New here and I need some advice

Posted on: Sun, 09/12/2004 - 5:30pm
Mom_of5under5's picture
Joined: 09/13/2004 - 09:00

Hi everyone.I am just here looking for some advice.I am lucky enough not to have an allergy issue with any of my children and I feel for you all who do have to worry everyday.

My problem is my son brought home a letter from school last week telling us that there is a peanut/tree nut allergic child in his classroom and for that reason they are going nut free.No problem there,I'm sure I can find other things for my son to eat for the few meals a week that he'll have there.What I am concerned about is the other list of things not allowed.They are saying we are not to use certain things at home that could carry over into the classroom.Certain shampoos,hand creams,laundry detergents ect. The letter gave a few examples of what NOT to use but then went on to ask that we read all labels and gave us a list of ingredients to watch for in products that we may already be using.My problem with this is that I have 5 children that I have to take with me while shopping and I can not possibly stand there and read every single label on shampoos ect.What I am wondering about is if anyone can direct me to a link or some type of infomation on what products ARE safe.

I also have a few questions-can shampoo really cause a problem if this child were to touch my childs hair? Please don't think I'm being picky,I'm just curious.It seemed a bit extreme to me but after doing some looking tonight I'm more confused than ever about all this.So I thought the best place to go would be straight to those who have to deal with this everyday.I was trying to get a safe list from the parents but the school said that they do not want anyone to know who they are for fear of people getting angry with them.They said they are trying to compile a list of things that are safe but I want to know now,not next week.I don't want my child being responsible for harming another child.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Posted on: Sun, 09/12/2004 - 8:53pm
LaurensMom's picture
Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

As a mom of a PA 8 yr old, I sincerely thank you for your understanding and consideration.
About your shampoo question, I honestly do not know if it would cause a problem. Currently there is no magic list that can stay updated for safe products as it would be very volatile. The only way to do this is to read the labels each time a product is purchased. Most PA families tend to have certain products/companies that they trust over others and tend to stay faithful to these brands/products.
I guess I would approach the parent with the open mind you

Posted on: Sun, 09/12/2004 - 9:59pm
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Welcome Mom of 5!
Thanks for coming on here to get more info, and for being so understanding about the dietary restrictions. Believe me, not every parent has shown such kindness and open-mindedness. [img][/img]
If you know who the child is, then I think the above advice is good - definitely approach the parent and ask for guidance.
That said, I know I may get bashed here for saying this, but frankly I think all of the above restrictions are a bit much. I'd never use Cetaphil lotion on myself or my son (macadamia nut oil - who knew?), but would never dream of telling someone else not to use it. I think these are the type of requests that set us back in terms of getting [b]reasonable[/b] requests met.
Granted, I know every child's situation is different, but can we really expect to control for every variable?
One belated thought - is the problem that this child is very sensitive to scented products in general, not just nut derivatives? Kind of like a multiple chemical sensitivity problem? I could understand that better.
OK, let the bashing begin!
[This message has been edited by Going Nuts (edited September 13, 2004).]
[This message has been edited by Going Nuts (edited September 13, 2004).]

Posted on: Sun, 09/12/2004 - 10:36pm
turlisa's picture
Joined: 08/29/2004 - 09:00

Hi Mom of 5,
I too, am a parent of non PA kids, 3 of them, and as I am reading your post I am thinking, that is very resrictive. I can understand a school telling you what you can and cannot bring to school as far as food goes. I can understand the school saying dont bring any hand lotions etc to school, but I think that the school telling you what you can and cant use in your own home is going a bit too far. With that being said, I dont know this child and dont know what reactions he can have to what.
My suggestion would be, since I saw that the parents want to remain anonymous, is write a letter to them, telling them of your situation and request that they send you a list of the products they are currently using, or what they know is safe right now, and I would give the letter to the school to give to them.
That way should any other parent need that information, the school has it available.
Lisa, Mom of:
Samantha 6 yrs NFA
Robby & Becky 3yrs NFA
as a NON PA/FA parent, I am here for you to pick my brain of how one might be thinking, so pick away. As always, what I post is my opinion only.

Posted on: Sun, 09/12/2004 - 10:36pm
belee's picture
Joined: 08/19/2004 - 09:00

I have to agree with Amy. This does seem way too much to ask of other people. I can understand the food issues, but really, laundry soap??
I'll say something that I'm probably going to get bashed for myself, (to the lady that originally posted)....
Most laundry detergents, hand soaps and lotions and shampoos are safe. (unless they specifically say "Almond nut scent, etc.")
With 5 children, I totally understand your dilemma. So I wouldn't even worry about those items. My opinion is that if this person is THAT sensitive to certain ingredients, then he/she wouldn't be able to go out in public, to church, to sporting events, friend's houses, holiday gatherings, anywhere.
Before you all start thinking that I must be one of those lax parents, I'm not at all!
I have a very strict comfort zone with my PA child, i.e. we don't even eat in restaurants.
But I can't imagine asking every person we come in contact with to avoid using certain shampoos or laundry soaps.
As far as the food items go, in general, items that commonly may contain peanuts/nuts are: store-bought cookies and baked goods, candy-especially chocolate, granola bars, bakery items, cheese and cracker sandwiches.
I know there's more, but the person that posted has asked for help, so that's what I'm trying to do.
P.S. My suggestions in this post are NOT for PA kids and their parents! This advice is specifically for the parent who posted the original message!
[This message has been edited by belee (edited September 13, 2004).]

Posted on: Sun, 09/12/2004 - 11:31pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Thank you for coming here for advice. You are very kind and thoughtful to look into this situation further.
I know that every child is different as far as their sensitivity etc. I would say that I am somewhat amazed that the school would go as far as to listing shampoos, soaps, etc. i think that it is a bit overboard. I think that these types of requests do not help the Peanut/Tree Nut allergic community in that it seems very radical and inconvenient for most people.
Basic education about reading labels in foods and cross contamination is a good start, but going over to personal hygiene products is a lot to ask and could breed a lot of resentment and ire with parents.
I don't think it is too much to ask that parents refrain from bringing in foods that contain or actual peanut/nuts to be eaten in school considering the circumstances and risks.
I think that the school would be more successful in dealing with the food and the child would probably be safe unless there are extreme circumstances that we aren't aware of.
Thank you for caring & good luck.

Posted on: Sun, 09/12/2004 - 11:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I am so impressed by y'all. [img][/img]
Come on everyone - group {{{hug}}}.
Mom of 5 - I'm an adult with pa, so I'm going to leave this question to the parents to answer.
But, if you don't mind, I have a few questions that might help other parents here.
Did this letter from school just come *out of the blue* to you, or did you know there was a child with a severe allergy and this was possible?
Was a letter the first/only notice from the school, or did they have a meeting?
Are other parents at the school as understanding, caring, and compassionate as you are about this?
These are very important questions to parents on this board. So many have had to fight tooth and nail, and many weren't asking half as much as what you have been asked to do.
Take care, and thanks for caring. [img][/img]

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 12:30am
AJSMAMA's picture
Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Mom_of5under5:
[b]My problem is my son brought home a letter from school last week telling us that there is a peanut/tree nut allergic child in his classroom and for that reason they are going nut free. They are saying we are not to use certain things at home that could carry over into the classroom. Certain shampoos,hand creams,laundry detergents ect. Thanks for any help you can offer.[/b]
My son is allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts just like this child in your son's classroom. I can tell you that my son will break out immediately in hives if someone touches him wearing a lotion containing almond oil.
I have never seen him react to shampoo.
If you could just tell us what your normal brands (laundry soap, softener, lotions, etc...) are we can tell you if we have had problems with any of them.
Thanks for being so considerate. I wish all of the parents in my son's class were as thoughtful.

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 12:58am
toomanynuts's picture
Joined: 08/23/2003 - 09:00

Hi Mom of 5under5!
You most certainly have your hands full! I would say talk directly to the parents of the child with the allergies if you can and ask them for speficics about the Shampoos and Detergents. Maybe there is one that the child is particularly sensitive to and then you could be assured that that is not the one you are using.
That being said my dd is contact reactive to peanuts and tree nuts but have never reacted to anyones shampoo as far as playing with her friends - we don't use any nut products in our home but outside the home we can't say what others do. My dd has reacted to lotions and detergent in someone elses home so that may be an issue with this child as well.
Best thing to do is ask the parent what they need to avoid to keep the child safe besides the obvious foods and nuts. They may be able to give you the information you are looking for.
Thank you for coming in and posting and I am sure that this parent will appreciate your willingness and also understand your situation as well.
Take care and hope to hear from you again!

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 1:02am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

As a parent of PA children, Thank you for being so considerate and understanding. I am not going to say if this is extreme or not, because quite frankly we don't know the extent of this child's reactions.
What advice I would give you is start at home with the products you already use and see if you find any peanut/nut oils in the ingredients of the products you already purchase. If you don't then continue to buy what you do. Then just wait until they compile a list for the parents in the school. I completely understand about reading labels and having children with you at the store. It does take longer to shop and it is not easy, but some of us do it for a life and death situation.
Oh, you can also go to the search engine on this page and put in "soaps" and read threads to what might be safe.
Thank you again for being such a considerate, kind person!

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 4:07am
mommyofmatt's picture
Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

I don't even know how you had time to type this email LOL!!
While I don't know the child's medical history, this sounds excessive to me too. I really appreciate you taking the time to try to keep this child safe when you have your hands full.
To keep it the simplest for you, I too would look at your current soaps/shampoos etc, and if you don't see anything with nuts, then assume they're safe for now. If the parents want to remain anonymous, then the school should get a list of UNSAFE shampoos/lotions from the parents of the child with allergies.
It should be up to them to do the research and provide as much information to the other parents who are trying to help.
A few things off the top of my head:
Cetaphil lotion has almond oil
Bath & Body Works shampoos and lotions frequently include nuts in their ingredients. My ds reacted to shampoo residue in the tub from them. It was disguised as "hydrolized vegetable protein".
Thanks again for your caring and compassion!
Meg, mom to:
Matt 2 yrs. PA,MA,EA
Sean 2 yrs. NKA
[This message has been edited by mommyofmatt (edited September 13, 2004).]


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