PA Adults take more risks

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 1:55am
Caterina2's picture
Joined: 02/14/2001 - 09:00

pSince my daughter had her first reaction to peanuts 2 1/2 years ago, I have met many PA children and adults. Most of the PA adults that I have met and talked to about this allergy don't seem to be strict on the foods they eat. When I mention how hard it is especially with cross-contaminated foods, they have all told me that they have lived with their allergy for a long time and feel comfortable eating baked goods, chinese food, labels containing "may contain", restaurant foods, etc. When I hear this, I think "Am I being too cautious with my child". I guess when you're a parent and are totally responsible for your child, you will do everything you can to protect your child. A lot of these adults who were PA children grew up at a time when peanut allergies were not that common and therefore did not have all the literature we have today on how life threatening it really is. Has anyone else met PA adults who take more risks./p

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 4:06am
BENSMOM's picture
Joined: 05/20/2000 - 09:00

Caterina2, I too have met PA adults who take more "risks." I think part of it is lack of education of how potentially serious it is. I also think part of it is that they know their own bodies. An adult can probably tell immediately if a reaction is coming on, and can stop eating and take medication. A child doesn't know that, and a parent can tell if a child's mouth is itchy or stomach is a little upset. I have met 3 or 4 adult PAs and none of them carry an epi-pen.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 6:33am
Mich's picture
Joined: 09/16/1999 - 09:00

I am one of those PA adults that take risks. I eat foods with may contain labels and don't carry an epipen, I eat baked goods and on a rare occasion chinese food. I don't take risks because of lack of education, I have been thoroughly educated, but Caterina2 you are right I grew up when it wasn't common and people didn't know that much about it. I also think part of it is that I do know my own body and can detect peanut from a long way away. My doctor gave me a perscription for an epipen but I haven't filled it which I know I should.
I also have a daughter with PA and one that we aren't sure about yet. I am alot more cautious with her. She carries her epipen with her and wears a medicalert bracelet, I don't let her eat chinese food and am more wary of what she eats. I admit I am not quite as vigilant as most of the parents on this board and sometimes I use myself as a tester of foods before she eats them. But I am very aware of her allergy and very careful.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I have lived with this my whole life and have found my own comfort zone. I hope that my daughter is able to find hers when she is old enough to be responsible for herself and I don't want her allergy to get in the way of her enjoying her life.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 6:54am
creek14's picture
Joined: 06/13/2000 - 09:00

Mich, please have that Epi filled. I live in SW Ohio. There is a university near here called Miami University. A few years back one of the college kids went on a date to a Chinese restaurant. He asked if they used peanut oil. They said no. He is dead now. He didn't have an Epi with him. Fill that prescription for your kids sake, they deserve both parents.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 1:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

In the most recent FAAN newsletter, there were the results of a study on deaths due to anaphylactic shock. Most people dying are either teenagers or young adults.
I strongly urge everyone to at least visit FAAN's website (I know, this from the person who last year had to ask what FAN was!). They're at [url=""][/url]
I believe that they can be instrumental in helping us, as PA parents, lay some really good groundwork for our children and their friends - especially with the BE A PAL Program (see my post under Schools re this).
I believe that we are able to teach our children, if we are the parents of young children, not to be risk takers when they are teenagers and adults.
I am not clear if FAAN has their current newsletter on their website, but I did find the Fatalities due to Anaphylactic Reactions to Foods really informative.
I'm going now to check out their website, again at [url=""][/url] and see if the report is there. If it is, I'm somehow going to try to get it on here.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 1:06pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Sorry, I double posted! See what happens if I leave the site for even a couple of days?
Best wishes! [img][/img]
[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited February 28, 2001).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 1:07pm
rebekahc's picture
Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

Instead of writing out mine out I'll just say Ditto Mich! The only differences are that I know both of my children are PA. I don't eat Chinese food because every time I tried it as a child it made me vomit. And I finally got my first epi 4 years ago.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 2:39pm
WoozerMom's picture
Joined: 12/28/2000 - 09:00

I am an older adult (61), and I take my allergies to nuts (P,TN) very seriously. I am not at all serious about my other allergies, as I have lived a long time with them and have had frequent tests with my allergist.
But the nut thing is another matter. I live in a peanut free home, read labels like crazy, carry my Epi and have spares, have educated my friends, family, and acquaintances, and done all the things I should except wear a Medic Alert bracelet.
Perhaps I should, but I don't.
I do absolutely know the progression of the allergy WITH ME. I know exactly which symptom comes and which will follow and how soon. I have learned this through experience. I am absolutely always aware if I am going into Anaphylaxis, and am the person who administers my meds and if necessary, calls for help. I depend on no one but myself for this. I know I can't count on family or anyone else to figure out what is going on. I can't fault them for it. They don't live with this. I do. The buck stops with me and I take full responsibility for my health.
I would never be without my meds or pen and I will continue to be careful about eating peanuts and tree nuts. And I have cut legumes down to almost none. (I just can't pass up refried beans.)
I don't worry too much about cross contamination in restaurants, but do inform them of my allergies. Yesterday, I passed up a piece of pie because they also serve pecan pie and I thought about the knife. No biggie to me.
Actually, I guess I am constantly aware of the allergy, and yet I don't really think about it at all. It is just part of who I am and I totally accept it. Could be worse. I could be blind or deaf or have some awful disease or not be able to walk. This allergy is just as much a part of me as the nail on my little finger which grows out broken. I just deal with it without thinking most of the time.
I came to this board out of curiousity to see how others cope and to see if there was anything new on the scene. I am amazed at how you mothers cope. My mother just ignored the whole thing without having nuts in the house. I had a few episodes as a child and learned myself what I could and could not have. People then just were not aware as they are now. Possibly, you all might think about how lucky you are that some people now are aware and how fortunate that the allergy was detected early on. Growing up when I did no one understood so I just learned to cope and tried to grow up without being freaked out by nuts.
About the only thing that would freak me out now would be seeing my husband eating peanut butter in our home.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 6:48pm
Gwen Thornberry's picture
Joined: 10/14/1999 - 09:00

Ditto Mich too!
I don't react to being around pn, so I would have a much less stringent comfort zone than a lot of parents on the board simply because of that. I have no problem with my daughter eating pn from a packet, but I don't have pb around because for some reason the smell of that is worse than just roasted or salted pn.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 8:09pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Yes it is true that allergic adults take things a little more lightly. My brother does not carry nor have and epi pen for the shellfish allergy he has. He is very allergic,but apparently feels he will pull through after an accident. He has also taken the benedryl and just gone to bed because he seems to feel that he can just sleep it off. I told him not to go to bed while having an attack. I myself react to Shrimp.I get covered in hives just from touching it. I have never put any into my mouth because I can only imagine what would happen. I am very allergic to cats,and I have been dumb enough to put the cats in my hands just to see if I am still allergic. Guess what Yes I am. If my daughter was to go near a cat I would have a fit,because she is very allergic. Now I should say if I do touch the cat I don't go near her I would wash so she would not have an attack. I think cats are so adorable,but not getting one. Claire

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