Hello, My 3 year old son has life threatening peanut allergies. I have a question for individuals like my son. I need help to understand his challenges and not only mine. What are some things your parents/siblings did while you were growing up that made you stronger and what are some things that happened that made you anxious or scared. I want to raise my son to be strong in situations but I need him to be careful with everything he puts in his mouth or what he is around. He is well aware (for a 3 year old) of his allergies but it's hard to stress the severity of it at his age. Any helps or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Sarah
By PeanutAllergy.com on Jul 16, 2015
Question of the Week: Answered!Every week, PeanutAllergy.com answers one of the questions posted in our community.Our Answer:
Thanks for reaching out to our community about this concern! As a peanut allergy parent, it can be confusing to find the right balance between keeping your child safe, and instilling in them the knowledge and courage to stay safe on their own.
Since your son is still very young, it’s important to ensure that his caregivers are well aware of how to handle his allergy so that he can still have a sense of safety during the times you can’t be near him. A helpful article on talking to other adults about managing your child’s allergy can be found here.
You should make your child aware that they should never let their guard down. As you will learn in this article, contamination can happen even when you’re at home. In a “peanut-free” environment, outside materials can find their way in and pose an unexpected risk. In fact, this interesting Community Post brings light to the debate over whether a peanut-free home is beneficial or detrimental to your child’s perceptions of safety. If you ensure your child is always anticipating and prepared for an exposure to their allergen, accidental contamination will not be as big of an issue.
While it is important for you to read food labels, clean surfaces, and take other precautions to keep your child safe from contamination, leading by example may not be enough to inspire a sense of self-care in your child. These tasks will become familiar to your kids if you involve them - try asking them for help, and be sure to talk them through these routines each time. Before you know it, the healthy habits will become second nature to your child, and they will have the knowledge and confidence to look after themselves! This article has helpful information about how to prepare your child to manage their allergy on their own.
In order for your son to feel like he is not missing out because of his allergy, you should assure him that he can still live a normal, happy life. You can learn about staying safe from allergens by making simple substitutions here.
We consulted our Facebook community for their advice. You can see what they had to say here.
We hope you find these resources to be helpful. Best wishes for you and your child!
By abolitionist146 on Jul 19, 2015
My name is Meagan. I'm 21 and my twin my sister and I have lived with peanut/nut allergies our entire lives. I guess it was easier for me growing up because my only sibling had the same allergy. Some things my mom always did for us growing up that made us feel safe is we always had a peanut free home. She always had baked homemade goodies that we knew were safe. She always went to bat for us in school. She had videos and stores of children who had, had reactions. My advice get "educated". She would share the information with school staff and the parents of the children we spent time with. In school we ate at a peanut free table away from the other kids. Our classmates would take turns with who would eat with us, in the end it was mainly our friends. They always had peanut free lunches. Just read your labels and don't get comfortable with companies or foods, things change. For example last night my boyfriend was eating crackers from a sleeve. (Ritz crackers) When he pulled out a few crackers and just so happened to look down at them, they had peanut butter on them. I was lucky enough that I wasn't the one eating them, but then I couldn't kiss him. I will be calling about the crackers tomorrow. You can usually call companies and ask how they separate their peanut products vs their non-peanut products.
Good luck, hopefully that was helpful Meagan
By Sarah McKenzie on Jul 20, 2015
Thank you for your help on this. I appreciate it very much.