people have been feeding son foods w/o checking labels!!!

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 5:17am
kandebuttahfly's picture
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Joined: 12/27/2007 - 17:08

i seriously want to cry. 2 mornings ago, my mother (who we live with and has seen firsthand how allergic he is!!!) fed my almost 11 month old son frosted flakes with milk. she actually only fed him a couple ofbites from her bowl before she ate any. for starters, my son doesnt need to be eating sugary crap! i [calmly] asked her whether she checked the label for any peanut contamination and she got this horrified look on her face and said no. even though i felt fairly certain it would be ok, i ran in and checked the label, the only allergy warning was "the corn used in this product may contain trace amounts of soy". no problem. no biggie. still pretty irritated that she would be so careless, especially given his young age! he spends a lot of time with her when i am at school, etc., so it concerns me that she may not be diligent.

yesterday morning i was dropping the baby off at daycare, put his bottles and lunch in the fridge, and did a quick check to see if he needed anything (diapers, wipes, snacks, etc.). i asked the lead teacher whether she wanted me to bring in more snacks for him, and she said it was fine, there were still some on the shelf and if he ran out they always kept mini-bagels on hand. i asked if i could see the label to ensure whether it was peanut free and safe for him, and she led me into the kitchen area where there was just a large container of bagels (like a giant tupperware thingy)... no label. apparently they are made in the kitchen there..which id be willing to bet was not peanut free. i was too upset by it at the moment to ask whether they had given any to him in the past, but she said she wouldnt give him any....

i am so upset that these people that i entrust my child to on an almost daily basis are showing such a lack of concern for his safety needs and could literally be endangering his life. he isnt even 11 months old!!!!!! he cannot say "my throat feels funny or im having a hard time breathing"... i have to trust them to notice the signs, that externally, could be very subtle or nonexistant!!!! i am also completely prone to blowing up and screaming and yelling, which is why i didnt really get into it there, so i could have a day or so to cool off before he goes back... now that its been brought to their attention, do i need to discuss it further? how do i handle this without completely losing my cool?!?!?!?!?!

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 6:22am
niche's picture
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Joined: 02/05/2007 - 09:00

HI,
I'm so sorry. I have had many similar experiences with my son's pre-school. Yes I would discuss it further with them. In my case - I have just kept at it. I have explained to the teachers in person I have written letters (when I thought I would lose it in person). I have had my husband talk to them. I have done a presentation to the entire staff (50 people). And they still mess up. People who don't deal with it on a daily basis just don't get it. One thing I would consider with a kiddo as young as yours might be a don't feed me t-shirt or maybe special labels on his food. Just something extra to remind his care takers on an ongoing basis. I know in the products forum folks have posted about these things. I realize he is too young now but as early as possible I would teach your kiddo no sharing. We don't share food even in our home. The only thing we found that worked for us was no food except from mom or dad or grandma (or the lunch box / snack bag that he knew I packed). From the time my kiddo was 3 he would refuse food from strangers, teachers, coaches etc.
I'm sorry your mom doesn't seem to be getting it - maybe you could take her to the next allergist appt and have him explain the seriousness to her?

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 7:27am
kandebuttahfly's picture
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Joined: 12/27/2007 - 17:08

my mom gets it. shes normally really good. since hes so young i still eat may contain and processed on, as long as one of the actual ingredients isnt pn product. maybe she just had a brain fart, it was early in the morning and he was whining for food (lemme tell ya, the kid loves to eat!) and she just did it without thinking. she saw his most serious reaction at age 2 months and weight of probably 10-12 pounds, and heard the dr tell her that the dose in the epi jr was more than 3x the dose they would give him for his weight, she also watched as he wrote the rx... she knows.. MIL on the other hand does not have unsupervised visits as she refused to learn how to use the epi (and with his older sibs that dont live with us, pb is readily available) its really daycare that im more concerned about.. and as far as not dealing with it daily, they do - hes at daycare almost daily.. i just dont get how these people can be so careless! its blowing my mind and i am sooooooo frustrated and just wish i could quit my job and stay home with him so i dont have to deal with incompetence.. but im a single mom so that isnt really an option...

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 8:29am
Krusty Krab's picture
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Joined: 04/20/2007 - 09:00

Sorry you're dealing with this. It's a pretty lonely feeling when you realize no one takes your child's life as seriously as you do. Even family. Kinda sad.
I would take this opportunity to discuss allergy management skills with the daycare center. I would lay down the law and this is what it'd be: [i]No one feeds my child anything unless I have personally read the food label myself. NO ONE.[/i] For his safety and theirs. Do they really want the children to watch an 11 month old struggle for his life, all because someone isn't willing to follow your expressed orders on what to or what not to feed him? Ugh.
As far as grandma feeding him, well that is touchy isn't it? But it all boils down to fact that she is feeding your child without following reading labels. I'd sit down with a cup of tea, and have a very long talk about how you'd like your child to see his first birthday and more. (probably more sugar coated of course). :) Then I'd tell her if she'd rather not read labels, then you will be responsible for feeding your child. There's just no in between here.
Sorry.

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 1:31am
Spoedig's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2004 - 09:00

I do understand why you are so upset - we have been dealing with my 11 year old son's pa/tn allergies for 10 years. I have been on this board since 2004 and seen many posts where a mom is saying "how did I forget to check". Even those who have lived with this for many, many years, make mistakes.
Obviously, at the daycare, DEMAND that they feed him NO food but what you bring! If you need to label everything with his name, then do. You mentioned snacks on the shelf at the daycare -- are they what you brought in?? Perhaps even with your mother it should only be food you bring.

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 7:24am
kandebuttahfly's picture
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Joined: 12/27/2007 - 17:08

I am a single mom and we LIVE with my mom - our house is peanut product free (we do have processed ons in the house, but they arent fed to him, and he has never had a reaction from anything processed on). she knows, and she gets it, i honestly believe it was just a brain fart on her part. nothing containing pn is allowed in the house other than "processed on", and being so little he doesnt really eat any of that junky stuff (and i make all of his babyfood homemade)
before i had ds, i babysat a little girl for 7 years that was PA, and i really repsect the parents, their decisions they made re PA, and how they handled and managed it. unfortunatley we have parted ways, so i dont have them to use as a reference and sounding board, etc., but she was allowed "processed on" and never suffered a reaction, so my comfort level is based on that i suppose.
I bring him snacks from home and EVERYTHING is labeled - bottles, sippy cups, boxes of rice cereal, the bowls containing his food, and the snacks are brought from home. nothing special -cheerios, crackers (labels checked of course), biter biscuits, puffs, etc. one of the really difficult points of having discussions with the teachers in the room is there is a pretty significant language barrier. i believe that english is not any of their first language - which is fine, it can just be even MORE frustrating to convey what im trying to say. i can discuss with director or asst director, but theyre not the ones in there, though i suppose she could broach the subject with them too.
other than this incident i am SO in love with the school, as is my son. he adores his teachers, and there isnt another place i would or would want to take him. isnt there any way to FORCE people to GET IT (i know theres not) :(

Posted on: Fri, 02/08/2008 - 7:13am
TeddyAlly's picture
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Joined: 11/29/2005 - 09:00

I am so sorry you are going thru this. If it helps in any way, my mother handed dd a Snickers Mini one day...I was Livid! Good thing dd brought it to me and asked me if it was safe for her to eat (she was 4 at the time). My mother has never forgoten about dd's allergy since! It was a very rude awakening for her. I didnt lay into her as much as I wanted to; All I did was look at her in complete shock and said "You handed her a SNICKERS!?!?!" Mom grabbed it out of my hand and ran it to the trash (still in the wrapper), apologized over and over and has never again forgotten about dd's allergy. I think with most family memebers, it only takes once and then it hits them like a brick...here's praying that once is not anaphax!
For the school, yeah I say Demand no one feeds him anything but what you bring in. He should have his own shelf/cubby for his food so there is no risk at all!
Best of luck to you!

Posted on: Fri, 02/08/2008 - 7:24am
lakeswimr's picture
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Joined: 02/01/2007 - 09:00

Foods that have "processed on", "same facility as", "may contains" and other warnings are *not* safe. It is *seriously* playing Russian Roulette. A certain % of these foods *do* contain food allergens so the fact that your friend's child and your child have not yet reacted to these foods means nothing. Each time a food allergic person eats a food with an allergen warning they are taking a huge risk -- the risk of eating their allergens. There is a very sad story of a young man who died from eating vending machine cookies in college. They were the same cookies he had eaten his whole life and he was always very careful about what he ate. Those cookies had cross contamination and the young man ended up dying. So, the number of times one has eaten a food means *nothing* if there is a warning label. (The cookies that young man ate didn't have a warning on them.)
There is comfort zone difference and there is safe and unsafe. Eating things with warning labels is *not* just a comfort zone thing--it is for sure very unsafe.
Best wishes!

Posted on: Fri, 02/08/2008 - 8:12am
niche's picture
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Joined: 02/05/2007 - 09:00

Hi,
I wanted to say they have done studies and something like either 7 or 17% of the products did contain detectable peanut protein. If you want I can try and find it. When we were first diagnosed we thought we could keep giving our son things he had always had like french bread from the bakery. Plain M&M's etc. Well he had a reaction to plain french bread from the bakery within a month. No warning on the label at all. We don't do may contains or bakeries or ice cream shops and are very choosy with restaurants.
Thats just what works for us.

Posted on: Fri, 02/08/2008 - 10:56am
Spoedig's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2004 - 09:00

It is great that you have experience with caring for a child with PA. However, each person's allergies are different!! I think it is great you saw how they managed things, but don't automatically think how they did it is appropriate for your son.
Please don't wait for him to have a reaction to "processed ons". It is hard to change everything in a household (especially as it is your mom's) but I personally believe my son is worth more than my need for any particular food item (or brand). My 11 year old has "only" had two reactions -- none in the past 6+ year. Please avoid all reactions. My son's doctor said EVERY exposure leads you closer to the potential for needing an epi-pen -- your son is very young and he needs every protection possible.

Posted on: Mon, 02/11/2008 - 3:52am
kandebuttahfly's picture
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Joined: 12/27/2007 - 17:08

Thank you so much to everyone who has replied so far, especially for niche, who seems to be a voice of reason to me. I actually was just reading another thread that had a link to that study, and was a real eye opener and SCARY!
I guess all processed ons must go as well...
but now my question is this: it was my understanding that the labeling now had to list the allergen warnings for the top 8, which include milk and dairy right? my son isnt allergic to either, thank goodness, however when i read some labels ive noticed that even if the product contains milk, there may or may not be a warning on it. what is the deal, and how do you decide what is and is not safe? if the ingredient list does not have PN on it, and there is no may contain/processed on warning, is that automatically safe? i see a lot of people on here dislike the way certain companies label (ie kraft and nabisco)... but for example, i bought ritz crackers for kam, and there is no PN on the ingredients and no warning for processed on/may contain... but ritz makes pb crackers too... so is it safe?
i just dont get it :(

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