only PA child in the school. But through the friendships I've been able to develop through off-the-board contact here, Jesse actually has a friend that he truly cares about who is PA.
Enough rambling. I did think I had been banned from the board after midnight quite some time ago! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 9:52pm
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Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

I think that williams attitude to his allergy is for the main part one of acceptance that he is different. He doesnt like it, and does feel very worried at school when any mention of a lesson that involves food , even when the lesson was about gardening and growing food!
Sometimes he is very cross with me if i forget to boil wash his bedding , and complains that his dustmites are itchy!
games and cartoons that use peanuts do not bother him, and yes, William loves the same cartoon as Jesse and Ember.
He does get anxious and worried over new foods, but who can blame him, he has a very good reason to be alarmed. At school the teacher says he is a one of the quiet ones, which is sad , because at playgroup and nursery he was nothing like that. He has been at full time school for a year now , and is still struggleing with coping with a full day, energy levels dipping during the afternoon .
When he goes to birthday parties i stay with him, even though i always bring his own food, and he brings home the party bag untouched and he uses the cake to trade with his brothers, he is getting quite a good deal this way, his harry potter/pokemon/ digimon card collections are growing nicely !!!
He has started to remind his dad about bringing his meds where ever they go, and does remind extended family at parties that he cant eat certain foods with out mummy or daddy checking. There is a part of me that thinks this aspect of his life is one of the saddest, a child should have no worries and be carefree, and here I am already teaching him to question the adults around him, to check with us first. His attitude in the future will be coloured by what we have to teach him, we try to be matter of fact about the whole thing. Always trying to find a substitute for any food he cant eat, etc, and thats the best we can do.
He is just a small boy, I am more concerned about what his attitude will be like when he is a teenager!!.
I think another good thread would be " how are your other children affected by your child with PA?"
bye sarah

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2002 - 10:44pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Dealing with the allergy for Chris has been fine. He knows no other way of life and this in what his normal life is. NO NUTS is part of our routine. My 10 year old told me about kids waving food at certain kids yesterday and how it bothered her. She only knows the opposite way of things and would never think of trading food because of what Chris has dealt with.
Chris has about the best natured personality of any child I have ever seen. He is a warm loving caring 15 year old boy. He never leaves this house without a peck on the cheek and a "I love you". I feel that he treats me so special because he knows how much I have protected him over the years. He is very good about telling me this stuff. He has handled his food problems just fine. I guess he just figures Hey that life. He knows there is plenty of other foods he can enjoy. He has heard me talk about how good Peanut Butter is before. I joke with him all the time. People ask me why I would tell him how tasty it is. Why lie to him. I lived on PB until he was allergic. He laughs very much about it. He knows I gave it up for him. It is good for him to see that we gave things up to be good parents because someday he may have children with the same kind of things.
He has never been sad or depressed about this. As long as he has his football and guitar PB will never be an issue. take care claire

Posted on: Fri, 01/18/2002 - 5:35am
cammie caver's picture
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Joined: 01/11/2002 - 09:00

Thanks for your replys. I am new to this and I am learning so much already. It will be nice to be able to relate to people with the same crosses to bear. Good Luck Everyone!

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