In all seriousness I know I can't go out and change the world and everyone's homes. Although I'd like to remove all peanuts world-wide.
DS 20 mos old just tested severe to PA after reaction that landed us in ER.
I am trying to learn as much as I can & peanut proof our home as well as any place he may go (church, family members homes etc.).
I am trying to educate our family and close friends.
My question... How do you do this? I feel overwhelmed, anxious and paranoid. I don't want my DS to live in a bubble or live in fear. It's jsut such a sever allergy to have. So scary & most people are so ignorant to it. I was. I am afraid of someone eating PB and then kissing him or touching him because he's a cute little boy. How do I make his life/environment safe. Any and all tips are so very much appreciated!
By BestAllergySites on Aug 31, 2009
Welcome to peanutallergy.com. I'm so sorry to hear of your sons reaction. Many of us have been right where you are and I know it is and can be a difficult time.
You are going to go through many stages throughout his life. Right now you are at the "gain as much information and worry like crazy" phase which is completely normal.
First let me say you are doing a great job just being here and educating yourself and reaching out to others. Having a support network of those that get it really helps.
Next let me warn you to be cautious about being over anxious or paranoid as you stated above. You are absolutely right-your son can't live in a bubble...as much as we sometimes want our children to.
Your job right now at his age is to keep him safe. In theory there really is no such thing as peanut free. Sure you can keep your home free of peanuts and maybe other places too but for the most part you want a peanut safe environment outside of your home. (Being realistic.)
I say peanut safe because you need to learn what you need to look out for, how to properly avoid places, clean things etc. rather than assume a place is peanut free...if that makes sense.
I would say first off and this is a rule for us personally: noone is allowed to feed our son any foods (he's 6) but us or foods that come from home only. We don't expect play date parents to go out of their way etc. to feed him, we do expect (close friends and family) them not to eat peanuts when he is around..if they want us to come over.
If someone or a stranger reaches out to touch him just politely say I would rather you didn't. You don't need to go into an explanation as to why unless you want to of they are close friends.
As he's more mobile and you are out and about-you'll want to keep him from places that are high risk. This really all depends on the severity of the allergy. We do go to playgrounds, to the mall, out to eat, etc.
I usually wipe tables with wipes, bring our own food, and make sure we steer clear of peanut eating people.
Educate close friends and family about the severity of his allergy and what is acceptable and not acceptable to you.
I could give you more tips but fear I may be overwhelming you already. I promise that it does get easier in time. You'll learn new things along the way, find different ways to manage, and your comfort level may change as he ages or as you learn more.
Take a deep breath and time for yourself...and stick around and ask any questions along the way. :)