Hi, my name is Sarah. We just found out my one year old son has a peanut and egg allergy. His allergist said his egg allergy was moderate but the peanut allergy was significant. Anthony also has complex congenital heart defects, for which he has had 2 heart surgeries, one being just over a month ago. Needless to say, I am pretty freaked out by this! I already worry so much about his health as a result of his defects, now this! I am just wondering what life is like with a peanut allergy. Should my whole house should go nut free? Is it safe to have products that were processed with peanuts in the house even if he doesn't eat them? Should Anthony's older sisters be allowed to eat peanut butter at other peoples houses? What about eating at restaurants or other peoples houses? Should Anthony wear a alert bracelet? I have a million questions so any advice would be appreciated Sarah
On Sep 21, 2005
I'm glad you found this group, it's been a big help to me. Most of your questions relate to finding your comfort zone with the peanut allergy. Having older children with no allergy makes things a little more complicated, doesn't it! You may want to talk to your doctor about what is safe for your son. Since he is a toddler, it would probably be a good idea to eliminate peanuts from the house. If you want to have items that "may contain peanuts" due to possible cross-contamination, you could put stickers on them, or put them on a certain shelf so everyone remembers not to give them to your son.
We have decided to eliminate peanuts (including "may contain" items), nuts and eggs from our house. For me, it is peace of mind! I don't have to worry about cooking utensils and surfaces being contaminated, or accidently feeding someone the wrong thing. My kids are young, though and don't feel deprived as they have never been able to eat the forbidden foods.
If you, your husband, or older kids eat peanuts away from home, I would recommend washing your hands and face before touching or kissing your son--just to be on the safe side! Bring safe food for your son to restaurants and wipe off the table and high chair with wipes before you put him in there. We learned this the hard way after several accidentdal exposures and reactions to food at restaurants.
A MedicAlert bracelet is a really good idea! You can order it online at [url="http://www.medicalert.org"]www.medicalert.org[/url] If your son is ever separated from you, it could save his life. Make sure you have his Epipen with him at all times, even short trips. With these precautions, you will be managing the risks and that will make you feel safer. As you become more experienced with peanut allergy you will find your comfort zone, too.
I hope this helps!
------------------ Mom to 6 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 2 1/2 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.
On Oct 27, 2005
I don't want to scare you - but due to his age and the fact that he has heart problems, you really don't want to have to give him the Epipen unless it is absolutely necessary. I would remove anything from your house that you think might contain a peanut or other nuts!!! If your older children eat peanuts outside of the house - I would be very careful with that as well. I would strongly encourage you to give Chris a call. He is the man who started this website. His little girl had the peanut allergy but grew out of it. He is extremely knowledgeable and will be able to answer your questions. Just make sure you have about an hour or so to talk before you call him. The phone number is somewhere on the website. My little girl who is not quite 2 years old also has the peanut allergy. She is also mildly allergic to eggs. It is stressful especially when you first learn of the allergy. After the initial learning curve, you will be able to develop a plan to keep your little one safe and it will get less stressful. Hope this helps.
------------------ Maria K.