Son realizes how serious it is...need help...has this happened to u

Posted on: Fri, 07/18/2008 - 2:49am
jakesmom1's picture
Joined: 07/18/2008 - 09:36

All of of sudden my 7 1/2 year old SEVERE PA,TN son REALLY gets it! He told my father 7 is too young to die. He questions everything he eats.He asks everyone if they have eaten something they should be washing their hands for or brushing their teeth. He was diagnosed at 3 and has always been very aware and involved..but now he is worried and a little obsessed...almost paniclike...anyone have any advice..hes breaking my heart....

Posted on: Sat, 07/19/2008 - 12:20am
Mrsdocrse's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

I have to say that my son is the same age. He refuses to try anything new and repeatedly asks if the food is safe... I applaud him for taking responsibility for himself! try to empathize with him that you understand his fear of having another reaction. I think once he makes his " own" comfort zone some of that will no be so obsessive. If he is like that will you say.... or people he around a lot and generally do wash up re assure him that the people that love him take precaustions... I wish I had an answer for you. But my son does some of the same things..

Posted on: Sat, 07/19/2008 - 11:33pm
sidni's picture
Joined: 08/28/2004 - 09:00

There is a point in time with peanut allergy when you become acutely aware of your own mortality.... You know how often a very young child -say 3 or 4- will not process the death of a relative or something the same way as a child who is a bit older. For me, I went through a few brutal years of NEVER eating unless someone else was with me, and never trying something new without my parents around. I still get nerves once in awhile when I'm eating alone.
I don't think questioning everything he eats is necessarily bad thing. But maybe it is time to talk to him about the realities of PA. Maybe get the statistics of number of people who die every year vs number of people with the allergy and tell him... "that equals only 1 in 100,000 (or whatever...) and that 1 is never going to be you, because we look out for you, and because you are smart and careful, and we are always going to be prepared for any problems..." Yes, he needs to know the facts about his condition, but he's just a little guy still, and needs reassurance.
Maybe you can teach him to read labels with you, and take him grocery shopping so he becomes more involved in the process, and sees just how MANY foods are actually safe for him. You can even get him involved in the kitchen, helping with cooking, so food stops become an object of anxiety, and starts becoming something he understands better-- that peanuts don't miraculously jump into foods in your own kitchen :)
And maybe you can get him a little pack of hand-wipes or something so that he can feel better about people around him possibly not washing their hands, because he can clean off the spot if he feels nervous.
It sounds like he needs to br provided with some little comforts, because he's suddenly coming to grips with a really scary thing. Nut allergies rule your life until you realize they don't have to. At some point, he'll probably come to that on his own. Good luck!

Posted on: Mon, 07/21/2008 - 11:34am
Mrsdocrse's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

you make a great point! I love the idea of involving him withthe cooking so that he sees that peanut don't " jump" into the food!

Posted on: Mon, 07/21/2008 - 11:53pm
williamsmummy's picture
Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

ongoing realisation that dips and highs over length of time and recent reactions.
I have been slowly drip feeding the seriousness of allergies over the years, but can only say that william really understands the permanance of death recently.
last reaction last month, and last week shouted out of the blue at me 'WHY DIDNT YOU TELL ME IT WAS LIFE THREATENING'???
yes, allergies are so totally **** arent they?

Posted on: Sun, 07/27/2008 - 1:41am
cristym's picture
Joined: 11/19/2007 - 17:26

Over the last year my son has gotten very aware of his and his sisters allergies. He always questions if the lable has been read. He does not eat very much when we are out at restaurants, I think he is not confident that the food has been prepared safely, although he has never said that...I do not want to ask him directly since I do not want to put the idea in his head if it is not already there.
Last year in class he would remind the girl in his class that they should not eat certain foods like baked goods.

Posted on: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 3:11am
peanuts4yucky's picture
Joined: 12/10/2007 - 08:35

This sounds like my 5 year old son. When he was in pre-k (he finished in May-now he's getting ready for kindergarten (gulp). He was constantly asking them if it had peanuts in every snack when I was there one time for a gingerbread party. Unfortunately his pre-k was not very careful (they were telling him plain M & Ms were ok for him) so he did not feel safe. I don't really blame him for asking a hundred times everytime he picked up a piece of candy to 'glue' to his gingerbread house. I hated his preschool-glad that's over! It's so hard to determine how paranoid he should be...hubby and I went out of town overnight and hubby's parents stayed here with the kids. They gave him ice cream from Dominos and didn't even read the label-neither did my son ask if it was safe! So after having a talk with him about it, he asked us yesterday if the water bottle we were offering him had peanut traces in it. *Sigh....

Posted on: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 3:33am
Susanhopes's picture
Joined: 06/23/2003 - 09:00

Funny, I just posted something very similar on the Living With PNA board this weekend. Glad it's not just my child who is discovering the depth of the matter! Had a thought that I probably came off like this when I was first learning about her allergies. Must be part of the learning curve. Good luck staying sane with our little students of life,
Posted 8/16/08 on Living with PNA Board: My PN/TN/SF allergic first-grader has reached a new level of responsibility for managing her allergies as a result of being at sleepaway camp for a week. She is questioning whether everything, even snacks she's always eaten, are safe. She badgers her father and me about if we've eaten anything with nuts, and how many times we've washed our hands.
This is a good thing, in that she's coming to understand the many levels of cross-contamination that are possible. It's also making me absolutely crazy, answering her worried questions two dozen times a day. She has begun washing her hands constantly, even when she's just been playing at home. Generally a good thing to do, but I worry that she is becoming a hypochondriac.
We've ordered some of the kids' books from FAAN about reading labels and hope that will help. Any advice from those who have been there about how to handle emotional growth in a gradeschooler regarding food allergies? Thanks tons!

Posted on: Sun, 08/24/2008 - 12:41am
SFMom's picture
Joined: 11/27/2006 - 09:00

My girls are now ages 12 and 15, but when my younger daughter was about 9 years old she started being afraid to eat out in restaurants. Even if we assured her that her food was OK, she began shaking and crying. This lasted for several months. She was a nervous wreck for a while until she finally "got over it" enough to be calm.
Even now, at age 12 she sometimes begins to have anxiety in restaurants. We have had many long talks about it, and she is beginning to feel better. The issue is "control." She has the type of personality where she wants to be in control of everything, and she has a hard time trusting restaurant personnel (I don't blame her). I'm trying to teach her how to handle various situations and how to navigate the maze of "situation judgement" (i.e., does the waitress really understand the allergy or is she an idiot?) I typed and laminated some cards for my girls to carry to show waitstaff at restaurants, so that there would be no mis-communication about allergy issues. My 15-year-old eats out with her friends frequently, so the card gives us both peace of mind.
When kids have developed enough to really understand "mortality" and the seriousness of their allergy hits them, it often freaks them out. "Normal kids" without theses types of issues probably don't think about it much. But a kid with a life-threatening allergy might think about it all the time and not be able to deal with it on their own.
My older daughter never went through a "freakout" stage about her allergies. But my younger daughter has a different personality and tends to worry and think deeply about everything. She continues to be extremely careful and responsible about her food, but she isn't overtly freaking out about it. However, I know that it still worries her (how could it NOT?)
These food allergies aren't like other "neurotic worries" which you can "make better" by going to counseling and changing your outlook. And that makes them very difficult to deal with.
Anyway, I just want to say that I totally understand what you are talking about with your young kids. I think most kids go through a stage when they suddenly realize what their allergy means. Some kids handle it better than others. Remember that they take cues from their parents. So if you remain calm and logical about the allergy, they will begin to approach it in a more logical way. I know it's hard. Lord knows I've cried my eyes out and have lost my share of sleep over the years because of this.
The best thing you can do is remain calm and try to empower them with information and preparedness (Epi-pen, Medic Alert bracelet, Benedryl, reading and understanding food labels, allergy card to show at restaurants, etc). At some point you have to cut the apron strings and let them fend for themselves. Terrifying but true. Teaching them to be calm, responsible, and self-sufficient from a young age is very important.


Click on one of the categories below to see all forum topics.

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

Cookies are one of life’s little indulgences. And just because you have an allergy or sensitivity to eggs shouldn’t mean that you sit on the...

Soymilk is one of the most popular alternatives to cow’s milk. As well as being rich in fiber, soy is a great source of protein and contains all...

Whether you have a child with a peanut allergy or you are sensitive to packing a nut-free lunch out of concern for other people’s children, it is...

Peanut oil is an inexpensive, healthful and inoffensive way to cook—unless you have a peanut allergy!

Light peanut oil is popular as a...

Olive oil has many benefits and surprisingly few side effects. It is derived from the olive and is popular with people around the world. The...