ok, this being our first holiday season with knowing about my sons allergies has me nervous. I think he is doing well with knowing that when we tell him, it might have nuts, he knos it can cause owwies. This has even stopped him from eating a lollipop (he is allergic to soy and it had soy protein). We are having Thanksgiving at sister in laws, whose son has a peanut and tree nut allergy. Our list just keeps seeming to grow, I think he is also allergic to either tomatoes, or some sort of peppers as he broke out when he helped eat my sald the other night. I feel ok at her house. BUt at CHristmas we will be at mother in laws house with ALL of the family, which will be over 20-30 people, it is a big get together with lots of food just out for people to snack on. 95% of it I know my son will not be able to eat, and I in the past have just let him roam free during family get togethers and now feel like I can't let him out of my sight. It seems like we are still learning, every time we think we have it all elimintaed, he either breaks out again, or we forgot to read a package and find it contains something bad. People say, just let mw know what he can't eat, and I feel like it is more like, what he can. That list is smaller. Therse
On Nov 6, 2005
I wish I could offer advice, but we are still fairly new to this and it's our first holiday season dealing with this too. My daughter is 4 1/2, so she does understand what she can and can't have pretty well. We still worry at times though.
All I can do is offer you support. I understand how difficult this can be. It is frustrating. I can only imagine how it must feel every time you add a new food to the allergy list.
Hopefully someone who has more experience can offer you advice.
In the meantime, know that I feel for you and you can vent anytime you feel like it!
On Nov 6, 2005
Hi, These holiday times do cause LOTS of worries for us too. I am not sure how old your child is, but reminding over and over again helps us. Also, make sure that you guys eat BEFORE going to your mother in laws. Having a full stomach with safe food, and then taking a thing or two that is "safe" for eating when other people eat may help. I am assuming that with 25-30 people this would not be a sit down dinner (or she has a huge table:-), so eating a plate on your lap without all of the same food would not be as obvious. Also if you take some of your favorite treats (it is the Holidays, so don't make it be all healthy) that may help. We have also avoided completely my sister-in-laws house on Christmas due to their total inablility to live without peanut cookies (set at a low table for the kids) and having to have fried turkey in the peanut oil). We don't make a big deal about it on that day, and usually exchange gifts and have a nice smaller get together without her whole family there on the weekend closest. So I hope this helps. Try to enjoy the holidays!!!!! Just be ready to exchange some food and put up bowls of candy, nuts, etc out of reach of your little ones.
On Nov 6, 2005
My son is 2.5 and we found out about 6 weeks ago. We actually go to my in laws at Christmas for a few days, my husband will be laid off over the holidays so we may stay 4-5 days. So eating before hand isn't an option. I thought of emailing the family that is coming over and just sending out a little reminder about our son and possibly leaving a laminated paper on the door reminding people not to offer him food. Therese
On Nov 6, 2005
My dd is 10. About the salad, just wanted to point out that peanut residue stays in saliva for at least six hours (reactions have been reported from someone non-pa eating peanuts and then kissing a pa person six hours later). There was a dad on this board who ate a bagel with pb and kissed his pa dd three hours later, and the dd had a reaction. So I never offer my food to dd if my fork has gone in my mouth and back in the food. Even if you don`t eat peanuts, if you eat soy, I wonder how long soy residue stays in saliva. So, it is possible if you ate something with soy, then ate part of your salad, then your ds eats part of your salad, your salad can be cross contaminated with whatever you ate earlier that day. So maybe your ds is not allergic to tomatoes.
About the holidays, we make it clear to everyone that if there is anything with peanuts we cannot stay. The relatives just love to kiss dd, and again if they eat peanuts and kiss her later, it is just too risky. I know you are new to this, so you may find the relatives telling you that you are over-reacting. We have left a few things early. One Thanksgiving we did not go over this issue. About a year ago, relatives came to visit from 400 miles away and there was a big family dinner in a restaurant. My dad ordered a dessert with peanuts for everyone to share. So we had to leave. Since then when the relatives come to town, we see them on our own, usually for breakfast, so that my dad is not there to order the peanut desserts.
So, bottom line for the holidays, I would insist that nothing with peanuts be served, even if your ds is not going to be eating it. There is too great a chance of a reaction from contact or kissing. One person on this board posted of a situation where a relative ate something with peanuts, did not wash hands, and then was holding the hand of her pa toddler. Later that night the toddler went to sleep, and woke up in anaphylaxis. The mom had to use the epi and call 911. No one knew at the time that the relative who had been holding the toddler`s hand had eaten peanuts and not washed hands. When the toddler went to sleep, she put her fingers in her mouth, so that was why she had an anaphylactic reaction. So if the relatives give you a hard time about not going if peanuts are served (that seems to happen a lot on this board), you can just think of that story to stand your ground.
On Nov 6, 2005
[b]and now feel like I can't let him out of my sight.[/b]
That is why we either host holidays or don't go at all (last year did sit-down for 30, this year will be a buffet). My kids are 6 & 3 1/2 -- and unless DH and I feel like going someplace to shadow our children, so they can have a nice familial experience, we skip it. Our families have had 5 years to get used to the FA's and still barely have a clue - I have seen my children's life pass before my eyes walking into my in-laws during the holidays - and I don't want it to become a reality. (nuts on the table, homemade stuff with nuts, angel food cake -- that should be okay for my son who is allergic to eggs right? It's only egg whites!! - that's from MIL - what a moron - a nurse too! I still like my SIL offering my PN/TN allergic son the "sugar plums" - some dessert that is just a bunch of nuts made into a sticky ball of some sort).
I guess my questions would be to you are: what is your comfort level with the allergy, how confident are you in those that would attend x-mas, could you visit on different days, are you okay with people thinking & telling you that you are over-reacting - but still doing what you need to do to keep your child safe, regardless of them?
On a practical note - depending on where x-mas is located (city vs. country) - take extra Epi-pens & Benedryl. It is 15 - 20 minutes/ Epi-pen (so if you are out in the country, and it would take 911 awhile - or you have to drive awhile, figure accordingly). Get an idea of where the nearest hospital is also.
On Nov 8, 2005
This is our second holiday season- but I am becoming more aware of risks and more vigilant. My son was diagnosed with PA 1 year ago in Oct. He is 3. This year, we are hosting or not attending. Thankfully, my family is understanding and willing to accept this. It's just not worth the risk, in my mind. And, I know I can't relax and enjoy family/friends if I am constantly watching my son for a reaction.
I hope it goes well for you. Marie