how do siblings handle it?

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My 2 year old dd Sophia (PA) had her first rxn at Xmas (PB cookie) and my 6 year old (Marcela) saw it happen, and the rush to the ER. She was so concerned, crying, wanted to go with us. (we didn't let her). She's the most amazing big sis. She's very caring and super smart. Since then, there haven't been any big rxn, just a few accidental contact rxn. Occasionally when Sophia has a contact rxn, i.e. a miscellaneous hive, Marcela helps to give Benadryl. It calms Sophia down a little and I think Marcela too. It probably helps her feel like she's taking control and doing something to help her little sis. For awhile Sophia was also on a soy free diet and Marcela diligently checked all labels and warned others. (all on her own- with no push from us ) Well, I guess I'm wondering if this is just my older dd's way of handling things. If siblings typically respond in this manner at first? I don't want her to feel burdened, responsible - I mean we're the adults she's just a child. She has a lot of questions and we try to answer them honestly but we don't want to scare (or scar) her. I'd like to help her feel empowered, like she can help Sophia stay safe. Does anyone have any words of advice? How can I help her get a handle on this?

On Mar 21, 2006

I don't really have any advice but it is something that concerns me - my eldest is 10 with no allergies and little one with MFA's is 4. I find that big sis is very aware of labels and is very responsible but I do wonder if she takes on a feeling of responsibility herself that may cause stress in the future. Hopefully not - I think giving some measure of control probably is reassuring. It's hard to know what to do - so I guess I've no answers!

On Mar 21, 2006

To answer the Q:

Fine and dandy, TYVM.

NEVER a problem.

NEVER

Jason

------------------ [b]* Obsessed * [/b]

On Mar 21, 2006

My 10 yr old son has PA, my 13 daughter has no known allergies. She is very protective of her brother and always looking out for him. In fact on one occasion she tackled a girl in the school yard who was chasing her brother with a peanut butter sandwich. After stopping the kid she took them down to the principal's office and reported the incident. This is quite something for her to do as she is very quiet and mild mannered. It is great to have an older sibling to watch over my son.

On Mar 27, 2006

My kids are 2 year apart, my daughter 11 is the one with the peanut allergy. When my son was in 2nd grade he focused on how her allergy affected him, and how it was sooo hard for him. Absolutey no compassion for his sister. Now, he's good about it and accepts how we have to live our lives. He is generally protective of her so I think if someone ever bothered her at school or on the bus, he would intervene. He did intervene once when a boy made threatening moves towards her(not peanut related).

On Mar 27, 2006

Do you let the non PA child have peanut products when they're outside the house? Yesterday we went to a party where they had cho chip cookies with PB MM's. My non PA wasn't there, my PA was (we left soon thereafter) well, anyway, in that situatiojn would you let the older have one and wash her hands or say no because its so risky? She spent the weekend at grandma's so I told her she could have PB there the day before she came home. I've tried to find alternatives that will make averyone happy, like kissables instead of mm's, but sometimes you feel like you're a mean mom.

On Mar 27, 2006

My 9 year old daughter, non-PA, is my 6 year old PA son's biggest advocate, besides my husband and myself. She reads labels all the time. On the schoolbus, she is quick to remind kids that there is no eating allowed on the bus and reports it to the bus driver. People may think she's a "snitch" but I'm very proud of her for sticking up for her brother. One time at a party, a child started chasing and teasing my PA son with a Reese's (luckily still in the wrapper). She had to knock the child to floor and yelled for help. She's not an agressive child, but did what she had to do to protect her brother. She's witnessed him having a reaction so she knows how serious it is.

She was at a friend's house, around a year ago or so, and ate a pb&j sandwich for the first time after I banned it from our home. She called me from her friend's house, feeling guilty that she ate it. I told her it was OK, enjoy your sandwich! She now knows the drill of washing hands and rinsing your mouth well after eating. Now, almost everytime she's at a friend's house for lunch, she asks for a pb&j sandwich.

My almost 5 year old non-PA son has never had a pb&j sandwich, but has had things that have pb in them or "may contains" when my other son isn't around. It's when we aren't at home. He even knows certain things we can't have when Timmy is around, so it is a treat when he can have it. When we are out in public somewhere, my non-PA 4 1/2 year old asks if it has nuts in it because his brother can't have it! It's a sad reality, but so cute that he understands, it's all he knows.

On Mar 28, 2006

My 3yr old is the one with the allergies. My 7yr old saw his brother have a full blown reaction 18 months ago. He is terrified of nuts and will not go near them. Even when I explain that he has no allergies, he is still nervous. He is very protective of his little brother.

On Apr 10, 2006

My cousin who has PA has a little brother who is realy good about it, but can be anoying some times about it as well.

On Apr 11, 2006

PA/TA dd is very aware of her allergy, she is 6 and has us read lables to her all the time, actually she is now at the point where she checks for herself in addition to us checking and she aways asks before she eats anything outside the home. What astonishes me is that our 3.5 year old son who is not food allergic asks if there is nuts in foods that we eat outside the home now as well. He has caught on that his sister is allergic to nuts and it is not safe for him to eat them around her. I am very proud of both my children for recognizing and being safe around each other.

------------------ Helen Mom to Alyssa (PA, age 5) Mom to Theodore (age 3)

On Apr 13, 2006

My son is two years old and is severe peanut and egg allergy. My four year old daughter is unbelievable with him. She watches him like a hatch. Everything we do she always ask if he can have that. she sees me reading labels and is always wondering if can have things or not. She is great with him. He also tells everyone that is allergic to peanuts. thanks for letting me share. bethany

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