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Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 12:08am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by BASP:
[b] The militant attitude I experienced from a portion of this group is exactly the same attitude I see from other parents of PA children in our own school. I can tell you that isn't helping your cause at all. [/b]
Would you elaborate on this? Can you please describe what you mean by "militant attitude" ? Maybe give some examples of what you've observed at your school by PA parents that is "militant"?

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 12:35am
KS mom's picture
Joined: 03/02/2006 - 09:00

Hi BASP! I know it can be difficult reading tone into a computer message. So please read this in a friendly, conversational tone :-) I have been dealing with PA for about 11 years now with dd. I'll tell you about our experiences in the school system.
DD started school in a K that was already peanut free. The teacher was exteremly vigilant because she had had a child have an anaphylactic reaction in front of her. She was very careful with my dd. I can tell you, it sure decreased my stresss level.
Grade one, dd started a new, larger school. At the time, I felt it was enough to train staff on recognizing a reaction, using meds, etc. Even though she had a reaction at 2 yo from touching a piece of pb fudge to her lip (no bite marks at all). She started coughing grabbing her throat and by the time I grabbed her epi-pen she was unconscious, not breathing. I won't go into detail about the emotional details....as a mom, you can well imagine the unimaginable terror.
So during the first grade, dd had many contact reactions. Her nose would run literally like someone had turned on a water faucet, one or two hives on her face, itchy eyes and mouth. Then when she was about 7 she had another anaphylactic reaction. This seemed to make her allergies more sensitive. During grade 3 from the beginning of Movember- Mid-december, I picked dd up from school everyday because she was reacting (we now know it was to trace amounts of pb). Each day the reactions were getting worse until she had an anaphylactic reaction at school.
This scared all of us including the principal. She said to me "How can I keep your daughter safe when her "killer" is smeared all over the school".
At this point we all felt better about a peanut free school. I can honestly say that we tried to avoid going that route but to keep dd alive, it was necessary. After the pf status, things were fine for the most part for dd. She could actually be in school for an entire day and not call for me to come and get her.
My dd looks healthy. She doesn't take asthma meds every day, only when she has a virus or her enviro allergies are particularly bad. So unfortunately, we weren't believed by many parents that her peanut allergy was that bad when the school stated that it would be going pf.
So this is just our own personal journey. Every situation is different and I think that is a very important thing to remember.
Also, things can change. I wish I had understood allergies more when dd was younger but I just didn't have the resources here. I often wonder that if I hadn't had that pb fudge in the fridge when she had her first ana reaction, would she be as sensitive as she is today? I am not blaming myself; I did what I knew at the time.
So if I could offer you a piece of advice from the mom of one beautiful PA little girl (although my 11 yo dd is not so little anymore....sob!) to another, things can change even with your own situation. One minute you can be going along thinking that everything is fine to...panic...when you get the call from school that your child is covered in hives, swelling up, wheezing, pale...etc.
I don't want you to have to look back and ask "What if I hadn't left that pb fudge in the fridge?"

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 12:43am
BASP's picture
Joined: 08/29/2006 - 09:00

Thanks for the great response. Is it your belief or maybe a fact that if the kids are exposed to it at a younger age (like your peanut butter fudge) and have a reaction, that it makes them even more vulnerable to reactions as they grow?

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 12:52am
KS mom's picture
Joined: 03/02/2006 - 09:00

I am in no way an expert, but I have been told by daughters ped and allergist that, yes, this is the case.
We have also seen this in our dd's situation. Not saying this is the case for everyone.
DD is now so severe that last summer I was standing talking to a friend of mine and dd and I didn't notice her little guy was eating a bag of peanuts until dd's nose started running, her ear started hurting (doc at emerg told me that this symptom is showing that there is swelling starting in her throat/ear and the swelling in the ear is causing pain).
So the fact is, she wasn't reactive to airborn particles when she was pre-school and now she is. Whether it is due to reactions over the years increasing sensitivity or the natural progression of the allergy...we couldn't tell ya. Just our personal situation.
Sorry...by the time I clicked to reply to your topost I forgot the question. I don't think it necessarily had anything to do with the age of my daughter when she had her reaction as much as having repeated exposures making her more sensitive, IMO and the opinion of her ped.
[This message has been edited by KS mom (edited August 30, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 12:54am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]I don't think so. Few trolls are so subtle. This poster just seemed... [i]uninformed.[/i]
It seemed to me there was a lot of rationalizing going on too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] A cry for help? I don't know.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:22am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

.....but I tend to do a lot of rationalizing myself too. I re-read the thread and I'd have to say there's some things I don't think BASP is that far off about. Maybe it's the point in my journey I'm at (echo's of another poster) and that I'm through cutting my nose off to spite my face. Struggling to get my kid a cupcake he's rather not have....and probably doesn't need. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
that kind of stuff. If that's what disability rights are about, maybe there is a need for change...

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:55am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I reiterate what I said before.
1. No other parent has any rights to my daughter's personal history, no matter how skeptical they might be. Individual accomodations are about [i]her[/i] needs, and beyond that, it isn't any of your business. Same as any other disabled child. Do I [i]enjoy[/i] applying that label to her? Of course not. I loathe it, and it certainly isn't how I feel about her... but the reality is that our life resembles BASP's or Ant's Mom's [i]very little.[/i] And truthfully, anyone with a PA who [i]can[/i] go to a MLB game isn't in the same end of the boat as us. (At least not today...) And high test results don't mean a damn*d thing, [i]for the record.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]
[i]Demanding "proof" of disability from other parents. Wow. (Still having some trouble with this one.)[/i]
2. Because accommodations are about individual needs, comparing how two PA children are handled is not useful. Unless they have similar needs. Because you [i]do not know[/i] what these children need, you can't compare it with other kids. You have your answer, even if it wasn't what you were hoping to hear. Schools with highly sensitive PA children do this and more-- routinely.
3. Why do the accommodations for the other children make you angry, BASP? Please answer this question, it is genuine.
Is it:
a) about fearing that your daughter's allergy will be handled the same way (and perhaps too restrictively in her case)?
b) about a beef with ADA? (As I said previously, think carefully about that one.)
c) underlying uneasiness about uncertainties w/r to PA in general?
What is it that you know (or suspect) about these other two children that makes you question the validity of the school's response? Or is it that it just didn't tally very well with your own experience of what a PA means?
You are identifying strongly with those who have extremely relaxed comfort zones on the boards-- and that is fine. But please don't identify the rest of us as "militant." [i]That[/i] is pretty offensive... or is it "defensive?" Hmmmm....
As I said, nobody questioned your own comfort zone. I questioned your level of awareness about PA because it seemed you could not envision a reason for the accommodations which are in place, and seemed to feel that your child's PA was 'no big deal.' And again, as long as you carry epipens, nobody here is going to tell you that your parenting skills need work, okay? So don't read something which isn't there.
(Also for the record, I am glad you ventured back into the fray-- really, we don't bite...at least not much. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited August 30, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 2:10am
bethc's picture
Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

In my PA DD's school, she has a peanut-free classroom. But all that means is that there are no classroom activities involving peanuts and the kids can't bring snacks that actually contain peanuts or peanut butter. There is no list of approved snacks, and I'd honestly be annoyed if there was. There's a peanut-free table in the lunchroom. I wish they didn't serve peanut butter in the hot lunch. My DD can't eat the school lunch and the only disability accomodation I've been able to find is that kids allergic to milk are legally entitled to a substitute beverage.
Our school carnival is indoors, mostly in the gym of the high school, and there is a cake walk. But all food brought by parents to that or for birthday treats has to be commercially-prepared and packaged. So everything in the cake walk is sealed and the child chooses what they want to take. My DD then has the option of taking fruit snacks with the label on it to check.
For birthday treats and holiday parties, nothing served can contain peanuts because of the risk that smears and crumbs can get on the tables and endanger my daughter, but that doesn't mean it actually has to be safe for her to eat. She has a bag of safe treats we've provided so that the teacher doesn't have to make the judgment call about whether a particular birthday treat is safe. I sometimes have checked treats in advance that the teachers wanted to serve to the whole class for special occasions. I don't think our accomodations have taken up much of the teacher's time. And other than having to remember not to send in peanut M&Ms for their child's snack (the one thing that got intercepted by the teacher last year), I don't think we've inconvienced other parents that much. It does make my DD a little sad to be left out of the birthday celebrations.
If we really want to focus on learning, I think it would make sense to take the focus off of food and parties. A little celebration is fine, but I've been disappointed with all the pizza party afternoons and walks to the ice cream parlor and holiday parties of goofing off and eating. And this has been with my DS who doesn't have food allergies. It's just too much time lost. Why do we need a longer school year if they're just going to waste days with this stuff? And with the obesity problem, I don't think food allergies are the only reason to make snacks healthier and to limit food in the classroom.
So that's how things are in our school. You have to accomodate medical needs. You don't want to greatly inconvenience the majority of parents if it isn't necessary to do so, but sometimes it is. Hopefully your administration is thoughtfully considering what the allergic children's needs are. Is there someone, the principal or superintendent, who could answer your concerns? I've been guilty of getting overly excited about things I've observed or read about, and then gotten more information from school staff that reassured me that things were being handled fine. They've been good about answering my questions.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 2:18am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]3. Why do the accommodations for the other children make you angry, BASP? Please answer this question, it is genuine. [/b]
Do you (BASP) resent these restrcitions because you believe they are unnecessary? because you don't require these restrctions for your PA daughter?
(BTW, we subjected our daughter to multiple types of testing in order to obtain 'proof' of her allergy. in addition to the regular skin testing and CAP RAST blood work, she also had an air borne challenge and a contact challenge. But our allergist is sure to warn us that there is only very limited predictive value in any testing. )

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 2:33am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Also back to your original post...
"Snack lists" and changes to them aren't always about a parent's desire to be an egomaniac...
Manufacturing changes occur all the time. This is one of the nastiest things about any FA... and not all of those changes are reflected by labels. Some kids [i]really[/i] cannot tolerate products made on shared lines-- no matter how "well-cleaned." [i]Really.[/i]
If your daughter [i]can,[/i] that is great. Nobody would suggest you need to follow someone else's "snack list" for her.... would they?? (Just trying to figure this one out.) It seems very likely from your post that one or more of these other children has [i]multiple[/i] life threatening allergies (as do a great many of our kids). Most parents would [i]rather not provide a "safe snack" list for that reason.... things change too quickly.[/i] But sometimes the school virtually [i]demands[/i] one anyway.
Also trying to figure out how you [i]know[/i] that neither child is aerosol sensitive. Is this a rumor you've heard circulating from other frustrated parents? Or something you have more direct knowledge about?
ETA... see the thread "Teachers" recently bumped up, which deals with many of the questions that you seem to be wrestling with.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited August 30, 2006).]


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