how sensitive is my child?

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Can anyone give me some info about how to determine how sensitive my child is? Our home is totallly peanut free and since my daughter has been diagnosed with pa the thought of eating peanuts is very unappealing, so she is never around it. At this point I don't wipe down tables,etc. and have been safe so far, thank God. But I worry about contact and airborne reactions, especially while at school and away from me. Sometimes I feel like I have a pretty good handle on this allergy and other times it scares the hell out of me!!!!! Anyone else feel this way? Does it ever get easier?

On Mar 8, 2003

I'm sorry to say it has not gotten any easier for us. DS is 18 and ready to go off to college in September. We are in the process of working with the various services at his college so when he gets there the safeguards are in place. He will be responsible for the rest. He is ready for sure but it is tough to let him go.

I am not saying it is an impossible situation. DS is more than prepared. We have worked very hard to get him to this point and we are proud of his committment to safety.

As to your question "How sensitive?" I'd have to say you should assume your child is sensitive to everything and start teaching her how to keep her guard up.

We always assumed DS was airborne sensitive and we were correct. It took 13 years for him to have an airborne reaction but it happened this past Halloween.

Good luck Peg

On Mar 8, 2003

Caroline's mom,

You've identified "the" question! Even the latest testing deosn't really answer it.

I agree with Peg and others who err on the side of caution.


On Mar 8, 2003

This is such a tough one. I guess I would say to err on the side of caution while she is very young. Eventually, she will be out in the world and you will likely get a sense for whether or not she appears to react to residue, smell, etc. No matter how careful you are, if she is highly sensitive then I think you will find out. I am not suggesting you take any unnecessary risks. Just try to protect her as much as you can while she's little, but as she gets bigger and you allow her to develop a healthy social life, etc., her circle will widen. My daughter is 8. We were much more cautious when she was younger than we are now. She eats lunch at a regular table at school without any problems. We have reduced our "restrictions" gradually - always with the point of view that if it doesn't work we will tighten up again. So far, so good. By the way: I'm saying all this with the assumption that your daughter is still young. Good luck! [img][/img] Miriam p.s. A lot of this comes down to a "comfort zone" issue. As you familiarize yourself with the boards you will see that we don't all handle this the same way.

On Mar 8, 2003

I was trying to find a diplomatic way of saying it, but Calif. Mom has pretty much said what I was thinking. I was extremely cautious when my son was a toddler. But as I saw that he had few reactions in most normal day-to-day situations I became much more comfortable. I want to allow him the least restrictive lifestyle possible.

On Mar 12, 2003

I'm sorry, but all it takes is one "oops, I didn't know" incident, and your child is dead. My daughter's school was very vigilant about her peanut allergy at the beginning of the school year, but just today, refused to alert parents about her allergy regarding a multi class reception for grandparents. This weekend I will have to make over 100 phone calls to the parents regarding peanut allergy. Never assume that everyone is on the same page regarding PA.

On Mar 13, 2003

We are also big believers in (at least as far as my DH and I go) seeing if something seems reasonable, then trying it once with the notion that if anything feels wrong it probably is, then evaluating periodically. Reactions in day-to-day experiences are an immediate reevaluation of our safety standards, just as others have pointed out.

While others have had good luck broadening their horizons as their children grow older, we have not. I am forced to say that we have been forced to remain fairly vigilant, even as our daughter has gotten older and more responsible. She understands, all right, but her sensitivity has worsened, evidently.

I would also reiterate the statement that if your child is extremely sensitive, all you need to do is be willing to see the signs. (Hives that come and go around PN, itchy eyes around certain children... etc. It is NOT subtle.) The real question (related to yours) is this, for us- How much of the little stuff can we live with? (With the understanding that any "little" thing COULD become a big one pretty much without warning.) After all, you cannot prevent all contact with the world, even if you wanted to- you could keep a child locked up inside yoru sealed house, but people still come and go, groceries and mail still come in, etc... and all of it is at least a potential hazard. You really DO have to let some of it go- serenity prayer style. That is what your comfort zone is about. It really isn't even about how sensitive your child is. Some parents feel OK with a few anaphylaxis incidents each year, for example. (Myself, I am not too sure how that rationale would go, but I know they exist or the average of one incident every two years wouldn't be accurate.)


On Mar 13, 2003

Just a quick thanks! to everyone for your replies. They've been helpful. Don't you just wish that there was a simple manual, something very black and white, that came with this allergy? Wishful thinking!!!! Thanks again!!!