Hi. I'm new here. a few months ago i gave my son a little

Posted on: Tue, 08/07/2018 - 3:39pm
amerikanegirl87's picture
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Joined: 08/07/2014 - 22:26

Hi. I'm new here. a few months ago i gave my son a little peanut butter and he broke out in hives all over his face and neck and where his diaper is, his eyes and ears swelled up and got red, and he was itching his eyes and ears a lot. since that first time we didn't give him anymore peanut products and we got his blood tested last week to confirm whether or not he has an allergy to peanuts. We just got it confirmed by our sons pediatrician yesterday that he has a high allergy to peanuts. He's only 1 year old. We have epipens on hand now and i'm thankful for that. but now i'm trying to educate myself on this allergy, and trying not to worry like a crazy woman, and i'm feeling a little overwhelmed because this is a big change and a serious one. anyway, i dont even know if i'm posting in the right place, but i'm just looking for more information about any good books on the topic or websites, or any tips you could give me on how to handle this allergy from here on out. like how did you handle your child's allergy through the toddler years and elementary school etc. did you just tell them not to share food with anyone at all and did you always make food for them? did you not go out to restaurants to eat or bring their own food to eat? did you make them wash their hands a lot? i don't know... i just have so many questions and would love to hear from any of you about what your advice is on the topic in general. we still are going to be chatting with his pediatrician more about possible allergy testing for tree nuts and maybe seeing a specialist, but for now, i would love to hear any information you have to offer. thanks in advance.

Posted on: Wed, 08/13/2014 - 7:08am
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Joined: 06/06/2014 - 08:02

Hi, I can't really give advice on toddler years and elemantary schools as my son is also only a year old and was diagnosed about 3 months ago. I can tell you that we bought "The Peanut Allergy Answer Book" and so far that has educated us along with the website FARE. We are very careful what we give him now as he also tested postive to some tree nuts and we met with a great allergist that answered all of our questions. We do take him out to restaurants and I always tell the manager or waitstaff right away that he is allergic to all nuts and they need to tell the chef when preparing his food. We are kind of learning as well go, reading alot of labels and just trying to make sure what he eats is safe for him. It's very overwhelming, but I do feel that the more knowledge that I have the more empowered I feel to protect him. The challenges I'm sure will increase when he goes to grade school, but it is my job to educate him as he gets older to protect himself and never be afraid to ask questions about any food we are unsure about. My best advice is to educate yourself as much as possible, talk to a good allergist, if you have friends with kids who have allergies as I do talk to them and the best advice I got so far from our doctor was to be careful without being neurotic. I want my son to be careful, but not live in fear. I wish you and your family well, hopefully one day there will be a cure to this scary allergy and our kids can eat whatever they want!

Posted on: Thu, 08/14/2014 - 9:06am
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Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, PeanutAllergy.com is answering one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
Hi there! First of all, welcome to the PA community. At first, it can be extremely overwhelming to navigate through an allergy diagnosis, but we are here to help!
For general information on peanut allergies, readers on peanutallergy.com recommend “No Nuts For Me,” especially for a young boy. Also, there is a wealth of information right here on the site. This video has tips on how to parent a child with a food allergy. This post will help you find safe places to eat so that you and your child can dine with peace of mind.
Through the toddler and elementary school years, it is highly recommended you educate your son about the dangers of consuming peanuts. Since it may not be possible to always ensure a peanut-free environment, this step is very important. Tell him to avoid food sharing because cross-contamination is common in packaged foods. When you pack him a lunch yourself, you will be confident that it is completely peanut-free. Additionally, make sure parents and teachers are informed of his allergy to avoid accidents and misunderstandings.
Hand washing is highly recommended for children with and without food allergies. If a child without a peanut allergy has peanut residue on their hands, hand washing will remove most of it. Similarly, if a child does have a peanut allergy and accidentally gets residue on their hand, hand washing will help prevent the spread of the allergen to their nose, mouth, or eyes. Here is a post with more information.
We asked our Facebook fans to share their thoughts on your question. You can read their helpful feedback here.

Posted on: Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:29pm
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Joined: 08/14/2014 - 13:10

Hi, my daughter was diagnosed when she was 2 and is now 6 going into first grade. I would like to share some tips I've learned along the way. What has worked best for us and seemed to be the least confusing for our daughter has been to tell her never to eat anything that mommy or daddy hasn't approved first. This has helped once she started school. I received phone calls where she wouldn't eat a birthday treat that had peanut free on the label bc I didn't read it first. I've been in situations where someone wanted to give her something they thought was safe but she asked me first and it was not. Companies are required to label if a product "contains" one of the top allergens but they are not required to label if it "may contains" through cross contamination. We only give her products from the companies that label voluntarily for "may contain". Her only reaction after being diagnosed was to Entenmanns choc chip mini muffins bc they don't label for may contain, that is how we learned that rule. There is a great website http://snacksafely.com/ that has a list of safe products. We don't buy bulk due to the high risk of cross contamination. I also recommend FARE website for information. If you are interested they have a list of local support groups http://www.foodallergy.org/support-groups. We purchased "No Nuts For Me" when our daughter was little, it was a good book for her age. We try to explain that even though she has to do things a little different, that is one of the things that makes her special and that everyone has something that makes them different. Her grandma is allergic to eggs, her uncle has diabetes, mommy can't eat spicy foods etc. We have a rule that we don't bring anything she can't eat in the house and if we are eating out, we won't order anything she can't have. We like to say "peanut free family" when someone offers us something and we want our home to be a safe zone for her. We stick to restaurants that have allergen menus on their website. Most big chains do and we also have been comfortable with pizza places. Something else to mention is that not all products that contain peanuts are food. There are peanut shells in miracle grow, many bird seeds and dog treats to name a few. Here is a longer list http://www.bestallergysites.com/unusual-and-unexpected-sources-of-peanut/ We have a 504 plan for her at school. This helps keep everyone on the same page and holds the school legally responsible if they don't follow the plan and she has a reaction. We actually moved school districts because where we were did not take her allergy seriously after speaking with them on the phone. I called around the area and spoke with all the school nurses to find the best fit. Her school she is in has peanut free classrooms, a peanut free lunch table for her and take her allergy very seriously. http://www.foodallergy.org/advocacy/section-504-plans. I know it seems like too much information but it really becomes a routine and you get used to the life style change quickly. She hasn't had a reaction in 4 years so we will keep up with the way we do things but it is all about your comfort level. Hand washing is key, hand sanitizer does not get the peanut protein off, you have to use soap and water. If someone eats peanuts the residue doesn't leave your saliva by brushing your teeth. There have been studies that show you have to wait a few hours and then after eating another meal it will be gone. Sorry to throw so much info on here but I hope some of it is helpful to you and doesn't stress you out more. I noticed you wrote about tree nuts, our daughter is only allergic to peanuts but the Dr has always told us to avoid tree nuts too due to the high risk of cross contamination

Posted on: Sun, 08/17/2014 - 2:50am
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Joined: 07/08/2013 - 11:36

Hello, so sorry to hear of your son's allergy. Our daughter was first diagnosed when she was two. It changed the way we looked at food and packaging, restaurants.. We stopped kissing her on the lips just to be careful. I was scared to send her to birthday parties so I went with her and parked myself right next to her. I learned to bring her own piece of cake that I made but it was still heartbreaking to see her cry and wonder why she couldn't have the princess cake like all the other kids. School was a huge fear for me. I ended up writing and illustrating a children's book about the allergy called, "Squirrell's Peanut Allergy" about a little squirrel living and coping with her allergy. We lived in Canada at the time and she went to a small school who was willing to go "peanut free" but that was still such a broad definition to me. Peanut free means a lot of different things to a peanut free family than someone else who doesn't have a child with a life threatening allergy. I must say Canada is great with their peanut free products and there are many companies getting on board. We then moved to Florida when she was in grade two and we were told that her epipen had to remain locked in a cabinet in the nurses office. Our allergist told us about the Kelsey Ryan act that allows a child with a severe allergy to keep it with them. She always wore her epipen in a little bag around her waist under her shirt. I made sure we talked to the teachers and principal about our concerns and what procedures were in place. You really have to take charge. Peanut free products were not as easy to find. We now live in bermuda and our daughter is now 14. We have never once (knock on wood) had to use her epipen. I still carry one with me at all times and now she carries one with her as well now that she goes out with friends etc. She is very responsible with it and she has a great group of friends who watch out for her. My big fear now is boyfriends someday. One kiss from someone whose eaten a peanut could be deadly. As for restaurants, most are great nowadays. We always tell them to make a note for the chef that she has an allergy. Some places like "five guys" for example we can't go to because there are peanuts everywhere. You can never be too careful. We never allow "May contain" products. That's too risky. If you'd like you can check out my website, www.tanyadawnrichards.com I have a link to my book. Hope this helps. Good luck with all this. It's really a manageable allergy. Just read labels, always! Voice your concerns with other people who are in contact with your son and explain the seriousness of the allergy. The biggest advice I can give you is to teach your child about the allergy at an early age so that they can watch out for themselves when you're not there. Our daughter knew to just say no to snacks and candy from other people. It just gives you piece of mind knowing that they'll know how to handle it when you can't be there. Good luck with all this. It'll be ok. It just becomes your new "normal".

Posted on: Sun, 08/17/2014 - 3:38am
Shadifiras's picture
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Joined: 11/15/2013 - 08:18

Hi, and welcome to the community , my advice to you as father to 7 years old child with many allergies peanuts and tree nuts is to educate your self, your child and the people dealing with your child how sever the allergy is . Washing hands is great idea , packing his food and snacks if you are visiting friends or relatives and do not be shy to explain to them his allergy, there is many restaurants out there has an allergy Menu talk to them they will work out with you.
Toddlers and school age will be very challenge educate his school or day care People and make sure you include for them the emergency plan that you can find on the web site and ask your day care or school to talk to your school or day care 504 plan coordinator so you can all sit down and creat that 504 plan .
You can find more about 504 plan on FARE which is food allergy research & education .
And good luck.

Posted on: Sun, 08/17/2014 - 4:43am
lheffler's picture
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Joined: 08/27/2013 - 18:05

How common is it to have a 504 plan for school? My highly peanut allergic child starts Kindergarten in 2 weeks and I don't have one. My allergist didn't seem to think it was necessary. I am in the Western New York area and am curious if others in the area have a 504 plan. The school seems to be very proactive about keeping him safe and will provide a peanut free "zone" at the class lunch table or provide a separate peanut free table at my request. They said classroom will also be "peanut free".

Posted on: Sun, 08/17/2014 - 5:39am
Shadifiras's picture
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Joined: 11/15/2013 - 08:18

Your eligibility for the 504 plan is not by your area or state . It's a federal laws and regulations to help your son and all kids that has any kinds of allergies as far as the educations goes by law his day care or school requires to have a peanut free lunch table for example , peanuts free class room ,and somebody in school or day care to be trained to give Epi-Pen ,school buss driver to be trained , Epi-pen in school or daycare stock law.. Etc.
Ask your dr or health professional about it you will know.

Posted on: Sun, 08/17/2014 - 6:16am
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Joined: 11/15/2013 - 08:18

Feel free to e-mail at rossjaber@gmail.com for any question or concerns

Posted on: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:05am
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Joined: 08/19/2014 - 14:00

I am in a similar position amerikanegirl87 - my son will be 1 next month and just tested positive for a peanut allergy after some unexplained reactions (red splotch/swelling/hives). I feel so overwhelmed and lost and don't even know where to start with things.

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