My daughter was watching oprah with me (not really watching but in the area) she is 6. Oprah was talking aout a young boy that died. I think about one hour later she said "am I going to die like that boy, because of my peanut allergy" I was taken back and I think I scared her I said NO thats why we have epi pens (probably not the best answer) Should I call the pedi or the school psycologist or just let it go??
On Sep 20, 2004
My ds has asked very similar questions. You are not alone.
Instead of focusing death with pa why don't you just discuss it as a natural part of life with it happening to everyone and every living creature.
You don't have to go into gory details but being honest with your child on subjects like this, IMO, is always a good way to respond.
I just wouldn't associate it with pa when you discuss it. No sense in making your child extremely fearful about pa.
On Sep 20, 2004
I think you responded correctly.
She should know that you and her epipen are going to keep her safe in the event of an accident.
It's interesting that she made that connection. I don't know if my son would have equated PA with death if his older brother hadn't enlightened him. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] Fortunately, my children have inherited my DH's family's "don't worry, be happy" outlook and he didn't seem to be unduly stressed when he found out the truth.
Lisa Cipriani Collins' book may have some tips on how to deal with this. Does anyone have it? Can you share some ideas?
On Sep 21, 2004
My daughter became rather fixated on 'death' when she was about 4. (several neighbors, relations, pets had died) and we found the following books helpful, 'The Fall of Freddy the Leaf' by Leo Bascaglia (sp?) and my favorite 'Lifetimes' by I can't remember... Lifetimes talks about the lifetimes of ALL things, plants animals and people and is great. My DS knows that healthy choices help you live a long life and that medicines like flu shots can prevent illnesses that can kill you. She knows that some medicines can help you get well even if you get sick (like her epi) She has a really good grasp of the whole 'circle of life' concept; I was a little nervous/confused when I first started talking with her, but giving her the simple facts and placing it in the right context for her age made the whole thing go rather smoothly. BTW, I managed it all with out using "heaven," "angels," or talk of any god. Diane
On Sep 21, 2004
Once I found out the seriousness of DS allergy I made sure he understood that he could die if he went untreated during a reaction.
Gosh, he was maybe in third grade.
I never thought to keep this from him because he was surrounded by peanut butter at school and I needed to be sure he had a healthy respect for his allergy since he had not yet had a reaction.
I know this knowledge was not easy for him to bear but he did well. He did not fixate on death but he did become more vigilant and he did (I believe) become stronger than his allergy.
He has always been able to speak up for himself as far as his safety is concerned and more than once reminded an adult that No he did not outgrow his allergy so please stop offering me PB&J.
I wanted him to understand that if he felt he was reacting that he had the power to treat himself AND call 911 no matter what some well-meaning adult said. I was scared to death someone would convince him to "wait and see."
When he had his first accidental ingestion we were all at home and my husband said "lets take him to the pediatrician."
We had already used his epi pen and Benadry.
DS looked at him and said "are you kidding, I'll die in the waiting room, we have to go to the hospital immediately."
DH was floored and off we went to the hospital for a very rocky night in the ER.
When I think back I don't think the knowledge that he could die did DS any harm. It was tough to impart that kind of knowledge to a child but look at the alternatives. Who would ever think something as simple as a peanut could take a life?
I needed DS to understand that so he could impart that knowledge to others in my absence and he did wonderfully.
On Sep 21, 2004
I was very straight forward with my son by the time he was 5 years old.
I explained how he had to be careful in everything he choses to eat because there is always a possibility of a peanut being in food that we are not aware of and that if his symptoms aren't treated immediately that YES he has a small chance of dying.
He does not dwell on it, but understands what can happen.