Has anyone\'s child been approached about the \"fatal kiss\"?

Author:
Updated:
Original:

I hope raising this question isn't disrespectful to the family of Christina Desforges or anyone here. If so, I apologize upfront.

I'm still processing this death and trying to keep up with new facts as they are reported in the media. Like everyone here, I'm shaken by this tragedy.

My 12-year-old-6th-grade-Middle-Schooler, Mariah, was approached by a 2 teachers~ one yesterday and one today~ who asked her if she had heard about the "peanut allergic teenager who died" after kissing her boyfriend who had eaten peanut/butter.

I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, we had shared this information already with Mariah, talked about it some, so she was familiar with this death. I'm grateful the her teachers immediately thought about Mariah, and cared enough to pull her aside and talk about it with her privately.

But on the other hand, what if we, the parents, had determined that this was not appropriate information for our daughter to have? or that we wanted to wait until certain facts had been determined before making her aware of the tragedy? or a number of other reasons that a parent may choose to not reveal this incident to their child?

I understand that at age 12 that the staff may, in their own assessment, determined that Mariah is developmentally ready for this information and should be made aware of this. Is this a control issue for me?

I don't know what to think about it. Anyone else struggling with this?

On Nov 30, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]I don't know what to think about it. Anyone else struggling with this? [/b]

Personally? And not as advice? And I could be wrong, but [i]personally[/i], if someone is going to [i]counsel[/i] my child in something, I think they should be an expert or at least formally certified or trained, etc., in the concept they are discussing. Especially when it is a health concern issue.

Take the subject of weight. When I lost a great deal of weight in high school, [i]it was the nurse who investigated the issue at school. KWIM? My parents were already deeply concerned and had addressed the issue, but it was the nurse who touched base with our family in the school setting. Have you notified the school counselor of your concerns? [i]Or have they already contacted you or your child?[/i]

I'm not saying whether or not an [i]obligation exists[/i], just personally how I feel about it.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. [i]an obligation?[/i] Like grief counseling?

General Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Just wondering. Personally.

On Nov 30, 2005

When I was in third grade, two of the kids in my class were dating. They got caught making out in the hallway. They were 10, in a Catholic school. By age 12, my best friend had had her first kiss.

In my own opinion, I think these teachers did a good thing. Children don't always tell their parents everything they're doing. Heck, some kids and parents don't talk to each other at all, otherwise they wouldn't have those "talk to your kids about drugs" commercials. I consider my mother to be the person I'm the closest to in the world, but she doesn't know when I had my first kiss and who with. It's important for all kids with PA to know that kissing can lead to a reaction...I've known since I was 5 because my mom wouldn't let my relatives kiss me on the cheek. If your daughter was younger, the teachers would be overstepping their bounds, but I think this is a case of them just looking out for the welfare of your daughter.

On Nov 30, 2005

There is a school counselor with whom I have had a conversation with about this incident. But these conversations were at the initiative of 2 teachers. Their statements and questions don't qualify as anything near 'counseling'. It was more of a "Mariah, did you hear about.. ?" type of inquiry. It seemed to me that they wanted to confirm that she was aware of the 'story' in the news, and acknowledge the incident with her.

Nothing in any sort of depth by any stretch... no feelings, how're-ya-doing-knowing-this-is-your-reality, no interpretation, nothing like that.

On Nov 30, 2005

This isn't really an answer to your question, but I think it relates. I'm 31 and I actually got teased today about it from a worker in my regular sandwich shop!

I ordered my sandwich, and my usual line there is, "I know you have peanut sauce in the kitchen for your Thai chicken sandwich. Could you please tell them to make mine on a clean plate so it doesn't touch the counter and have one person make the sandwich and also change gloves? They know who I am, thanks!" The guy was new, I hadn't seen him before. He goes, "so, I guess I shouldn't kiss you then since I had peanut butter on toast this morning, eh?"

I sort of just stood there...and was thinking, "Is this guy flirting with me? My gawd what poor taste!"...well...then I actually said something to that affect. "First, I don't know you, so you aren't going to kiss me anyway. Second, it's not really funny in any way that you would say something like that. It's poor taste since a young woman recently died and I know that is what you are referring to. Bad pick-up line buddy."

His co-worker slapped him in the arm and the guy behind me snickered at him and gave me a thumbs up.

Not the same as someone approaching your children about it, but still, it may be fodder for teasing from classmates or something.

Adrienne

------------------ 30-year old survivor of sever peanut/tree nut allergy

On Nov 30, 2005

starlight, we were posting at the same time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Quote:

Originally posted by starlight: [b]If your daughter was younger, the teachers would be overstepping their bounds, but I think this is a case of them just looking out for the welfare of your daughter. [/b]

I have no doubts whatsoever that these teachers were thinking about Mariah's welfare. I think their motivation and intentions were golden. Absolutely.

I guess I'm still not sure if I like that she was approached directly by them. I guess I'm not comfortable that they made the decision that she should have this information and I'm not ready to relinquish that control.

But maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. This could definitely be me having a growing pain... part of a parent letting go as their child becomes more independent.

starlight, do you mind me asking how old you are?

On Nov 30, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by ajgauthier: [b]... it may be fodder for teasing from classmates or something.[/b]

Good point. I hadn't thought about Mariah being teased or having to respond to comments made by classmates. I could definitely understand the teachers wanting to give Mariah a heads-up about the incident in case she were to encounter any comments/teasing from students.

But my [i]preference [/i] would be that those issues (e.g. teasing, responding to peer inquiries) would be best addressed by the school counselor who would have consulted with me before broaching this subject with Mariah.

Edited to add: Mariah has been reading over my shoulder and points out that she reads the paper (nightly social studies homework) and would have seen the story in our local paper yesterday anyway. True.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited November 30, 2005).]

On Nov 30, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]

Nothing in any sort of depth by any stretch... no feelings, how're-ya-doing-knowing-this-is-your-reality, no interpretation, nothing like that. [/b]

well, there you have it:

[i]"I think they should be an expert or at least formally certified or trained, etc., in the concept they are discussing. Especially when it is a health concern issue. "[/i]

I mean, why then, did they bring it up with your daughter? Any insight?

On Nov 30, 2005

Gail W., I am going to admit that I haven't had a *proper* discussion with my son about this yet. I did tell him, but I haven't discussed it with him.

It is really horrid, but I need to find the right time for him and I, and you know what? I hadn't even thought about him being approached by teachers or classmates about this.

It's like what I believe becca posted in another thread - if a child had died from something else that your child had - would teachers be coming up and saying, "did you hear about the child that died?"

I understand that they're not being nasty and are actually probably being concerned for your child and perhaps for some it is opening up a dialogue that would never have been opened before, but for some reason, I'm finding this girl's death particularly hard to deal with (they all have been, but I have been able to tell my son the why/how without having to get into a discussion of stuff that he might not be comfortable discussing with his Mom yet).

Starlight, I'm an aged one, and I had my first kiss when I was 11 years old. Closed mouth. Terribly innocent.

The first "French" kiss I received was from my current DH and at a much later age.

Kissing and sex have been happening since time began, but you're certainly right, it's not like my Mother (or Father) know how old I was when I had my first kiss and who kissed me.

I also remember, as pre-teens, my girlfriend and I grabbed the fellow across the street (the Minister's son), Kent Lambie, and we had him pinned against the wall trying to kiss him. Goofy stuff, but we couldn't have been older than 11 and it was probably in retaliation for something he had done to us.

I also know that there has been much discussion about boys lying to get a kiss, so perhaps more of a concern for a PA daughter than a PA son, but I do disagree with that. I can see girls lying to kiss my son when he's older. Girls are a very brazen lot these days (some of them).

Gail W., I'll have to speak with Jesse. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ "That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

On Nov 30, 2005

[/quote] I have no doubts whatsoever that these teachers were thinking about Mariah's welfare. I think their motivation and intentions were golden. Absolutely.

I guess I'm still not sure if I like that she was approached directly by them. I guess I'm not comfortable that they made the decision that she should have this information and I'm not ready to relinquish that control.

But maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. This could definitely be me having a growing pain... part of a parent letting go as their child becomes more independent.

starlight, do you mind me asking how old you are?[/B][/quote]

Nope, I don't mind. I'm gonna be 23 (and graduating college) in a few weeks. And I forgot to mention my first kiss wasn't until I was 18, so don't worry, not ALL the kids are going around making out [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I know this isn't entirely on topic, but since you mentioned the independence thing, my mom and I went through a lot of stuff like this when I was in puberty, me growing and needing more independence and her not knowing how much she should/wanted to give me. I know it made her sad to have to let me go little by little, which I'm guessing you're feeling too. But there are some things I still like her to do for me that I could very well do for myself, but it just feels good that it's my mom doing it for me, like going with me to doctor's appointments. And I'm sure that Mariah will have one or two things she prefers *not* to assert her independence. I hope that helps to reassure you a little [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Nov 30, 2005

Gail W., I spoke with Jesse. He was extremely uncomfortable with the subject matter (kissing), so I explained the basics (that when a person kisses you, whatever they ate, it's kinda like you ate it too now) and let that part drop.

I did ask him if anyone at school had mentioned anything to him this week about the young girl dying; a teacher or one of his classmates and he said no. I asked him if anyone had made any teasing comments to him about his PA and kissing this week and he said no. So, they're either not talking about it at his school or they're not talking to HIM about it at his school.

I feel with something this serious, it should come from the parents first and the teachers that spoke with Mariah didn't know that you'd already spoken with her about it.

On the other hand, as I posted earlier, although I would prefer if maybe people at the school were speaking to ME about it, I guess this has really opened up some dialogue and as with anything, people are liable to put their foot in their mouth.

But no, I checked with Jess and no mention of it. I wonder if people are thinking differently though when they look at the PA children.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ "That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

On Dec 1, 2005

We have received at least 5 e-mails and maybe another 5 or 6 phone calls from friends telling us about it. In school my daughter has been told by her friends and a few teachers. My daughter is 14.

susan

On Dec 1, 2005

Seems like this has really made the headlines. For that I'm grateful. I printed out the article for Ryan's teacher (she already saw it), and told her to give it to the nurse and principal.

My brother forwarded me the USA Today article about it.

So the word has gotten out. We discuss these things right away when it happens. I don't sugar coat it for Ryan. Just tell it like it is. This is serious stuff and we must deal with it seriously. In fact, he even read the article on his own when I gave it to him.

Do I want him to be scared? Yes, to a point. He should be scared enough to take precautions, but not to cripple him. Trying hard to teach him that fear is a motivator for safety, nothing to be ashamed of. And if he thinks about this article before he kisses a girl, well, then I've done my job. I tell him the worry at this point would be his relatives he sees during the holiday season. Especially with all those Christmas goodies. If someone eats something like peanut brittle (thinking of my peanut-loving sister), that could be the kiss of death. She usually thinks it advance, but we all know that accidents occur. It CAN happen.

But no, Ryan, hasn't been approached about this by anyone other than family to my knowledge.

On Dec 1, 2005

As far as I know little V and and my other children have not been approached.

I have, someone who knows of dd pa has stated to me they saw it on tv,and was shocked by what had happened.

Last night it was on tv again.My older dd ran and got my attention so I know she is aware(my 10 dd nonpa)It got Little V's attion because she heard the word peanut it didnot phase her. The story was well done.There was a doctor on the show from Fan and they also showed her picture.

It took everything in me to not cry,until I got in the shower then it hits.

I would rather the parents or teachers to come to me about this not my children. Thats just me though,just me.

In our case I do see others [b]looking at pa dd different[/b] now.

Gail I understand what you are saying,maybe it's the age thing,don't know.

------------------ Love this site Synthia

On Dec 1, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b]I mean, why then, did they bring it up with your daughter? Any insight?[/b]

I think they wanted to know if Mariah was aware of the incident. I think they believe she [i]should[/i] be aware of it for her own safety and protection.

But let's say for the sake of argument that Mariah was [i]not [/i]aware of it because her father and her mother had determined it was not appropriate. What would have happened then? They drop this bombshell story on a 12-year-old and then what were they planning to do?

I don't think they thought that far ahead.

This morning I asked Mariah if any kids had mentioned the story to her. Her response was, "No mom. Just drop it."

<> I guess I'll take that as a 'verbal que' that she doesn't want to discuss it any more LOL!

Yes synthia, I'd like the staff to go through me or the school counselor.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited December 01, 2005).]

On Dec 1, 2005

When I read about this tragedy, I told my 8 yr old son right away. The whole family heard me tell him and how important it is for us to not eat any peanut products because this could lead to a reaction.

The very next day this story was in the paper and on the weekend when my family was over, they were all talking about it. No surprises, the hard truth and the serious nature of this allergy, up front and personal.

Some people don't die in vain, they make the world a better, safer place.

On Dec 1, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]But my [i]preference [/i] would be that those issues (e.g. teasing, responding to peer inquiries) would be best addressed by the school counselor who would have consulted with me before broaching this subject with Mariah.[/b]

I agree. I think it was irresponsible for the teachers to say anything to Mariah before they knew what you, her parent, felt comfortable with her knowing.

I understand that you feel the teachers had good intentions, and I also understand that teenagers don't always tell their parents everything, but that's not the point. You know your child best, and death is a very sensitive topic - especially to a teenager with a life-threatening allergy.

She obviously needed to be informed of the dangers of kissing/hand holding, but I feel that is something that either needs to be addressed by the parents OR by a trained professional WITH the permission of the parents. Just my opinion.

On Dec 1, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by smack: [b]When I read about this tragedy, I told my 8 yr old son right away. The whole family heard me tell him and how important it is for us to not eat any peanut products because this could lead to a reaction.[/b]

[i]...as did my husband and I. [/i]

I must not be stating myself clearly...

smack, how would you feel if you decided (for whatever reason) that it was in the best interest of your child to not discuss this event as this time. You weighed the pros and cons, and your decision was to wait. And your child came home upset about this 'news'?

In my situation, because Mariah was aware of the story, it wasn't an issue. But that may not be the case always. As a parent, I still want to reserve my right to make such decisions.

On Dec 1, 2005

Gail,

Sorry, I just got it. I just don't believe any of us has the luxury of cushioning the seriousness of this allergy. That's just my take. I can be a pretty hard core serious person, at times. I know a lot of parents think this information may be more harmful to their kids because they have issues with their allergies and don't need the added anxiety, but I would rather tell them everything and deal with the anxiety professionally.

On Dec 1, 2005

Gail W., I agree with you whole heartedly. I told Jesse about it the day that I found out about it. I told him. That was different than "discussing" it with him and as I posted last night, I was waiting for the right time, although I guess there never really is a right time.

Now, if another child had mentioned it to your daughter, well, that's a totally different story, but I so agree with you that this should be coming from the parents FIRST and then if teachers say something, well, it should be with your permission. I understand that it was all done in a purely good hearted fashion.

But as you said, what if you had made the decision, as Mariah's parent, not to tell her for whatever reason(s)? For example, what if our PA child is feeling extremely stressed or anxious re their PA right now because it's holiday time or what if they have recently had a reaction and they're dealing with the pts of that?

I think when it comes to something as serious as this (death), the parents should be consulted before the child is spoken with. I also want to be really clear and say that I don't think it matters how old the child is. We know our children the best and if they're able to process this information well or not, at a particular time.

It's interesting - no one I know has said anything to me about this at all. Apparently my MIL saw it on the news last Friday but she thought if she mentioned it I would be too upset (projecting her feelings I guess). I did have a discussion with DH and another person yesterday about it, but no, I'm not getting any e-mails or being stopped on the street or anything.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ "That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

On Dec 1, 2005

I totally don't think the teacher had any brains telling your 12 year old daughter this though. This info. should have come to you the parent first. I mean an FYI from the teacher, in case you never heard about this tragedy.

All I was saying is that I don't believe we should be withholding this info. anyway, but agree that this information should be handled by us, the parent.

On Dec 1, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by smack: [b]I totally don't think the teacher had any brains telling your 12 year old daughter this though. This info. should have come to you the parent first. I mean an FYI from the teacher, in case you never heard about this tragedy.

All I was saying is that I don't believe we should be withholding this info. anyway, but agree that this information should be handled by us, the parent.[/b]

I agree with you.

Cindy, I think I've had about 25 calls/e-mails/conversations about his incident, initiated by family members, parents of Mariah's friends, neighbors, friends of my sisters/parents, Mariah's tutor and piano teachers, former teachers at the elementary school, husband's colleagues, etc. etc

NONE of [i]them [/i]approached Mariah directly ... they approached me or my husband.

Quote:

Originally posted by Drew's Mom: She obviously needed to be informed of the dangers of kissing/hand holding, but I feel that is something that either needs to be addressed by the parents OR by a trained professional WITH the permission of the parents.

Everyone but these two fabulous, wonderful teachers that I respect seem to agree.

On Dec 1, 2005

I guess my opinion is that whether or not it is appropriate for people to discuss things --particularly things in the news -- w/ my children, it *is* going to happen. So I make it a point to mention it first, whenever possible. It has happened twice in the past month, actually... this peanut thing most recently & an arrest of a local guy we knew from Scouts. Particularly the arrest involved a topic I would have perferred to wait a while to discuss w/ my younger child (11), but I knew that it was on the front page of the local paper & would be subject of discussion at school (if not by the adults, at least by the kids).

So, I guess I think that when you send your kids out into the world, they will be exposed to plenty of things that we parents would ideally prefer to have control over but really can't.

Anne

On Dec 1, 2005

Hi Anne! (Haven't seen you in a while!)

I know what you're saying. It's a news item open to the public for discussion.

But I tend to place teachers in a different category than say, my girl scout leader or other parent volunteers. Teachers are *bound* by certain rules of conduct. Especially if the child has a disability.

In one of Mariah's very early IHPs we included a statement that questions regarding Mariah's peanut allergy or asthma should be directed to the school nurse or parents, and [i]not [/i]to Mariah. We had that there because we did not want teachers relying on her for information that should be obtained from an adult.

Do you think that children who have 504 plans for health issues could have this listed as a specific "accommodation"?

On Dec 1, 2005

We talked to Jason about it on Monday. Thankfully he's at that age where girls still have cooties. We basically told him that it's important to be upfront with his friends about his allergies.

On Dec 1, 2005

There is more information in the media thread.

------------------ Love this site Synthia

[This message has been edited by synthia (edited December 01, 2005).]

On Dec 1, 2005

My daughter is just five, and I mentioned it to her yesterday before school. I had debated it in my mind, but decided I would go ahead and tell her (she is HYPER-aware of her PA - for better or worse). I was glad I did, because in the car on the way home last night, the little voice in the backseat said "Mama, the teachers were talking about that girl who died from peanuts" I questioned her, and she said that the teachers who were taking the bus riders to the front were talking about it. She said one of them said "just from a kiss?" Now, there is part of me that is happy that they saw the story and as someone posted earlier, at least something this tragic has increased awareness come out of it. However, the part of me that is ready to strangle just about everyone at her school is furious that something like this would be discussed in front of a five year old child who is already at a level four paranoia about peanuts. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

On Dec 1, 2005

My 15 year old DD was told by three different people at her work before I had a chance to tell her that night. When she came home and saw the print out of the article she rolled her eyes and said "Three people have allready told be about this today MOM." I am actually glad that people at her work are aware enough of her allergy to tell her about this tragedy. I would consider the fact that someone talked about it with your middle school daughter a good thing, since it confirms to you that they know how serious this allergy really is.

------------------ Karalot

On Dec 1, 2005

I don't know if this factors into this equation, but it was easy for my to tell Ryan about the kissing article. Perhaps because DH and I are the affectionate type, we tend to kiss a lot. It's not uncommon for the kids to see us liplocked in the kitchen. After all, we're husband and wife and we like to kiss each other. We're still very much the handholding type.

I don't know if embarrassment factors into anything, or maybe someone doesn't want to talk about kissing because they are simply don't display a lot of affection in front of the kids.

We frequently mention, "...when you have a girlfriend..." or "...when you have a wife..." So actually talking about kissing or handholding with my 9-year old son is not hard for me. He never says "Ewww!" or "Gross." Perhaps because he has older sisters? I don't know. We frequently talk about kissing with a girlfriend or wife because of his lips. I tell him they look absolutely gross when they're chapped and peeling, and no girl will want to kiss him with lips like that. (Um...maybe that's a good thing and I should bar him from using Vaseline [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ) Girls like smooth, juicy lips like the ones found on DH. Mmmmm...

Point is, he hears me saying these things, so kissing is not a taboo subject, nor would I mind if a teacher mentioned this to him as a 9-year old. But I think that's because DH and I are openly affectionate with our hugs, handholding, and kisses. Husband and wives kiss, boyfriends and girlfriends kiss, (although we still tell him he's much too young to have a girlfriend.) I say this a lot (about being too young) because there is lots of talk about boyfriends and girlfriends even at this age.

*** This is just my own perspective though, not judging or criticizing they way anyone else feels or how they want things to be handled in this thread. ***

On Dec 1, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by ryan's mom: [b]I don't know if this factors into this equation, but it was easy for my to tell Ryan about the kissing article. Perhaps because DH and I are the affectionate type, we tend to kiss a lot. It's not uncommon for the kids to see us liplocked in the kitchen. After all, we're husband and wife and we like to kiss each other. We're still very much the handholding type.......

.......*** This is just my own perspective though, not judging or criticizing they way anyone else feels or how they want things to be handled in this thread. ***

[/b]

completely understand. My cubs still look for that "see you after school" kiss each morning. They still come up for a hug "just because" every hour or so each evening. We're just a cuddly family. Sometimes, I have to remind my cubs that I need both hands to drive and while holding my hand is very welcome, it's probably dangerous should I suddenly need both hands on the wheel. My youngest used to fall asleep rubbing the rough patches on my elbow in the rocking chair. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

(btw, I rocked both my cubs to sleep well into their 4th years) oh, my aching back, but soooooooooooooooo worth it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

Anyway, my cubs have been admonished in the caveats of kissing since they have been aware of their allergies (and probably for some time before). They are currently now 6 and 10. Lots of family members never did *get it*. My husband's parents in particular. His father always liked to munch peanuts/nuts while watching football games. (Never did see why we bothered bringing the cubs over to their house on the weekends anyway, in light of this---it was like: "If all you're going to do is watch the football game and eat bridge mix, tell me why we bothered comming over.........")

ps, love your disclaimer [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On Dec 1, 2005

I probably fall into the same 'affection level' category as ryan's mom and MommaBear. (Tho I'm a little envious of ryan's mom being liplocked in the kitchen. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) We're also a physically affectionate family.

We don't have any problem talking about kissing with Mariah. Sex in general for that matter. Nothing taboo about it in my opinion. With our kids, we draw the line at discussing our (DH and my) personal sex life, but everything else is pretty open for discussion.

It's more that the teachers didn't know if Mariah knew about it or not, and they may have been informing her of a tragedy without knowing how it might affect her. I'm more worried about how Mariah [i]feels [/i]about this death, and what affect it has on her now....

Maybe it's because Mariah has a "boyfriend" that I'm just a little freaked out about that.... He called tonight, BTW, to ask about going to a movie on Saturday. I just am not ready for daughter having 'dates' at 12.

On Dec 1, 2005

Ryan is 9 and still loves to sleep with his Teddy Bear called oatmeal and Snowy, a white teddy bear mascot from school. And if I don't smother him with kisses at night, I'll hear it from him. Yeah, very cuddly.

Good affectionate qualities. Although I'm seriously thinking of hiding that Vaseline from him when he's a teen.

On Dec 1, 2005

I hadn't really thought about what teachers *should* do about discussing topics w/ kids at school... I never got beyong thinking about what *does* happen. That is something I really like about this site... makes me consider things that wouldn't occur ot me on my own!

Oddly enough, after I saw this thread, I found out that *my* daughter & her friends told another PA kid about this case... and she hadn't heard about it yet! I hadn't thought to tell her not to mention it to other kids (which I did for the local arrest case). Maybe next time I will think more carefully.

On Dec 1, 2005

Well, I certainly don't think my guy was uncomfortable with the subject matter of kissing because he is not kissed or hugged a lot by his Mother.

I think it had to do with him being at the age where he's probably thinking about the whole thing for himself and he didn't want his sister chiming in with any remarks.

Now, obviously, in our actual home, he doesn't see Mommy and Daddy liplocked, but he does see them kiss whenever we're all together.

I think I've always been really open with both of my children about different things - we discuss what we see on television (last week it was a discussion about AIDS) and we discussed my friend being gay.

So, it didn't have anything to do with not having an open line of communication with Jess that I was looking for the "right" time and it certainly didn't have to do with any lack of showing affection in our home (or by his other relatives). It had to do with the seriousness of the issue. I know my guy and I know he was uncomfortable because he's at the age where it's probably *normal* for him to be uncomfortable.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ "That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

On Dec 2, 2005

With the peanut allergy or any other I don't keep secrets and never have. If we don't teach them from the time they understand they can have a reaction then they just won't be serious. I have a 7 year old and he knows what could happen to his big brother. This has to be the way or he may think it is a big joke. I also think I would be glad the teacher even remembered she had the allergy becuase I have seen so many people that just don't care. My DH and I were dating when I was 15 and YES kissing. However mom and dad would have killed me if I was found out. I must say that with Chris now 19 I certainly wouldn't change anything I taught him about the allergy. He was very interested in the KISSING death. His reaction was that his girl friend always brushes her teeth after eating. Also with this actually happening it shows my son that it wasn't that I didn't want him to date so I used it for an excuse. It really does happen. My heart aches for the families of the girl and the boy. I certainly don't think he meant it and he has to live with this forever. I feel so bad for everyone involved in this situation. We just never know what is going to happen next. Gail if it is upsetting you that the teacher talked to your dd then you must go in and talk with her. I never hesitate talking to teachers. I personally would be thankful she actually remembered your DD has an allergy. Best of luck to you . CLaire

On Dec 2, 2005

While this is not directly related to the subject of people approaching my ds, I have had several people approach ME and say things like, "I have been thinking of you so much the last several days. I can't imagine how you live with these thoughts on a daily basis."

I am appreciative that they "get it." Somehow this incident has done more for their awareness of the daily dangers this allergy presents than all their years of listening to me as we tackle one challenge after another, including ds's last bi-phasic reaction, Nathan Walters death, (we live in Washington state, so it was "close to home")or any of the other people who have died. Don't know why this hits so hard for them (compared to other deaths), but I'm greatful for the added insight they have gotten as a result of the tragic death of this teen.

Just thought I'd share my perspectives. Kristi

On Dec 2, 2005

My dentist's secretary blurted out as we walked in the door - "I was just thinking about you when I saw that story about the girl who died from a kiss!" My 5 year old PA son was standing next to me. Luckily I had already told him about the story. I wavered back & forth about telling him, but decided that SOMEONE would tell him whether I thought he was old enough to know or not. I was right, but I would have never guessed it would be the dentist's secretary.

------------------ Sherlyn Mom to 5 year old twins Ben & Mike - one PA & the other not. Stay Informed And Peanut Free!

On Dec 3, 2005

After thinking about this for a couple days, I do think that this issue also raises concerns about how PA is managed and also what we tell our children.

I think about all the children with PA who do not carry epi's, do not take hardly any precautions, and whose parents treat PA as no big deal and don't keep up with these articles and research.

From that viewpoint, can you imagine a teacher saying to a teen or pre-teen with PA, "Did you hear about the PA girl that died by kissing her boyfriend?"

That WOULD be scary, IMO. Partly the reason why I'm up front and honest with Ryan. Every article we read about a PA person dying, we read and discuss the why's and how's of things. The kissing article was no exception. We read about these things probably before most of the population is aware of these things, so in that sense he would rarely be surprised. His PA is a serious issue and we manage it conservatively to the best of our ability, while still trying to achieve a "normal" childhood. To know that people die from peanuts/peanut traces/cross contamination/contact via kissing is part of our PA "management plan".

The information I wanted to impart to Ryan from this article was:

A. She kissed a person who ate peanuts with what seems like hours before the kiss, and...

B. The epipen appears to be used fairly soon after the reaction occurred and she still died.

Epi's are not a cure as the general populations seems/likes to believe. They simply buy time. Being vigilant and careful must always be on one's mind.

On Dec 4, 2005

When we saw the article we showed it to ur 15 year old. We used it as a reminder to him that he must always be aware. Whether he goes to the movies with friends or another home and they service pizza. AHe is very diligent of checking his surrondings and ensuring someone knows he has his epi-pen in his backpack or coat etc.

Many students came to him and asked about the story and it gave him a chance and them to learn it was a serious issue he deals with.

I think there wiill always be idiots out in the world like the story noted above about teh food server, but for most people it is ignorance of the issue is the concern - and this has helped raise awareness to a new level.

On Dec 4, 2005

I agree with 3Nicks. I think it's great that people (friends, relatives, school people) approached my 13 yo son about it. The tragdy for her family has made it "real" for those who think we all go overboard with our concerns. We had talked about it too when I read it here, saw on the news, etc. In my opinion, there is no point to holding back this type of information from your child at an appropriate age. I probably wouldn't have told him if he was 3 or 4, but at 13? you bet! In fact, the weekend after this happened he was at his first co-ed birthday party and they played spin the bottle! OK, so I'm horrified like any parent of a teenager - but - my son came home and announced that it was OK cause he asked everyone if anybody had had peanuts or nuts that day "Cause with my allergies that wouldn't be cool". The answer was no all around and the bottle spinning began! OK, so now I'm still horrified but proud that he asked AND proud that he felt comfortable in telling me. We did talk after about whether that was an appropriate way to have a first kiss and he just smiled and said - it was nothing Mom - just a peck!

I guess we have some more talking to do - but in good time - don't want to put up a wall where there isn't one currently.

On Dec 4, 2005

I used the unfortunate event to further educate my two PA children & my non-PA teen. My daughter, who is 12 and in the 6th grade, was the one that I really wanted to know the facts. I know that even at the age of 12 you may get kissed. I have talked to her about how most girls want that first kiss to be spontaneous but with her PA, she can not let it be that way. She HAS to ask questions and I know that will make the situation more awkward but she saw what the outcome can be if she does not educate herself. I even discussed it with my soon to be 10 year old DS because it was discussed at his recent basketball game. So, I guess, I really used the unfortunate event as an educational tool.

On Dec 4, 2005

About a month ago my PA son, age 12 had his first date. Junior High semi-formal homecoming dance. One of the conversations before the dance was with the girl (her mother was there) and I mentioned to please not eat any peanut butter stuff that day. I told her it could get on her hands or something and might cause a reaction if Shane came in contact. I didn't want to come right out and say what if he kisses you!!

Anyway, everything was fine (and no he didn't kiss her, at least I don't THINK he did!).

When I read about the tragedy on this site (a few days before it hit the local media), I spoke to Shane and Martin (PA age 17) about it. I told Shane why do you think I mentioned not eating peanut butter to your homecoming date? He said "I KNOW, Mom."

So when it hit the local media, that day after school I asked him if anybody talked to him. Yes, he said "Miss S------- told me I better watch out who I kiss...." Apparently two other teachers at the school made similar comments.

If he was younger, yes, it would have upset me. But, honestly, I'm okay with them talking to him. It gave him the opportunity to talk to someone else besides me about something he may be a bit uncomfortable talking to me about. He understands PA can be deadly. He talks about PA openly with me. Kissing -- that's another story.

My heart goes out to the family. There are no words to ease their pain. I pray they can find peace and comfort.

Bridget

On Dec 5, 2005

mharasym,

I read your post and have been thinking about this for a day.

My 13-year old daughter just went to her first co-ed party (a moving party for a boy that was going to attend school in a new district about an hour away). First thing I did was call his mom and to discuss time and specifics--"Are you going to be there??? The entire time?" You know, the "usual" questions. Yes, she responded she was going to be there the entire time along with the grandmother. Basically, the kids were just "hanging out" from 4-8 playing football, watching TV, chatting.

My daughter was grueled by me--who else is going. Boys? Girls? How many and who of your close friends? Sometimes I'll call another parent of one of her friends. I dropped her off at the house for the party, went to speak to the mom (or VIP) as I always do to announce my presence and my daughter's presence. Typical mom thing. Checking things out left and right. And one of my last comments to my daughter? "If a boy tries to kiss you, smack him!" (Said with a sense of humor, of course.) That first kiss day is coming soon if it hasn't already. My head is not in the sand.

The point to all of this is, did you call about party specifics? Did you ask if the parents were going to be there? Would any of you "knowingly" let your 13-year olds play Spin The Bottle if YOU hosted the party? I wouldn't so it kind of makes me wonder where the mom and/or dad was for this.

I know--you can't watch kids all the time. But when they go to a party, how many of us check for specific info as they get older in their early teens.

Not criticizing you at all, mharasym. Just wondering what we, as parents, ask about these things. What should we be asking? It's dangerous enough being a teen these days. And a teen with PA (or other severe food allergy) is even more difficult.

Points to ponder...

Does this happen in basements? Outside? Don't the parents keep "walking through?" I know I would. Probably adds to the fact that my kids would never want to have a party at our house too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Dec 5, 2005

Hi Ryans' Mom: Yup, called, asked all the usual questions. Got all the "right" answers. Nothing nutty being served, mom to be home whole time, older brothers not home, yadda yadda. I had trained Mom on Epipen usage and symptom analysis previously and reviewed for this occassions. I was very surprized to hear how the evening went from an activity standpoint. How naive of me to think that the entertainment would be anything other than Gamecube, listening to music or boardgames. If it was in my house a) it wouldn't be co-ed and b) if by some complete mental breakdown I was convinced it should be, I'd be buzzing them like a swarm of wasps! I'm not sure I would have left them alone for more than 15 minute intervals and would certainly be hanging on the stairs listening for symptoms of inappropriate activity - I do this when he just has guy friends over for a sleepover. I guess this Mom has a different level of what's acceptable than others. Lesson learned for me. I'm not being too hard on my son now cause I want him to continue to be open to coming and talking to me about what he's doing and if I come down too hard he'll clam up and I'll never know what's going on. All things considered and in thinking back to when I was in grade 8, it could have been worse. He doesn't smoke, drink, do drugs or take risks. He's a very level kid and I hope and pray he'll stay that way.

On Dec 6, 2005

Thanks, mharasym.

Isn't it amazing when you get the "right" response or the response you want to hear and these things still happen?

I'm not naive. These things will happen. But if I were hosting a party of 13-year olds, the group would not be out of my sight or I would maintain a constant presence by walking through with food, drink, or other stuff. There wouldn't be enough time to play an "organized" game of spin the bottle with me hovering around.

I appreciate hearing how you handled it. Really a great way that keeps the line of communication open. Thanks for your response--very insightful!

On Dec 6, 2005

And I come from a family were boys were not allowed in our bedroom unless the family knew the boy REALLY well, AND no matter how well my parents knew the boy, the bedroom door was always left open to the maximum position. (Think we had to be 18 for a boy just be sitting in our bedroom too.)

With lots of "visitors" passing the open bedroom door.

On Dec 6, 2005

I was approched at the grocery store,and was asked if in fact this was true.

Awarness is out!

------------------ Love this site Synthia

On Dec 6, 2005

I've had literally 2 classes of students ask me about it, and gotten two emails. It never occured to me to talk to 5 yo dd about it. I will. She's also hyper sensitive about her PA, but says she has a boyfriend (oh dear) and as cuddly as she is, I need to address it.

I'm so sorry for the families. It's intreresting the attendtion this is getting and the level of awareness of the general population. Paula

On Dec 6, 2005

My 15 year old DD came home last night and said they spent a good chunk of her Civics class talking about the death in Quebec and why schools and Corporations have a social responsibility to students/citizens/buying public.

For the past few days, apparently, the teacher has been kinda kidding her, but also asking a few pertinent questions, then on Monday, asked if she'd feel if they talked about it seriously as a class. She didn't mind a bit and she thinks it may have actually gotten through to some of her less considerate friends that it's something they need to know more about (I'm talking "boys", in general).

So I think this was handled fairly positively by her school, all things considered. I think the joking was probably the teacher trying to feel out how she was reacting to the story, which we told her about as soon as we heard, because we didn't want her to hear about it in school.

Linda

On Dec 17, 2005

I've noticed a lot of PA teenagers are really uncomfortable with discussing their allergy-- In response to the post above mine (mckenziesmom) i think it is really good youve raised your PA kid to be able to discuss the allergy in public!

the whole terrible situation with the "kissing death" is really troubling. i'm college age and have a charming boyfriend who rarely, rarely eats nuts but still... it makes me wonder!

i actually emailed this story to a lot of people who don't seem to take peanut allergy too seriously since i thought it might shock them into believing. i feel sort of awful about using a tragic death to stun some ridiculous people into understanding.

i've read through most of this and do think that it is good teachers bring this up with kids-- maybe my view is different since im not a parent though. a lot of kids are totally uncomfortable talking to parents about "KISSING" especially when theyre in Junior High. And as we alllll know, 12 and 13 year olds know all about kissing and crushes and boyfriends and girlfriends. It seems like a really smart step for the teachers to approach the kids that age with PA about this topic-- it gives the kids a sort of safe haven to voice their concerns if they feel awkward telling a possibly protective mom/dad, an opportunity to further educate a teacher, and the knowledge that they have an adult looking out for them.

maybe it oversteps some parents boundaries, but i really truly think it is the right thing to do underneath it all.

stay safe everyone. this topic of death makes me nervous.

-sidni

On Dec 18, 2005

My 6-year-old son was told about the kiss of death in an inappropriate manner.

The ER doctor talked about it when my son was having an anaphylactic reaction from his food challenge! He talked about how difficult peanut allergy is for them to handle, how dangerous, then he launched into a review of the Kiss of Death. He only stopped when I pointed out that his information wasn't conducive to my son's state of mind. @@

------------------ Jean DS PA & watermelon allergic (9/2005 neg RAST peanut & watermelon; 9/2005 skin test neg peanut, positive watermelon; 12/2005 peanut food challenge=anaphylaxis other DS with pollen, animal, dust allergies

On Dec 18, 2005

Jean, it is terrible that the doctor was so insensitive. I have found that many doctors are like that--I think they should include a course in talking to patients for 1st year med students. I certainly hope your DS is doing better now.

I didn't tell my 7 year-old about the kiss. But I did tell him that a 15-year-old recently died from PA. I explained how she hadn't told her friends, so when she had a reaction they didn't know what was wrong or what to do. I told him that was why she died, which I do believe. I didn't want to tell him yet about the kiss. I will when he's older, probably.

On Dec 19, 2005

Sidni,

My DD doesn't like to discuss her PA with her peers normally - but I give kudos to her teacher for creating a more structured environment for discussing it in. The teacher also asked her to demonstrate how to use her epipen, so there are at least a few more students in her highschool who might have a clue.

Her close girlfriends already are fully aware of how to use the epipen and who and how to call for help, but now more people are aware, which makes me feel better.

The fact that the friends of the poor girl in Quebec didn't even know she had the allergy is something I worry about constantly for my daughter - whether she'll tell her new boss or co-workers or new friends, etc.

Related