How did you make you child aware of his/her PA?

Posted on: Tue, 01/27/2004 - 12:26pm
laurajean's picture
Joined: 10/26/2003 - 09:00


My son is 26 mos old. He was diagnosed with PA at 18 mos and TNA (as well as kiwi fruit) shortly thereafter.

I am struggling with how to make him understand his allergy. We talk about nuts often and how they are bad for him, however, I think it's having a negative effect on him and making him more curious. Now that's scaring me to death!

Does anyone out there have any tips? When did you feel that your child understood his/her allergy?



Posted on: Tue, 01/27/2004 - 1:43pm
Klutzi's picture
Joined: 03/10/2002 - 09:00

Hi! Hopefully you will get a lot of responses from those who have been doing this longer. Here is what we are doing...
My daughter, Jamie, is 3 1/2. She was diagnosed PA after a reaction at 18 mo. At age 2, we got her a medic alert bracelet & started teaching her that peanuts make her sick. We have taken opportunities in the grocery store & when we see them on TV or in a book, to show her what peanuts look like. We now quiz her & ask her what they are & she says "Peanuts & they make me sick".
Around age 3, we introduced the Epi-pen to her & told her that if peanuts made her sick, we would use the Epi-pen to make her better. We also have an epi-pen trainer that we used to show her how the Epi-pen worked. I have to say that she must have understood it. When she had an anaphalatic reaction at the end of October, she let daddy give it to her, although she tried to pull it away when she realized it would stick her! (Afterwards, she went around telling everyone that daddy hurt her to make her all better after peanuts made her sick).
Now we are working on teaching her to not touch everything (her anaphalactic reaction was a contact reaction) & to not put things in her mouth & to not take food from anyone but mommy & daddy & her grandparents.
Lea -mom to Jamie - 3 1/2 - PA & TNA

Posted on: Wed, 01/28/2004 - 12:04am
mattchrismom's picture
Joined: 02/12/2003 - 09:00

we talk about it a lot. When we go to the grocery store I point out the nuts, tell him why mommy won't let him have the free bakery cookies and get him a safe treat of course. My ds is almost 4 and he understands well for his age he asks if food is safe and won't take food from anybody but my dh and me without asking that wasen't really hunded on it just happened naturally. We talk about his epi-pen and medic alert bracelet what will happen we are really honest with him about his allergy. the book "No Nuts for Me" is a good book and he loves it.

Posted on: Wed, 01/28/2004 - 12:06am
attlun's picture
Joined: 06/13/2003 - 09:00

My ds is 29 mo. old. He's been wearing a medicalert bracelet since last June. Whenever anyone asks him what it says, he says "no peanuts, Trevor sick". We talk about it often, and have taught him to check with us before he eats anything. I always point out pictures of peanuts in books, and at the store point to things that may not be safe for him. We don't really talk about his epi with him, but I think he remembers when we had to use it, because a lot of times he will say "ambulance and hospital" when we talk about peanuts. Once he gets older we will talk about the epi more.
I think talking to him about it often, helps him to learn and be aware, but of course he won't really understand his allergy to he's a little older.
Trevor age 2 -PA
Harmony age 1 -KNA
Baby #3 due June 24, 2004

Posted on: Wed, 01/28/2004 - 12:48am
laurajean's picture
Joined: 10/26/2003 - 09:00

Thank you everyone.
I guess I am sort of doing the right thing. We plan on getting a medic alert bracelet soon. (I don't think he'd keep it on at the moment.) We have been lucky in that to date we have not had to use his EPI or even Benadryl. (Now I probably jinxed myself!) But, I do try to point out that we bring his medicine wherever we go. We also point out peanuts in the grocery store and explain that they are bad.
Thank you for all of your tips. I look forward to learning more from this site.

Posted on: Wed, 01/28/2004 - 2:21am
synthia's picture
Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

With Little V(now 4 1/2 years old)we started at 2 telling her peanuts will make her sick and she will have to go to the hospital.We all so read her books,and when the topic in the story says anything about peanuts,or peanutbutter we tell her not for Little V they will maker her sick.
She has been wareing her medic-alert braclet since she was 2 1/2 years old.At first she did not like it but we told her it is to keep her safe.Now when it is off her(which is rare)she cryies and tells us she want's her friends medic-alert braclet(she is so cute).
The last couple of weeks she has been telling us,(when she hears the word or words) peanut,peanutbutter on TV She will say "no peanuts or peanutbutter for me they make me sick".Also we have been showing her what a contact reaction looks like on her arms so se can better understand what to look for.We have also talked to her about her coughing and wheezing it is her allergies we tell her.
Don't stop talking to them,read them books,talk adout the medic-alert braclet and get a Epi-Pen trainer and talk about that.
There is a book out called No Nutz for me,I think it really helped Little V understand her allergy to peanuts and all nuts.
I hope that helps=HTH
Love this site

Posted on: Wed, 01/28/2004 - 3:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

laurajean, welcome! [img][/img]
(As an aside, interesting to see a couple more people with children diagnosed or reacting at 18 months of age - almost has me re-raising the question [img][/img] )
You know what? I think my guy kinda already knew if that makes any sense. He was never the type of child to grab at food in the grocery store like my daughter (non-PA) was and actually continues to be.
When we first got the internet, the (edited out url) website was still up and running (I don't think it is now) and Jesse would have been 4 then and that was really helpful for him and he also enjoyed playing the game on it as well.
He had his near deadly anaphylactic reaction at the age of 3-1/4 and he can still remember it to-day (he's now 8).
I also remember when I was new here another member suggested that I actually show Jesse up close and personal a bag of peanuts in the grocery store. It took all the nerve I had, but I did pick up the poison and show him.
Just a lot of talking, I guess.
When he started school at 3-3/4 years of age, it was a requirement of the school that he wear his Epi-pen so he's always had that strapped on his body along with his MedicAlert bracelet.
Jesse was also reading when he was 4 years old and he would read labels with me even back then.
I'm trying to think of what wording I would have used when Jess was young, but can't remember in my aged brain right now, but just know that we have the peanut/nut free home and a lot of talking with him "back then".
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 01/28/2004 - 4:16am
ABreitner's picture
Joined: 07/02/2002 - 09:00

My 3 1/2 year old has no clue. I have shown him peanuts at the store, I have talked about his allergies (he has several food allergies), and he will tell you that his bracelet says "don't eat peanuts" but he will also casually ask for a peanut butter sandwich. He has never seen one, there has not been any peanut butter in his life since his first reaction at 14 months. I am still working on it!

Posted on: Wed, 01/28/2004 - 4:45am
laurajean's picture
Joined: 10/26/2003 - 09:00

Thanks, Ann.
It makes me crazy too b/c lately my son has been asking for a PB cookie! I don't know where he got that from.
I hope he learns over the years. I will buy the book "No Nuts for Me".
Thanks everyone.

Posted on: Wed, 01/28/2004 - 5:05am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

My son just turned 10 and is extremely responsible about his allergy, but that was not always the case! When he was younger I lived in fear of him grabbing the wrong thing. He seemed to understand it well, but kids being kids he would occasionally give in to temptation and want something he shouldn't have.
What finally got through to him was a good scolding from his 4 year old classmate, who is also PA. We were in the grocery store and they were giving out cookies samples. DS reached for one (he had run ahead of me) and his friend started yelling at him, "Are you crazy? Don't you know that could kill you?". He just stopped cold and pretty much never did anything like that again. In the health education field that's called "Peer Education". I'm just not sure anyone really envisioned it being practiced by 4 year olds! [img][/img]
We started talking to him about it from a very young age. We suspected as early as 9 months, but didn't know for sure until about 15-16 months. Just keep up the talking and reading.
Good luck!

Posted on: Wed, 01/28/2004 - 8:09am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

My son is 19 and away at college. We found out about his PA at age 4 or so.
I taught him everything he knows about PA. I learned right along with him. Everything I learned I learned along side my son out loud. He was listening all of those years.
He even told me recently that he learned to stand up for himself by listening to me stand up for him all of these years.
Develop a routine lecture you will give to everyone you have to inform of your child's PA. Use the word FATAL, use it plenty.
Good luck



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