Summer Camp?

Posted on: Wed, 05/17/2000 - 11:59pm
Tina H.'s picture
Joined: 10/13/1999 - 09:00

Would any of you ever let your PA kids go away to summer camp or is it just too dangerous? My daughter is nine and I've pretty much made up my mind that she will never go away to camp. Another sad bit of information: A couple of weeks ago, I took her to New York to audition for the National Tour of Annie directed by Martin Charnin (the creator and lyricist). Well, to our surprise, they called and offered her the part of Kate and the first understudy to Annie. At first, I was so excited. But, because of many reasons, mainly her peanut allergy, we decided not to let her do it because it would mean being on the road for six months, eating at different restaurants and hotels (and me being with her away from my husband and other two children). If she didn't have this stupid allergy, I would have let her go with the cast for a couple of weeks at a time. I am so sad about it. I hate this horrible allergy.

Posted on: Thu, 05/18/2000 - 3:30am
Lisa M's picture
Joined: 03/07/1999 - 09:00

I remember when you all were going for the audition. Congratulations to her. I hear the pain in your writing. It does seem unfair to the kids, doesn't it? How did she take it (not being able to go)? My friends are talking about little day camps for their kids and vacation Bible school, etc. I still won't let my 4 year old pa son go to any of these unless I'm very involved in it. I've thought of sleep away camps when he is older, but can't say that I would let him go until he is a teenager or so. My husband loved going to the same camp every summer. I hate that he'll miss out on that.

Posted on: Thu, 05/18/2000 - 3:39am
jh5000's picture
Joined: 03/02/2000 - 09:00

Our local support group just last Saturday had a speaker who addressed sending food-allergic kids to camp. Her feeling was that you COULD do it, and she went through a whole list of precautions to take. It still feels too risky to me.
[img][/img] Maybe FAN could sponsor summer camps for kids with food allergies, where precautions are taken with the food, all the counselors are trained in administering epi-pens and treating allergic reactions, they have a crash-cart on site, as well as a nurse or doctor (or make it close to a hospital), etc.!!! Wouldn't that be nice?

Posted on: Thu, 05/18/2000 - 3:48am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

That would be great! I never thought about an actual camp stricly for food allergic children. I see camps advertised at the doctor's office for kids with asthma, but my son does not yet have asthma! What a great idea.

Posted on: Thu, 05/18/2000 - 3:51am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quote:Originally posted by NaomiR:
[b]That would be great! I never thought about an actual camp strictly for food allergic children. I see camps advertised at the doctor's office for kids with asthma, but my son does not yet have asthma! What a great idea.[/b]

Posted on: Thu, 05/18/2000 - 5:50am
melissa's picture
Joined: 07/05/2004 - 09:00

I'm sorry to hear that your daughter couldn't go, but what I don't understand is why, when knowing you wouldn't let her go, did you let her audition. My son gets very upset when he can't attend something special because I can't be there. I would hate to tell him he could do something and then change my mind and disappoint him. I feel for you guys. I know it is hard to let our kids be normal, by normal I mean, letting them be on their own, going to parties with out a parent, being able to go to summer camp, etc. I think it would be a great idea if there was a summer camp for food allergic children.

Posted on: Thu, 05/18/2000 - 9:04am
scywong's picture
Joined: 10/28/1999 - 09:00

I saw this site and I knew I had to respond. The reason I am responding is cause if my parents had told me that I wasn't allowed to go to brownie and girl guide camp and day camp, I think I would have missed out on a lot of fun. I realize that you're all very scared about your children but, you need to realize that if you don't give them a little responsibity, they will not learn. I have a peanut allergy and have had one for over 20 years, I am now 22. I was taken to the doctor's office at the age of 5 and taught how to use my ana-kit...the epi needle, it is an actual injection not the auto-injector epi-pen. By the time I was 7, I went to camp both day camps and over night camps. You'd be amazed and surprised at how mature your kids are when you give them responsibility. I know it is hard to imagine...the difference maybe that my mom was a nurse before she had me and didn't want to restrict me in anyway. She did take precautions, the first away camp I went to, my mom did come along but, after that, I was on my own. I never had a reaction. I don't know about the camps in the States, I definetely can't speak for them but, in Canada the camps that I know of, all counsellors are trained to use the epi-pen and are fully aware of cpr training etc and the seriousness of anaphylaxis and allergies. I worked as a leader in training at a sports (day) camp and I had training on how to use the epi-pen and cpr etc. I hope this helps to change your minds a little. But, I also realize the decision is totally yours. I will mention that no one can ever make the decision about your child's safety but yourself. Before I end this, I would like to tell you of another story. There are defintetly two sides to every story. A while back, a girl went camping (this was not a day camp, it was a camping trip with her school), she was a teenager at the time and they were making sandwiches, everyone knew she was allergic to peanuts. The teacher wiped the knife thinking that should be safe, she made a sandwich from it and subsequently had an allergic reaction. Because they were too deep in the bush, they did not get her to the hospital in time. Mind you she only had one epi-pen with her. I would suggest that when you send your kid to camp that they are at a camp where a nurse is staffed on site and that you have enough epi-pens to last the child to get them to the hospital. This is of course a precautionary measure only. What I;m basicaly trying to say is that you can't protect your child forever and the more they are sheltered I think the harder it is for them to understand their responsibility for their allergy. But, I must mention that this is solely my opinion and not meant to get anyone angry or mad or upset.

Posted on: Thu, 05/18/2000 - 10:15am
Lisa M's picture
Joined: 03/07/1999 - 09:00

Thanks so much for that post. It always helps to hear from an adult that has lived through it. It seems as if Canada is light years ahead of the US in educating others about food allergies and training people in charge about epi's, etc. I envy it. I guess because my son is only 4 and behind in speech and language development, it is really hard to imagine that he'll ever be old enough to go anywhere by himself! But I have to admit, I'm an overprotective mom in a lot of ways with my 8 year old that doesn't have any allergies! So, I need to work on that in general! I hope you'll keep posting your experiences. I really want to read them. Lisa

Posted on: Thu, 05/18/2000 - 11:52am
scywong's picture
Joined: 10/28/1999 - 09:00

I now better understand your concern about your child. A parent is supposed to protect their child, I don't fault you for wanting to keep your child safe. I know if it were my kid, I would probably be totally paranoid. I guess cause I grew up with it, my perspective on things is a little different than those who had to care for me. If you are fearful that your child is not able to communicate his peanut allergy then I (and this is a suggestion) have him start practicing first with family members regarding his allergy and then expand your circle to include grandparents etc. This may help, I suggest starting with a little responsibility and then as he becomes more confident you may begin to feel a little more at ease. I can definetely tell you that this isn't the easiest thing to deal with but, it isn't the worst either. Good luck if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Good luck!

Posted on: Fri, 05/19/2000 - 1:17am
melissa's picture
Joined: 07/05/2004 - 09:00

Thank you for your support. I agree that Canada is doing more to educate the general public on the dangers of food allergies. I live in Denver, Colorado and I can't count how many times people have laughed when I asked what type of ingredients they used. Most think I am being a litte paranoid about my son. Thank you very much, I am!!! He has a horrible allergy and many people don't take it seriously. When my son was 3 we were at at grocery store and my son was in the cart. I turned around to get someting and the person in the bakery was walking around with fresh baked peanut butter cookies. She was handing them out to people. When I turned around my son was just taking the cookie and nearly had it in his mouth. All I could to was literally slap the thing out of his hand. He cried and the lady yelled at me "Why did you do that!" I told her my son is PA and he could die. She should never give a child anything without asking the parents first, I was right there, she could have asked. She then said that it couldn't be that bad, I was just being to protective. I was angry by that point, I left my cart and walked out of the store. See what I mean, it is scary.

Posted on: Fri, 05/19/2000 - 8:31am
ihatepeanuts's picture
Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

Melissa: Yes, it is scary. I think I would
have had the urge to slap the lady for
saying that! Maybe you could talk to the
manager of the grocery store and suggest
that anyone handing food out only ask the
parents first if a child can have it. At
our grocery store we often have people set
up with little tables handing out samples.
They will not give any food to children until
they get the o.k. from the parent.
Tina: I would have a very hard time allowing
my son to go away to a camp. I would consider it if my husband or I could go with. I was also curious why your daughter
auditioned if she wasn't able to go. This
is not to make you feel bad. Maybe you just
didn't think of all those things before
auditioning. I can understand that. I hope
your daughter isn't too heartbroken!



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