Parties, school, and the \"not as allergic as yours\" child

Posted on: Sat, 10/18/2003 - 7:51am
anonymous's picture
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I just went to a party (public place, not in a home) last night with Ryan. Another child in his class who also has a PA was there too. The mother of the birthday boy (not the PA child) is very diligent about label reading and assured me she checked everything. Although I do believe her, we still don't eat any food from any goody bags, nor any foods at any party. I'm a "trust but verify" kind of person. She offered us cake (bought from a grocery store bakery), which we politely declined. She did say she checked the ingredients for peanuts, but you know how many of us feel about bakeries being off limits.

Now the other PA child ate the hotdogs and other goodies and the cake. This child not only has PA, but egg allergy as well. I did talk with her mother while I was there and found out that this child was having a lot of asthma problems lately. This child also will occasionally eat school lunches and eats food brought from home which, to me, would be off-limits for Ryan.

Am I wrong in my thinking that perhaps these asthma problems could be from loose comfort zones? One time this child had an asthma attack right after lunch in school. This party was at a no-smoking bowling alley (but a couple of people pretended not to see the signs), and the parent was more concerned about an asthma attack from environmental triggers. Ryan has asthma too, however, it is currently well controlled.

Am I wrong in thinking that perhaps the child's diet could be contributing to the asthma problems? I mean, my personal opinion is a bakery item is one of the deadliest food you can eat.


Oh how I LONG to hear the phrase, "Oh, my child is MORE severe than yours!)

Posted on: Sat, 10/18/2003 - 11:41am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I don't think you're wrong.
I don't know a lot about asthma, but it often is associated with allergies, and sometimes it is food allergies.
Did Ryan have fun at the party? Did the mother of the birthday boy feel offended that Ryan couldn't eat stuff?

Posted on: Sat, 10/18/2003 - 2:21pm
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Joined: 08/23/2003 - 09:00

Ryansmom Hi! Just wanted to say that I know some PA Parents are just a little more comfortable with what there children eat. I for one am not. We do not even use anything that says may contain or has traces of.... Yet I know of PA Parents that let there children have things that definately would give my DD a reaction. Everyone has totally different comfort zones. I bring all my dd snacks whenever we go anywhere. When we attend parties I bring snacks as well. She knows that she is allowed food from only mommy and daddy. I know that it is hard to understand why some people feel more comfortable feeding their little ones things that we definately know it is not safe for ours. Sorry to ramble. Keep your little one safe.

Posted on: Sat, 10/18/2003 - 4:57pm
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Quote:Originally posted by toomanynuts:
[b] I know that it is hard to understand why some people feel more comfortable feeding their little ones things that we definately know it is not safe for ours. [/b]
Yes. It is agonizingly hard to understand. For many reasons.
I get a very similiar feeling watching people smoke. Even if they are "comfortable" with the concept of smoking.

Posted on: Sun, 10/19/2003 - 1:13am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Ryan's mom, you are not wrong. My mom had a mild asthma reaction this summer to turnips that I cooked. My brother gets serious asthma attacks from peas. He can't even be in a house where it is being cooked. Like everyone else has said, the other parent has different comfort zones or maybe just doesn't see the connection.
------------------

Posted on: Sun, 10/19/2003 - 2:29am
Sandra Y's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

Yikes, this might make me unpopular, but I don't think that mother is being too lax. As long as she's checking labels I think she's doing fine. Bakeries tend to be high risk, but she might be comfortable with their sheet cakes--I let my son eat sheetcakes and cupcakes from one grocery store that I consider safe. I consider hot dogs about as safe as it gets (well, not safe for arteries, but OK in terms of the allergy).
This is not to say that people who are stricter are doing anything wrong...but I think there's a lot of ways to do it right.
I think a lot of the more strict measures are put in place for the mother's psychological comfort and do little or nothing to protect the child. Case in point: pb in the house. I'm sure I could have pb in my house and my son would be absolutely safe and never eat any of it. But psychologically, I can't have pb in the house. I've tried, and it makes me uncomfortable. So pb is banned from our house not for my son's safety, but for my peace of mind. When I see other mothers taking extreme measures that I don't take, I don't think it necessarily makes their kids safer, but it probably makes the mother feel safer. Which is fine. I can't send my son on a field trip without me. Just can't do it. Some people can, and their kids are fine. My son probably has a 99.9999% chance of being fine on a field trip without me, but I can't do it!
I think some of us just feel comfortable taking fewer extreme measures, but it doesn't mean the kid is in danger.

Posted on: Sun, 10/19/2003 - 12:55pm
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Sandra Y:
[b]
I think a lot of the more strict measures are put in place for the mother's psychological comfort and do little or nothing to protect the child. Case in point: pb in the house. I'm sure I could have pb in my house and my son would be absolutely safe and never eat any of it. But psychologically, I can't have pb in the house. I've tried, and it makes me uncomfortable. So pb is banned from our house not for my son's safety, but for my peace of mind. When I see other mothers taking extreme measures that I don't take, I don't think it necessarily makes their kids safer, but it probably makes the mother feel safer. Which is fine. I can't send my son on a field trip without me. Just can't do it. Some people can, and their kids are fine. My son probably has a 99.9999% chance of being fine on a field trip without me, but I can't do it!
I think some of us just feel comfortable taking fewer extreme measures, but it doesn't mean the kid is in danger. [/b]
Knowing what I know, I do not consider [i]any[/i] of the measures surrounding my son and his PA/Nuts to be extreme. Nor are they for my psychological comfort.
Not in regards to PA, but in general, I will offer up this example:
Thinking of the odds of any one person being abducted. Would you think the odds to be small?
Now consider "risk factors" such as age, place, etc........... Do I leave my child unattended in a store? Absolutely not. Even for a minute? Just a very short minute? No.
Now think of what is known (or not) about PA, for example. Is the unknown just as dangerous as the known? Or even more dangerous?
This I state, [i]knowing what I know[/i]. About PA and quite possibly, other related items. I find what is still unanswered to be of equal concern if not more. (Since it may prove difficult to appropriately address the unknown.
*My son's* most recent ([/i]very[i] recent) reaction was very likely from some cookies that in the past have displayed a "May Contain" warning (of course, I have reasons to very strongly believe this in *the particular reaction I am now relating*), but, apparently, no longer do. The package my son ate cookies from did not display a warning with regards to Peanuts/Nuts, nor did it list it as an ingredient. After some research, I found that in the past, this product *had displayed a "May Contains" warning in the past*. Coincidence? I will be contacting the company to see if circumstances related to production of this item have changed along with the label.
Surely it would be measurable, defineable, or monitorable in some manner? Criteria of sorts?
MommaBear
Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Just relaying my own *personal, individual, and highly unique* situation.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited October 19, 2003).]

Posted on: Sun, 10/19/2003 - 3:11pm
deegann's picture
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Joined: 07/27/2003 - 09:00

.
[This message has been edited by deegann (edited March 15, 2004).]

Posted on: Sun, 10/19/2003 - 8:18pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

But back to the issue of uncontrolled asthma or regular flareups, would you mothers with "looser" comfort zones tend to tighten up if this happened to you? What I'm seeing here are two kids with PA and asthma. One has well-controlled asthma and very tight comfort zone, the other does not on both counts. Would you consider this just a fluke? Or perhaps a chance to modify your zone to see if you can reduce the attacks.
Personally, I hate to see yet more meds being added to this child's daily regimen (which is what is happening) without trying some non-prescription approach.
In the social area, Ryan doesn't see food as the "big picture" but rather spending time with his friends is what makes him happy at parties. He never seems annoyed or upset at not eating party food, probably because I'm bring some other good junk food, just for him, which he picks out. I have yet to find an "offended" mother also. A simple "My child doesn't eat any food outside of the home/food that I have not prepared because he is SEVERELY allergic." Adding that term "severely" has always served us well. To which many parents respond, "Oh, I know a child with a PA, but he/she is not as allergic as yours..."
Adding yet another observation to this topic, this is the second PA child I've come across in the same school with this "type" of situation: loose comfort zone and asthma problems. And although Ryan's 504 has been well implemented, this school is NOT peanut free by any means. So many chances for peanut exposures with loose comfort zones and no 504.

Posted on: Sun, 10/19/2003 - 10:11pm
samirosenjacken's picture
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Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

I tend to be looser than some but still very cautious. If I can't read it, they can't eat it. If I don't speak to the parent about how the food is prepared, they can't eat it. But if I know the parent and I trust that she has taken safety precautions and I read all the ingredients, the girls can eat. We avoid almost all bakery items... pretty much all of them. We have one bakery that doesn't make any peanut products and very rarely, a nut product and I am "iffy" about letting the girls eat their sheet cakes.
Again, my philosophy is they need to learn how to manage their allergy and live in this contaminated world. I am constantly teaching them about food and what questions to ask and what to avoid. We avoid all "may contains" and anything that has a warning of any kind. But we do eat at restaurants and they do eat at birthday parties. If I don't feel comfortable, they don't eat it. If the parent seems very much aware, then I make my judgement call.

Posted on: Mon, 10/20/2003 - 12:16am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Fortunately, my pa/tna dd does not have asthma, so I cannot speak to the issue of whether or not a "looser" comfort zone could increase the other pa child's asthma symptoms. I do know, though, that like Sandra Y (I can always count on her! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) I probably would have allowed my dd (who is almost 9) to eat the hot dogs, the cake, and items from the goody bags that I felt were "safe". This has been our birthday party "protocol" [b]always[/b] and we have never [i]yet[/i] (knock on wood) had a problem with this approach. I believe that this has served my daughter very well. She is a very anxious child who cares deeply about fitting in with social norms. In her case it has been extremely fortunate that we have been able to employ a "loose" comfort zone without incident.
At my dd's last 504 meeting I mentioned that I know there are things that I consider safe for my dd that other parents of kids with pa do not. The nurse said "this is why 504 plans are [b]individualized[/b] plans".
All that said: I do find it extremely nerve wracking to see parents allow things for their kids that I think are unsafe. For example, my neighbor across the street (a well educated and very nice woman) was recently driving around the block, slowly, with her toddler in the front seat. Why was she doing this??? Because the baby "likes it". Believe me, my kids would never have the opportunity to discover whether or not they "liked" it because it would [b]never[/b] happen.
I guess parenthood is one very long series of choices, among other things. We all have to decide what works for our kids and our families.
Just my very long opinion...
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam
p.s. please ignore the stray words at the bottom; it's that darn cursor problem...
y would have allowed

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