How to you reply to \"Not that allergic\"

Posted on: Sat, 03/08/2003 - 7:24am
LaurensMom's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

Just curious how you all reply, if you do, when you encounter a PA child with a parent who says, "It's OK. He's not that allergic."

Encountered one of those types today at a birthday party. As she let her child eat candy I would never let Lauren eat and bakery made cake, I really wanted to say something...something like, "I have lots of PA information that I share with people when I do workshops and presentations on food allergies." She didn't even have an epi-pen.

What do you think?

Posted on: Sat, 03/08/2003 - 7:36am
williamsmummy's picture
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Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

you dont, if their tone suggests that they are unhappy talking about allergies , it could be that they are finding things difficult at the moment.
When william has had a recent reaction, i feel so stressed out that I could not even face the effort of talking about it, with out wanting to sob on any kind persons shoulder. And the british do not do that sort of thing you know.
On the other hand.....they could be ostrich type parents ........and love sand.!
sarah

Posted on: Sat, 03/08/2003 - 7:56am
Kim M's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

Unless you see them letting their child eat something directly dangerous to them (peanut butter cup, e.g.), I don't think you should say anything. Every parent has different comfort zones, and I, for one, let mine eat bakery cake (after I have checked with the bakery.) You don't know what has occurred before hand. I know I wouldn't appreciate being implicitly told that I am being a bad parent.
ETA: I didn't see the remark about not even having an epipen. I think that is behavior directly dangerous to their child, and I would try to (gently, casually) talk about how reactions are completely unpredictable, and it doesn't hurt to have the epipen available.
[This message has been edited by Kim M (edited March 08, 2003).]

Posted on: Sat, 03/08/2003 - 8:55am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I had this happen recently, at a neighborhood park. I told the mom that the medical research now shows that past reaction history does not dictate what a future reaction will be like, and that it is recommended that all peanut allergies be treated as though they are potentially life threatening. I'm sure she just thought I was an over-the-top weirdo mom; but I felt that I would be irresponsible if I didn't share that information with her. I urged her to do a search herself. HTH, Miriam

Posted on: Sat, 03/08/2003 - 10:09am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Boy, if anyone has a really good reply, PLEASE share it.
No parent at our school seems to be as conservative as me because all of their children are "not that allergic" or not as allergic as my child. Some have epipens, some don't. I have had teachers tell me, "Oh, but so and so isn't as allergic as Ryan." And I'm like how do you know? Have you seen the RAST results? Do you know how many prior reactions X has had versus my child? Was a RAST test even done?
Personally, I feel when people use that term "not that allergic" it means not educated enought about peanut allergies. Either you're allergic or you're not. Every child who is allergic may experience anaphylaxis. The human body/chemistry is extremely complex. If Ryan were exposed to peanuts, he could experience a mild or severe reaction. There is no rhyme or reason as to what type of reaction will occur with anybody--whether it be a "mild" or "severe" peanut allergy.
So like I said. If anyone as a good, tactful response to this phrase, definitely share it. I, for one, could use help with a quicky, witty, yet educated response.

Posted on: Sat, 03/08/2003 - 12:58pm
LaurensMom's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

KimM...Oh, I would make every attempt to NOT make it appear they are a bad parent. Honestly, I don't think she is. That was me 4 years ago...not because I was a bad parent but because I had an idiot for an MD. I just agree with ryan's mom...when I hear the phrase, I think too..."not that educated". I am looking for a way to let them know that I think they *may* be missing something without seeming accusatory.
Although this thread was started with the intent of exploring a tactful way to bring up educating a parent, let me add this:
I explained the situation to DH and he esentially said, "Don't go taking the weight of the world on your shoulders", which I do tend to do. "If soemthing happens to the child tonight, it will be the parent's fault, not yours."
Well yes, I know that...but...if I saw a child attempting to cross a busy street without their parent (let's assume for sake of argument the parent is in the vicinity but not immediately nearby), I would feel obligated to stop the child...at least a "Can I walk with you? I just *have* to get to the other side."

Posted on: Sat, 03/08/2003 - 1:55pm
KarenH's picture
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Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

I can understand how you feel. My nephew was struck by a car at two years old-he simply got away from his mom. It's very hard to go through something so traumatic and not want to prevent someone ELSE having to go through it as well. I have actually said things to people, and they probably thought I was a crazy person.
It may be hard for someone, who have also been told by their doc "not to panic" (like mine did) and whose child has not had a severe reaction, to be as vigilant about PA as you are. They haven't had that scare. So they assume that it's okay.

Posted on: Sun, 03/09/2003 - 2:58am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I too tend to shudder and think that these folks are just not properly educated about the realities. However...I have come across some information that indicates that some folks may have mast cells only in their skin, or only in their respiratory tract, or only in their GI tract. If this is so...and they have had numerous reactions-none of which involved more than hives that rapidly disappeared with a dose of benadryl...MAYBE they really are only a little allergic. There does not seem to be a way to test where your mast cells are though or we would all have a better idea of what to expect from exposure to allergens.
Has anyone else come across this kind of info?

Posted on: Sun, 03/09/2003 - 3:23am
Nicole1401's picture
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Joined: 12/27/2002 - 09:00

kstreeter,
My dd's 2nd allergist said something to that effect. First of all, let me say my dd will never go back to this allergist, but anyway . . . This doctor gave us the big scary speech and went so far as to say that our dd should not leave the house and if she does, she should sit on our lap the entire time. So, she is a very cautious person. She also refused to answer my question as to whether the allergy can get worse because all peanut allergies are severe and therefore there is no better or worse. So, I think she would agree that it is not possible to be "not that allergic." But, to answer your question, she also said that while there is no guarantee that my dd will not have an anaphylactic reaction, that since her previous/first reaction was hives and watery eyes, then research shows that there is less chance that she will have an anaphylactic reaction.
I have often wanted to post on here if anyone else has heard this, but I guess I am afraid the answer will be no and that this piece of information the allergist gave us will turn out to be another one her incorrect opinions.

Posted on: Sun, 03/09/2003 - 3:26am
Nicole1401's picture
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Joined: 12/27/2002 - 09:00

kstreeter,
Do you remember where you saw that information? I would like to read it to see if I am living in a fantasy world or if my dd's allergist actually got this one right.

Posted on: Sun, 03/09/2003 - 3:30am
Shawn's picture
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Joined: 09/07/1999 - 09:00

Having dealt with non-food allergies most of my life (mine and others), I have one response: allergic is allergic. Whether or not a reaction occurs, and how severe that reaction is, depends on whether the amount of the allergen you are exposed to exceeds your tolerance AT THAT TIME. Before ten years of allergy shots, I have personally experienced the panic of feeling myself having breathing difficulty because my husband was too stubborn to leave, and I was too passive to leave without him when we were watching a football game and groundskeeping started mowing the next field over. At other times, in similar circumstances, I only experienced sneezing and itching eyes. The point is, you cannot ever predict how severe a reaction is going to be. Relying on an "only a little allergic" mindset is playing with fire.

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