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My mother in law claims to know all about peanut allergy (she a teacher) but on x-mas day she gives my brother in law peanuts in his gift bag... My 2 year who we do not know if she is peanut allergic picks it up (and was ok) her pa sister did not touch it(thank god) How do you get it across to poeple??

On Dec 28, 2002

It really boggles the mind doesn't it? My 2 yo dd is PA/TNA. We were talked into going to our Family Christmas Eve party and assured emphatically that "there will be no nuts in this house." While the cooked food dinner was indeed specifically kept nut-free, there were pecans on the buffet nest to the other crudite and bwols of candy all around with snickers, etc included.

Yah. Yip. I hate family gatherings now.

------------------ Lory PA dd Graham [url=""]Charleston Family Food Allergy Support[/url]

On Dec 28, 2002

I think actions speak louder than words. If we tell family it is unsafe for our pa kids to be around nuts or peanuts, but then when they are served or sitting out we stay, the message is that it really isn`t that unsafe. I left a family gathering years ago due to unexpected peanuts. The nuts and peanuts have never been served since. Everyone knows that if they are served I will leave.

On Dec 28, 2002

The problem is on a bigger scale I think. People nowadays have no idea what they eat. They are totally clueless and I was too until the PA hit me in the face...

For example, Nutella is advertised as chocolate and hazelnut. So people have that in mind. Not the fact that peanut oil is listed (as is) in the ingredient lists.

At halloween, we had one lady give us a bag of peanuts. I stepped in and returned the bag, thanking the lady and explaining about the peanut allergy. She apologised (and she really didn't have to, it's not written on my son's face) and gave him chocolate instead: reese's pieces. DUH!

I'm sure we can come up with tons of examples like that. People are just NOT aware of what they eat and how food is manufactured (it used to be grown, now it's manufactured. yuck)

On Dec 30, 2002

I had 12 family members and very close friends over for Christmas dinner. My sister handed my son a little package of "candy" that she got from the hotel. I yelled across the room, does it have nuts? My sister said it was okay, it wasn't nuts, it was chocolate. duh? It turns out it was chocolate with a whole peanut inside each piece!! Also, someone brought me a box of chocolates that contain traces! They just don't get it, do they? We have been dealing with this for 12yrs. WAKE UP!!

[This message has been edited by Sandy (edited December 30, 2002).]

On Dec 30, 2002

I think that careful mom has the best Idea, to leave... Actions so speak louder than words. Thanks for the in put

On Dec 30, 2002

Carefulmom, you hit the nail right on the head! I will feel more than comfortable leaving gatherings in the future if they are not safe. I hate to feel relieved that the holidays are over (just call me grinch), but I could hardly handle telling one more person that my 3 year old PA son could not have something! I had a family Christmas gathering of about 14 people at my house this year, to avoid the out-of-control feeling we get at other people's houses. It was no small task either, I am 9 months pregnant and it was a lot of work, but it is THAT important to me! Anyway, I practically stood at the door and scrutinized every dish and dessert brought in, even though I had made phone calls beforehand explaining the PA situation and not to bring anything with peanuts or tree nuts. I put all the non-safe dishes (mostly desserts) on top of the fridge, and said, "sorry, this is not safe for Dalton". They were things like pecan pie, mystery fudge, homemade chex mix, etc. Well, I should have been more clear, because after dinner, I walked into the kitchen and found my husbands grandma taking the dishes down from the top of the fridge and opening them up for everyone to dig into!!! That is when my husband blew a head gasket! He kind of made a scene, but I have a feeling that he made a difference. Anyway, Carefulmom, I am feeding off of your strength, thanks for sharing your wisdom! Lisa DC's mom

[This message has been edited by DC's Mom (edited December 30, 2002).]

On Dec 30, 2002

I think if family gets upset (which they probably will) if you walk out, you just have to keep telling yourself over and over,"I`m doing the right thing." My allergist said one time "Most people just don`t get it." I`ve already used the Epi for two bites of scrambled egg (she is also milk and egg allergic), and she already had a reaction to imitation ice cream made on shared equipment and not stated, so the risk to me is a lot more real. Maybe if I had never had to use the Epi, it would be more of a theoretical risk, and maybe it would be harder to stand up to them. But having used the Epi once and been afraid she would die, I will never put us in that position again if I can avoid it. I really don`t care what they think. My dd`s life is so much more important than anything anyone could say or think.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited December 30, 2002).]

On Dec 30, 2002

P.S. If you walk out and your family pitches a fit, you KNOW you can come to these boards, and we will all back you!

On Dec 30, 2002

Well, this year I believe Miracles do happen.

The Christmas get together with my husbands parents, grandparents and Aunts & Uncles went well. I baked cookies and treats and no one brought out the usual nutty treats. So I didn't have to watch my children's every move.

For my family get together, my sister had ingredients lists ready for me to read. I again supplied the cookies and treats.

Only, tonight when my whole family went out to eat was there a slip up but I forgot as well. My mom ate a salad with almonds on top and later kissed my daughter goodbye. After the kiss she said "Oh No! I shouldn't have done that!". It was an honest mistake and my daughter isn't allergic to almonds (she has been tested for them) but of course there is the chance of cross contamination. I have always told my family my kids are allergic to all nuts to avoid any confusion about peanuts and tree nuts.

Usually I am so nervous about get togethers that involve food but this year proved to be a change.

On Dec 31, 2002

Hi Mom,

I too hate family gatherings...thank goodness we live a state away from all those good folks! In any case, because we live in a warmer climate we get alot of family visits. I have a particular face when they enter my house especially since everyone flies peanut packed SW Airlines...its a look of suspicion like empty your pockets on the table or else, what a welcome, huh. I know its bad, but they're all nicely trained now. It also saves me the trouble of having to tell anyone to go brush their teeth before kissing Chelsea We always have wipes in the truck for peanut paws.

We also do the leaving thing.As for people bringing food into my house, I try to greet people at the door and if they have anything w/peanuts or nuts it goes directly to the garage along w/a sorry no can do & pick it up on your way out...just smile & be gushingly nice about it as you give your biggest spiel about PA & life dangling by a thread kind of thing...they'll get the picture.

As for my parents-in-law & my mother, I've labeled them with dementia; its my reminder that they constantly forget about her PA. Its saves me the annoyance of trying to figure out why they don't "get it". Just try to remember to check everything beforehand if possible or just ask. I've learned to extract information from people about gifts, candy, etc in an unsuspecting manner to avoid offending anyone. However, those that are just plain idiots...I make a scene. Not ugly, but embarrassing. I'll put my hand to my head raise my voice and say something like "OMG, did I forget (or did you forget about) to tell you about my dd's PA" or "You know that those will kill my dd" or "OMG, how did this poison get in my house or stocking or bag, etc". Believe me I have never been one to stand up for myself, but having Chelsea has taught me a # of things (lots of profanity!), mostly to stand up for her and to teach her the same in as much of a civil manner as possible.

I recently heard on the news that working w/stupid people can cause stress related problems. There are some people you can work with and there are those that just invariably need the idiot treatment.

Be safe!