\"owning\" PA

Posted on: Mon, 01/06/2003 - 11:01pm
Dawn's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

We discovered that our son is allergic to peanuts (among other things at the time) when our son was 11 months old. We (I, mainly) had to take full responsibility for this allergy as an 11 month old certainly cannot. Reading labels, screening visitors who want to kiss and snuggle, scrubbing restaurant tables, it all has become 2nd nature in these 4 yrs. And although I have done much of the legwork, and continue to do a lot of it, I do try to release this PA to my son, because I know that ultimately, he is the one who lives with it and needs to know how to survive with it. He knows all our rules and follows them as well (or better) than any 5 year old can. No drinking from a water fountain; no sharing food; all labels must be read; no label, no eat, etc. He can't read himdelf, but always asks if a label has been read, which I expect he will do once he can read. I will not give him full responsibility of this until I am sure he understands what all the ingredients are (or knows how to find out what they are). We role-play different situations to help him learn how to ask in restaurants or at others' houses about food preparation. He is not afraid to tell adults that he can't eat a particular item because of his allergy. There are probably other things we do to teach him about all this, but none come to mind at the moment.
My question? What else do I do? For those of you who have raised children with this allergy to adolescence and beyond - what are some examples of giving them the respsonsibility of it as they get older? What might I start thinking about now? I firmly believe that by starting early, it will not be 2nd nature to him- it will be the only way he knows.
I look forward to any replies.

Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2003 - 12:16am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I think this goes along with the thread "What would you do better" under Main Discussion,so I just raised it. HTH!

Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2003 - 12:42am
Dawn's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Thanks! How did I miss that thread?

Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2003 - 1:07am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Dawn, can't answer your question 'cus my guy's only 7, but I thought MKRuby's Mission Statement (posted here under Living with PA) might be of interest to you as well.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2003 - 1:22am
Dawn's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

I thought of another thing we do - and really need to work harder at - it's making sure JOSH remembers his Epi-pen. I usually have it in my purse, ready to go when we are, but HE needs to make sure it's always with us. I ask "Do you have your Epi?". We are working toward HIM asking this question everytime we leave the house.
Cindy- I think you probably have a lot to offer - my intention isn't to get ideas only from those who have already done it, it's to figure out how to transfer the responsibility as thoroughly as possible. Maybe someone else is doing something I never even thought of.
I'll have to check out MKRuby's mission statement again - I haven't looked at it in awhile. Thanks!
Be safe,

Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2003 - 7:09am
cynde's picture
Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

After my sons last anaphylactic reaction DH and I decided that our son should administer the epi-pen himself next time, he is 8 years old. He knows what it feels like to be having a reaction. We don't want him running around looking for an adult and then trying to convince them what is going on and to administer it. I still teach anyone that spends any time with him what to look for and what to do, just in case he is incapable, and also to know how to help him stay calm and call 911. But he is now owning the decision to use the epi-pen.

Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2003 - 10:03am
mchammond's picture
Joined: 09/21/2000 - 09:00

Just wanted to say that I think you are on the right track. We have "trained" our PA son, now almost 10, to take over the responsibility of his allergy from the time he could point and say "no". From knowing how to use the epi, talk to adults in schools or other social environments, ask questions, read labels, etc. He is fairly self sufficient at this point and my husband and I were even comfortable enough to allow him to go with grandma for a week vacation this year at the boardwalk. The only line we have not yet crossed (and not sure when we will) is having him carry his own meds at school. He does when he goes to a friends house, soccer, etc.. but not at school. good luck, sorry i couldn't give you many more ideas.

Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2003 - 11:50am
Jazz It Up's picture
Joined: 08/19/2002 - 09:00

Hi Dawn,
We found out about our son's allergy at 10 months of age and he will be 9 in April. We have taught him that "this is his allergy" and he knows how to read labels; question people about foods and knows "if he can't read it, he can't eat it."
We have always told him the world will not cater to him and he needs to be responsible for his allergy as he gets older, ect. Well, when you're *telling* your child these words, one really wonders if they soak up what you are saying. Well, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry the other night but we are relocating to Texas the end of next month and our school system here in Florida is exceptional when it comes to peanut allergy. As I was tucking in my 8 year old son he said to me "is my classroom in Texas going to be peanut free like it is here?" I said, "Don't worry about it honey, I will take care of it." My son said, "yeah, but it's *my* allergy." I have never felt prouder than I did in that very moment.
I reassured him we would handle it *together* and a smile came across his face. My eyes watered up...and he went to sleep feeling safe.
He was sooo put in my life for a reason. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Stay Safe!

Posted on: Fri, 01/10/2003 - 9:42am
Dawn's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

I thought of another: Might be obvious, but those little ones who never grew up with pb just might not know what it looks like. My son didn't! We'd spent so much time avoiding it, he'd never even seen it. Now, he knows what pb looks like, and he knows what a peanut looks like.

Posted on: Sun, 01/12/2003 - 4:26am
skanb's picture
Joined: 05/24/2001 - 09:00

I'm glad you posted that. We realized the same thing, and now ds recognizes what PB looks like, what in-shell and out-of-shell pns look like, and is now able to recognize labels of cookies (like nutter-butters) and candy (snickers) that absolutely are NEVER safe. He knows that skittles and jolly ranchers USUALLY are, so always asks first. I have had him start asking about safety when we are out - for instance at restaurants. He is not yet able to clearly explain what he wants to know (cross-contamination,etc), but he is able to explain why and how serious it is. People tend to take him more seriously after he explains. He is now 7, and is learning to read so labels come next. He knows how to administer his epi-pen, and we have just recently taught him what his benedryl dose is and how to read the measurer he carries with his benedryl (liquid). I am curious how much he will recall when he needs it, but I can only do my best, and take note of what works when he next needs the information. Like Dawn asked, what am I forgetting? Thanks, Kristi

Posted on: Mon, 01/13/2003 - 5:04am
Nicole1401's picture
Joined: 12/27/2002 - 09:00

Unintentionally, my 18 month old daughter knows to take her epipen with her every time we leave the house. In order for them to be accessible for me and my husband, we hang the bag over the doorknob to our garage. Apparently she has noticed that this is something we always take with us when we leave the house because now when I tell her to get her shoes because we are going on a car ride, she grabs the epipen bag too. Obviously, she is too small to actually be responsible for this so for now it is just kind of cute. But, after reading these posts, it seems we have lucked into training her into this habit.


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