obsessive hand washing

Posted on: Fri, 01/03/2014 - 10:14am
shiftyboo's picture
Joined: 01/03/2014 - 17:06

My 15year old son is allergic to peanuts and tree nut...we have been battling with his school to become more aware. On Halloween of this year the teachers ignored our request for no food in classrooms and brought in candy (peanut butter cups) since then I have noticed my son is obsessed with washing his hands and is afraid to touch anything. I was wondering if anyone else has had this happened and if anyone has any advice on what I can do to make his day to day life a little easier. Living with allergies is hard enough.
thank you in advance

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:24am
PeanutAllergy.com's picture
Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, PeanutAllergy.com is answering one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
Having a peanut allergy can be scary at times. While it is great that your son is washing his hands frequently and trying to prevent allergic reactions, the fear he has could hinder his enjoyment of life.
Here are some tips to help ease his fear:

  • - Have him carry hand wipes so that he can wipe down any surface.
  • - Speak to his friends and their parents. They can look out for him when he is at school or at one of their houses.
  • - Talk openly with him about his fear and instill confidence in him.
  • - Although he is a teenager, have him practice using his epinephrine auto-injector (if he has been prescribed one). Make sure he knows what to do in the event of an allergic reaction.
  • - Encourage him to talk to a school counselor. A counselor may be able to help with his feelings of fear as well.
  • - When dining out, have him order his food and communicate with the staff. It will give him more confidence when you are not present.

We asked our Facebook fans for their help, and you can read what they had to say here.
What other tips do you have for this parent?

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:35am
mom1995's picture
Joined: 11/09/2004 - 09:00

To start I am so sorry for the trama your son has experienced. I wish I could say I am shocked but I to have seen this very thing with my own daughter. At 15 I am guessing he is high school? I would almost be willing to bet that in the student handbook or the conduct code some where one of the rules is no food or drink in the class room. It is a silly rule to some and all too often NOT followed. Should I be right there is your way to hold them accountable. Set the tone that you will not tolerate it any longer and if need be you will take the next step. Be stern but let them ponder what the next step is.
As for the effect it has had on your son you can do all you can to help him understand that he is ok and to not let his allergy rule his life. Then I would seek professional help and when you are talking to the Principal and the School Dist 504 Cordinator let them know they are responsible for this. As educators they ARE responsible for the safety of your son and they willfully endangered him. That is called "Endangerment of a child". He has suffered trama as a result of their negligent behavior. There are so many ways to spell this out for them in legal terms but in the end you just want them to provide a safe environment and help your son work thru his anxiety..
I could go on and on but in the end just help your son understand he has to live life and enjoy every moment. Our daughter went thru the same fear issue when it came time to go from elementry to middle school. She went so far as to want to be home schooled. We spent that summer going to see a professional and learning how to handle the stress and all that. She went to middle school and is a very empowered young lady now. So don;t lose hope and even if your mama bear heart wnats to protect and keep safe remeber that life is out there and we have to teach them how to handle it.
Good luck and know this site is a GREAT source of comfort and advice. Even the oppinions you don't agree with give you food for thought.

Posted on: Sun, 01/19/2014 - 2:21am
jap's picture
Joined: 08/11/2013 - 08:33

Unbelievable, illegal practice, where is the 504 plan ?
I have to say that you only get what the 504 plan states and this behavior should have been avoided under a pre existing plan.
I would pull him out of school and file an unsafe environment grievance and only have him return when an expectable 504 plan is in place.
As for the hand washing maybe other issues are contributing to that who can say ??
I am going to post her care plan for all to see, hope this helps.
Copy and Paste this link to find the care plan

Posted on: Sun, 01/19/2014 - 2:45am
Mrsdocrse's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Sorry to hear this. My son went through a period like that. He is 13, in middle school. He started doing that too. We also kind of got a bit paranoid about touching things. I just re assured him that he just needs to wash his hand before he eats, don't touch eyes and keep your epi pen with you. Also, I reminded him that he has gone years with out a reaction (except minor mystery hives). I said you go out to eat, go to school touch things all day and have been fine… so he is doing all he can do to help himself…. He also carry the little packages of wipes in his back pack and lunch box.

Posted on: Tue, 01/28/2014 - 10:45am
rpkw513's picture
Joined: 01/28/2014 - 17:28

Totally agree -- 504! This protects our children..

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