Need Help Reasuring My 5 yr old Daughter

Posted on: Mon, 11/01/1999 - 12:46am
MaryLynn's picture
Joined: 06/25/1999 - 09:00

Hi! I'm MaryLynn and have been posting for a while. My daughter is five and in kindergarten and is starting to understnd the far reaching affects her food allergies have. She is anaphalactic to peanuts, very allergic to soy, and is also allergic to all tree nuts, peas and coconuts. We also may be dealing with an allergy to licorice as we had a reaction last night after she ate a small bite.

My concern is that recently she has been getting upset and telling me it's no fair that everyone else can eat what they want and I can't. She has also started limiting what she eats to foods that are asily recognizable, whole apples, spaghetti with sauce that looks red "without stuff in it", bread, homemade cookies, and other long term "safe food". I don't mind the change in her diet as that fluctuates on a monthly basis, but am concerned with her out look on food allergies and living life without letting fear take over.

If anyone has ideas for how to talk to a 5 year old who is coming to understand that a bite of the wrong thing could mean a trip to the hospital it would be appreciated.

Just an aside, she has had 2 reactions which led to an ER visit last spring and I also think she is starting to understand that death is a possibility for everyone, just that if she eats somethin that means death, but it does not mean death for the rest of the kids in kindergarten.

Thanks for your time


Posted on: Mon, 11/01/1999 - 3:45am
Christine's picture
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

Mary Lynn,
Unfortunately, I don't have any words of wisdom for you; however, I wanted you to know that my son is going through the same thing. He will be 5 in December and in the last 3 months or so, he has really become conscious of his allergy and that he is "different." He asks me all the time now why he has to be allergic to eggs and peanuts. He wants to know if it was because "God didn't think he was cute." I don't know where he came up with that one!!! He has also become increasingly anxiety ridden about his food. He doesn't want to try new things now and I almost have to force him to eat something a little different. He actually has to watch me read the label and then he might relax a bit. It does bother me to seem him get so uptight but this will probably be a good thing for him.

Posted on: Tue, 11/02/1999 - 3:51pm
Renee's picture
Joined: 09/02/1999 - 09:00

Mary Lynn,
I would suggest you introduce your child to another child with food allergies. On Halloween I met a mom (in my neighborhood) by chance who has a son with PA. I took my daughter(4) to visit him (5) and the exchange between the two was amazing. It was like a connection was made.
My daughter also enjoys reading about the other kids in Food Allergy Networks (FAN) Kids News letter. She also enjoys the movie "Alexander the Elephant who couldnt eat peanuts", available through FAN.
Hope this helps.

Posted on: Wed, 11/03/1999 - 3:18am
Liz's picture
Joined: 01/17/1999 - 09:00

I don't have any answers for your daughter,
except that resenting the other people who are happily noshing away on something you shouldn't even be in the room with, is perfectly normal. I'm 39 and I STILL have moments.
I should also point out that real licorice is a legume - and if your child is soy and pea allergic as well as pa, she should be avoiding that too. I am allergic to all of the legumes (there may be one out there that I don't react to, but I haven't found it) and of all the things that I can't eat, black licorice is missed the most.
All I can say about life, is live it. Pick a couple of cuisines that don't have a heavy emphasis on peanuts or soy, teach her to cook for herself (yes I know she's 5, but mixing, measuring things and washing veg should be ok) and try to develop entertaining things to do with friends and family that are not food centered.

Posted on: Mon, 11/15/1999 - 1:13am
MaryLynn's picture
Joined: 06/25/1999 - 09:00

Thanks for your suggestion of picking some cuisines that she can eat. She already helps a lot in the kitchen with the baking that I do and having her help with the dinner preparations would not be that much harder.
I am finnaly hooking up with a suport group and hope to meet some one there that will be willing to work out a play date.
Thanks for all your help.

Posted on: Sun, 11/21/1999 - 3:32am
Coco's picture
Joined: 03/14/1999 - 09:00

Last year (kindergarten) I heard one of the chums at school ask my son if he "could die" from a peanut. I quietly listened as my son explained that this would not happen as he wears two epi-pens and would go to the hospital if there was a problem. He further explained that he always washes his hands right before he eats things and that he eats things that come from his home. There is a great deal of stress connected to this allergy, no question.
I think that it is very important for the kids to feel that they are (to some degree) in charge of their own safety. The word death is frightening and doesn't seem to serve these children very well. It is very important to have a healthy view ie take precaution rather than to live in constant fear.

Posted on: Tue, 11/30/1999 - 10:58am
bakermom's picture
Joined: 11/30/1999 - 09:00

Hi there, this is my first post on this board. My son, now just over 4yrs old was found to be PA when he was around one year old. We have been dealing with this on our own until recently. I have been saying to him for 3 years, "lets focus on what you CAN have instead of what you can't" then we list of a number of his favorite foods together. I hear my family saying, "poor little thing." and I resist joining them. I must be vigilant and firm when dealing with his allergy and with other people. I don't tell him that he could die. For my son getting very sick and going to the emergency room is enough. I also thank him when he reminds me to check a label, although he is too young to be "expected" to remind anyone. I bake. I have become a baker because of our life changeing PA. He goes to pre-school and I take him a special snack every time he goes. the other kids (only 4 yr olds) are very accepting of his "special" snacks. A problem I encountered recently is that another child "poked" at my ds snack after handling his chocolate and nut brownie. I stopped him before he touched it! close call. I go to school with him. My ds is also allergic to eggs and chocolate, and more we are just discovering. It's quite an adventure.

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