It\'s not as if peanuts are poison...

Publish date:
Updated on

This is what my fil said to us last night after a neighbor dropped off cookies and we sent them home with my in-laws without trying them. We couldn't tell what was in them and didn't want to take the chance. We have a peanut free house and only dh would eat baked goods from an unknown source IF peanut free(I am nursing our youngest so I eat almost the same as ds and always keep the same diet in his presence). I was in shock he would say this. I yelled - I can't believe I did that. Afterwards I told my mil that he had better accept that peanuts are poison for my children and if he didn't he wouldn't be seeing them anymore.

Before you are too quick to judge, my inlaws are the most wonderful people I know. I respect them so much as parents and people, but on this point my fil is wrong. They love us and our kids. They help us so much and support us. We just moved to live close to them for this reason. But my fil can be stubborn, and whether he thinks we are overprotective or just doesn't want to know because it scares him, he can be very difficult to talk to about the PA. He gets defensive when we question what he's feeding ds, etc...He couldn't believe dh wouldn't even take a bite so he could say he'd tried it. He thinks we should be more concerned about 'real dangers' like cancer.

Now I saw him today and I know he's at least sorry we argued but I can't just let it go. I want to give him more information. Any suggestions? In light of his argument I would love to give him information about ds's risks from different ailments. This is info I really would prefer not to know but feel it would help my fil. Does anyone know where to find childhood mortality rates on different things like accidents and leukemia?

One point that I had looked up recently related to chickenpox. Similar number of children die from chickenpox and PA each year in the US and yet we spend millions of dollars vaccinating 'every' child against this danger. When you factor in that only children with PA are at risk from PA, our children's risk from PA is on the order of 100 times greater than their risk from chicken pox. And yet how many of us get the chickenpox vaccine for our children?

Can anyone give me info or advice? And a quick note...I am grateful to God every day that my children's 'ailment' is something I have a chance of protecting them from. I would take PA any day over a long-term illness, daily pain, mental problems etc...but that doesn't mean the danger isn't real and that they don't deserve every possible chance at a long and happy life.

Thanks, Luvmyboys

On Jun 11, 2006

yes they are poison! Keep communication open, it sounds like they are willing to "get it"

On Jun 11, 2006

for the athlete at our gym who ate a bake sale "choc. chip cookie" (which was actually a pb cookie with choc chips in it) recently, it was poison.

he nearly lost his life because his mother assumed the bakesale cookies were "safe" similar to what your fil was suggesting you do.

i'm sure your fil was not intending to be unkind but it's always better to be safe than sorry.

i still deal with this with my husband who is constantly giving me the "look" when i politely refuse food items for my kids from friends, neighbors, restaurants etc. it's probably something most of us here deal with.

if we're not sure, we don't eat it.

On Jun 11, 2006

i was referring to me and my children when i said "we" in the previous post. as i reread it, it seemed i was speaking for everyone here.

On Jun 11, 2006

Good point joeybeth. You reminded me of a time when I started adding 1/2 PB and 1/2 butter to my regular Toll House Cookie recipe. LOL, John Travolta mentioned doing that, while on Oprah. But I thought, "Oh, how yummy!" Did it the next few times I made the cookies.

I was likely nursing dd at the time, if I had the time to be home watching Oprah. So, I soon must have figured out the allergy and stopped using peanutty stuff(and nuts) in my baking. After eating PB all the time while pg and nursing.

However, I mean to illustrate a point that you *never know* what might be in a baked good. Had I brought those cookies somewhere, folks would have thought them to be "my usual" and never suspected peanuts. And, silly me at the time, was totally ignorant of peanut allergy as well. I never would have thought to mention it until after some compliments.

You never know what people will put into food. Maybe you can show this to your FIL, from a PA mom who did sneak peanuts in as a secret ingredient a few times.

I never let my dd have anything baked by someone else. One exception has been a friend who called for a recipe for a cake for my dd and another with the same allergies attending a party at her home. becca

On Jun 11, 2006

besides hidden ingrediets (like pb), we've also had neighbors, husband's coworkers, and even family bring homebaked goodies in which they had "picked off" the peanuts/nuts especially for our girls. yikes! people just don't always understand...even the well-intentioned ones.

when one particular relative was alive, she always made a choc sheet cake in which half was covered in chopped nuts and half was not. she never could understand why the girls couldn't have a bite from "their side." after all, she went to such trouble. : )

(i'm only being sarcastic because she honestly had been told a hundred times WHY but she didn't believe what i told her. in her mind, i was just not letting them have her fabulous cake because i enjoyed depriving my children).

then there are those folks that think having a peanut allergy means you cannot have actual peanuts.......but peanut butter is somehow okay. (i swear this has happened to us on more than one occasion). you just never know how informed some people are or are not.

homebaked goods that are not baked by me or in front of me rarely will enter my kids' mouths. if i know the cook and the cook knows our situation in detail, the full ingedient list and what else was in the kitchen at the time of preparation i MIGHT let my kids eat. it's always my call though.

On Jun 11, 2006

I know it's not the medical facts you're looking for, but have you shown him the "in memory" thread?

On Jun 11, 2006

How about dropping by at your inlaws when you think it might be calmer (no kids/ spouse, you've had a chance to calm down, he's had a chance to get over the shock of being yelled at) and just one-on-one be really humble and apologetic. Then try to explain simply that you are very concerned about keeping your kids away from possible sources of peanut and that you are trying to keep them healthy and safe. Then ask FIL what he thinks you are trying to do about the peanut allergy and how he feels about your strategy. If you are going to try to convince/convert him it will be helpful if you can understand his position and perception of the situation.

Forgive me for the following sexist remarks but I think that most men have trouble communicating what they are thinking and feeling. Possibly because most men don't acknowledge their thoughts because society taught them it was bad or effeminate. Now you are in a sitaution where you have to tease information out of your FIL because your children's welfare is at stake. You have my sympathies on this. But too much is at stake here and this shouldn't be ignored. So if you cannot get a good dialogue going with your FIL, perhaps you might try a family therapist, or maybe there are other avenues of mediation available to you in your community?

The bottom line is that even if you cannot get a person to feel as you do, you should expect them to at least accept that they are your feelings and to respect your wishes on this matter.

On Jun 12, 2006

I really do think he should see the memorial link. I also did a rough calculation on mortality rates for childhood leukemia (by far the most common childhood cancer) at 0.5 deaths per 100,000 versus 125 deaths per 300,000,000 US population->0.04 deaths per 100,000. However, because incidence of PA is only 1% of pop, my estimate if I am correct is that ds chance of dying from PA is 10X that of his chance of dyinig from Leukemia...besides nobody knows what causes leukemia so there's not much I can do about that risk! luvmyboys

On Jun 12, 2006

Peanuts are poison for PA people. I use that word in discussions with people. I ask, if it had a little bit of rat poison or was made with a spoon you stirred rat poison with-would you eat it? I think not!

On Jun 12, 2006

Sorry that happened luvmyboys, it's hurtful when people you rely on to support and understand you say something that well...isn't supportive or understanding.

Somewhere in the media section, there's an article about how ER trips for anaphylaxis are hugely under-rated and under-diagnosed. I think (?) the figure was closer to 1 million, instead of 30,000. I'll try to find that link.


What about the recent People Magazine article? Have any copies of it? I made my family/close friends read it. It seemed to make a huge difference for some.

It's probably stressing you too because you just moved to be closer to them, and you're wondering what you've gotten yourself into right?

I'm wondering if your FIL is just not used to seeing how you need to manage PA day-to-day. Hopefully with a more education, he'll understand that it truly does impact you every day in some way. And every day you make decisions that impact your ds' safety.

Good luck, hope you get through to him. Meg

[This message has been edited by mommyofmatt (edited June 12, 2006).]

On Jun 12, 2006

Have you shown them the "It Only Takes One Bite" video, available from FAAN? It includes an interview with a woman with PA who talks about a severe reaction from just one bite of a pastry. It also have a doctor explaining about allergies and how to use an epipen.

I find it the best video to both show skeptics how serious allergies are and to reassure folks that you can deal with them and have a normal life.

As far as comparing PA to other things like cancer, why would he want to make it an "either/or" type argument? Is he saying that the baked goods would protect his grandchild from cancer somehow and therefore are worth the risk of killing him from PA? That's just loopy. Sounds like he is in deep denial. Hope you break through it!

On Jun 12, 2006

What about directing fil to the *In Memory* thread:


If you don't want to direct them to this board (I understand people wanting this to be their safe-haven), there are directions in another thread about copy & pasting, though I'm not sure if the pictures show up that way or not.

On Jun 12, 2006

I agree with Annamarie. Can you print out the 'In Memory' thread and give it to him? It's sobering - especially with the photos of the kids.

On Jun 12, 2006


Great suggestion to show that video. I would also ask fil to "come along and help" with the next visit to the allergist. You might just want to schedule a checkup (whether he needs it or not) and have both in laws there for the consult. I would do something like this due to the closeness of the families. Sooner they are educated the better. Also, it has been my experience that some older folks are quite stubborn and will not listen to anyone but a doctor.