Need Advice, excursions with 19 month PA child

Posted on: Wed, 08/07/2002 - 12:10am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

pHello,br /
Our son Neil is an active 19 month old boy. He was diagnosed at 13 months with PA. We have been more or less living in a bubble, keeping him safe from accidental exposure through extremely limited store trips, the occaisional restaurant experience, some library trips, etc... I am so worried about him coming in contact with the usual toddler slime (our other boy is 4 1/2, not PA). I would like to venture out more with both boys, to the Aquarium, kid's museums, the toddler park, but I am ultra sensitive about him touching something that can make him react. He is less interested in sitting in a stroller and wants to be out and about. How have you handled the early toddler years? We went to the local one ring traveling circus recently, and of course there were peanut shells lying about, the local Lion's club sold them as a fundraiser. My husband and I spent the entire time holding on to him, or placing him on our shoulders. We should have left, but my husband thought I was being too paranoid, and we were there because my 4 year old wanted to see the circus. How did the toddler years affect your family outings? Where did you feel safe, and not safe?/p
p------------------br /
Neil's Mom/p

Posted on: Wed, 08/07/2002 - 1:41am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I think you are feeling this way because your son was diagnosed so recently, and he is still very young. When my son was 19 months old I was always worried about what he might react to, but you do get more comfortable as time goes by. For one thing, when they're older and talking more, you'll feel like they can tell you if something is wrong and they are uncomfortable. Once my son was really talking I started feeling much more relaxed.
There's no reason to live in a bubble. I would avoid a circus with peanuts all over the floor, but there's no reason to avoid the Aquarium. At first, if you're nervous, you just have to force yourself to do it. When you see everything turns out fine, you will get more and more comfortable doing things.
Your son will miss too much if you continue to avoid going out because of fear. It's natural to feel fear, but I think the only way around it is to force yourself to go out and you will gradually "desensitize" yourself. Find a few places that seem like they'd be pretty safe, start going there and then branch out into more places and situations.
My son is 6. We avoid ballparks and circuses and there are only a few restaurants we take him to, but other than that we go everywhere and do everything. Life is good!
Believe me, it will get easier. Good luck!!

Posted on: Wed, 08/07/2002 - 4:17am
JacquelineL-B's picture
Joined: 02/14/2002 - 09:00

Here's what I carry to make me feel safe when having an outing with my two year old who has multiple allergies/asthma/eczema:
*epinephrine - 2 with my dh, 2 with me
*albuterol inhaler
*a cell phone
*wipes with water, wipes with alcohol
*list with phone numbers, medications, allergy history
*long sleeved shirt and pants
*safe snacks and beverages
Our family philosophy has been that it doesn't hurt to show up and try a place, knowing that we can leave at any time. I try to call ahead to places and make sure that there's no obvious nuts sold. We've also made traditions of going to places where food is not permitted, such as libraries and museums.
Perhaps role playing for an emergancy would be helpful. It's husband's job to do ABC, while I do 123...
Preparation is the best relaxer for anxiety.

Posted on: Wed, 08/07/2002 - 6:15am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks for the replys, Sandra and Jacqueline.
The role playing never occured to us, who does what when, and I will certainly have my husband work this out with me. I am going to plan the aquarium trip although I remember a big concession stand near the entrance and worry about the possibility of unsafe foods in the immediate vicinity. We always pack our own safe drinks and snacks and remind our older son that those places are for people who "Forgot" to bring treats with them. I realize that as time goes by it will get easier, or at least less sstressful, but you are right about branching out. One step at a time.

Posted on: Wed, 08/07/2002 - 7:47am
AJSMAMA's picture
Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

My son is just a bit older than yours. I agree that you become less anxious as time goes by. I have known about the allergy for almost two years now. I do let him play at the park and at the nice play area at our mall (but not in cold and flu season). I always stay by his side and wipe his hands off when we are done. He doesn't seem to react from anything on his skin so I feel okay about this. I also take him to the zoo weekly (we have a membership). If you don't have a zoo near you try taking him to a pet store (my son also loves this.) My husband works for a university so sometimes I take him to the campus in the summer and let him run around on the greens. He just loves to be out-as I am sure yours does too.

Posted on: Wed, 08/07/2002 - 9:45am
nopeanuts's picture
Joined: 06/20/2001 - 09:00

My son is a toddler too and I worry about taking him out a lot. The one thing I try and do (besides what has been suggested above) is to really talk to him about it - telling him to remember not to put his hands in his mouth/eyes, not pick up paper/trash from the floor, etc and he knows that this is because they "may have nuts on them". I don't think he understands what a nut is, but he knows some precautions he has to take because of them. Of course he doesn't always remember, but I feel like I am giving him a chance to practice and deal with these things for when I am not there.

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