Tired of hearing \' oh, your son is so much more allergic than mine\' - Peanut Allergy Information

Tired of hearing \' oh, your son is so much more allergic than mine\'

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I have met many parents who have allergic children. This is a statement that I find hard to reply to. The parents in question, and they are more than one, have peanut allergic children. Their children eat products that are labeled 'may contain'. They have been very lucky and their children have never had a reaction to any of these foods. Because of this , they conclude that the labeling is just something that manufactuers slap on to cover their backs. We have not been so lucky, and so we avoid these foods.

But its a hard tight rope isnt it?

I cant not tell other parents how to bring up their allergic children, its not my place, they are doing there best with there experience of life with nut allergy.

However , I cringe inwardly, that nut allergic children ( and parents ) are not fully aware of the manufactoring process.

I picture these children growing up to take a big risk or simply eating one of these products with nut traces , that they have eaten a thousand times before , and ending up in hospital. Then finding out what they have to learn to avoid the next exposure . I know that this post can be taken totally the wrong way by some parents. But I feel that there is a real need to bring up peanut allergic children to absorb simple steps of allergy avoidance , to accept them as a normal part of life, rather then find themselves ill equiped to cope with allergic avoidance as adults.

I am sure that others consider the steps I take with William to be extreme, and think that I am over reacting or going completely bonkers over the whole allergy issue.

As I am equally amazed that they have not taken the time to learn all they can about their childs condition, or simply appear bury there heads in the sand.

How many adults who vist this board had a rude awakening to there situation with regard to allergy,? I wonder if there comfort zones rub against those that there parents casual treatment of allergy?

The statement ' your son is so much more allergic than mine' just simply makes me want to scream !!!! , because there is simply no need to compare , peanut allergic, means peanut allergic. The potenital for a life threatening reaction is the same for all . er...thanks for letting me rant a little, feel so much better.! sarah

On May 21, 2003

Sarah,

You echo my thoughts EXACTLY. Only my son has been seeing it at school. The only explanation I give him is that they must have lousy doctors that aren't doing their job in telling the parents how serious a peanut (or any other food allergy, really) is.

On May 21, 2003

Sarah and ryan's mom, I find myself with these EXACT same thoughts also! I know a woman with a 3year old boy with PA and she is a nurse and she doesn't even care to talk about it. She just says 'he's not that bad and he's going to outgrow it anyway!' My sister went to their house for dinner and she had a bowl of peanuts sitting out, the boy went over and grabbed a handful and the mother just said "honey, no.' My sister said she almost fell over!! My mother tried to talk to her about it and she just blew her off. I was flabergasted that this educated woman won't even take the time to learn about the allergy. I guess to each his own, but a secret little part of me gets upset with people with this attitude because I feel like they undermine everything I try to drill into people's heads!! They make me look like the nutso mom who is just way to overprotective! But, I would never say anything, it's not my place. I read your post and felt like you were writing the thoughts in my head!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] kcmom

On May 21, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by williamsmummy: [b]Their children eat products that are labeled 'may contain'...................

The statement ' your son is so much more allergic than mine' just simply makes me want to scream !!!! [/b]

Hi Sarah,

I understand what you are saying. It's like saying you are a little bit pregnant. If you are allergic to peanuts, you have the potential to have a severe reaction anytime. Just because your prior reaction was mild does not mean your future reaction won't be life threatening.

And yes, 'may contains' can be quite dangerous too. Although I would note that if you research various manufacturers you can sometimes find 'may contains' that would fit within some people's comfort zones.

For example, Canadian Breyers vanilla ice cream says 'may contain penauts' but after contacting Breyers and learning about their manufacturing conditions it would be within my comfort zone to eat it and I have (although since I discovered Chapman's peanut-free ice cream I don't eat Breyers much at all anymore).

But I see what you are saying... many adults do not take PA seriously until after that first severe reaction happens. I have always been very careful, although I do have a wider comfort zone than most people here. But I have still managed to avoid peanut reactions for the most part (especially sicne I learned about cross-contamination issues in my teenage years, as baked goods were the biggest cause of my reactions).

On May 21, 2003

.

[This message has been edited by StaceyK (edited October 21, 2004).]

On May 21, 2003

I cannot stand it when i hear that also. What do they mean!?!?! Hel-lo? A reaction is unpredictable and different every time. Denial, denial, denial.

On May 23, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis: [b]I cannot stand it when i hear that also. What do they mean!?!?! Hel-lo? A reaction is unpredictable and different every time. Denial, denial, denial. [/b]

So true...... and by saying it is not severe, those people in the general population may also get the wrong idea and disbelieve those of us who state how serious the allergy really is. So we'll end up looking like the crazy ones who worry too much.

On May 24, 2003

I came across this at school too.One mother of the only other pa in the school was like whats the big deal! She said oh He eats things that say may contain and if his mouth starts to tingle I tell him to throw it out!WHAT!!!!!!

SO of course I am the nutso mom of the pa kid who is a lunatic overprotective and paranoid !

On May 24, 2003

I guess I can relate somewhat to both sides of the issue here. I have 2 pa children. The one (7yob) has what I term a very severe pa. The other (6yog) has what I term a slight pa. The difference being that Timmy has had 4 anaphalactic reactions (most to simply residue) just this school year. Becky on the other hand has NEVER had any kind of reaction to peanut whatsoever, although tests at a 1 and carries an Epi Jr. We have a totally peanut free home and I keep both children away from any peanut products when I am with them, but, I did allow Becky to eat "may contain" snacks with her class this school year as long as peanut wasn't listed as an actual ingredient.

Last year in the same grade I was so hard on this teacher that my daughter had this year, and I really wanted to avoid all the conflict. It actually went very smoothly and she never once had a problem. They were very good about making just jelly sandwiches for snack and the teacher knew a lot of pn free cookies and snacks from having my son the prior year and tried to stay pn free as much as possible. I also had her tested mid-year to be sure it was not making her allergy any worse (still a 1) so I was comfortable with this.

Valerie

On May 24, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by CVRTBB: [b]Becky on the other hand has NEVER had any kind of reaction to peanut whatsoever, although tests at a 1 and carries an Epi Jr. [/b]

wondering several things:

defining a "reaction". spectrum ranging from cellular level and biochemical events leading to it; to outward signs and sypmtoms both subjective and objective.

contemplating information such tests impart and the effacy of such.

contemplating information such tests impart and the relationship such information has to other factors.

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Just wondering and contemplating.

On May 24, 2003

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum18/HTML/000253.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum18/HTML/000253.html[/url]

Found this interesting.

On May 24, 2003

MB, Maybe its just that I'm stupid... but if you talked in "laymens" terms maybe I might understand what you are trying to say once in a while. My finite brain just cannot seem to process your posts. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Valerie

On May 24, 2003

valerie:

you are not stupid. i had to edit my lengthy reply to you. just wanted to let you know that you aren't stupid. very few people understand wording such as that. it's not you.

joey

[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited May 24, 2003).]

On May 24, 2003

forgot to add...

my husband is one of the types that believes his allergy to be a mild form. no formal testing...just past reactions to pecans, walnuts and peanuts. he actually to this day occasionally tries a salad or something with walnuts or pecans just to see "how allergic" he still is. he seems to believe he will outgrow it all someday. he's 42. hmmmm. now you can see why i have such a hard time convincing him to be vigilant with the girls (both pa). oddly, he does seem to either have outgrown the peanut allergy or has some odd type of mild form of it. he sure produced some very sensitive children though....their reactions have been quite severe. i'm always afraid he will give them the false hope that they too can be as lax as him when they become adults.

On May 24, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by CVRTBB: [b]MB, Maybe its just that I'm stupid... but if you talked in "laymens" terms maybe I might understand what you are trying to say once in a while. My finite brain just cannot seem to process your posts. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Valerie[/b]

You're not stupid Valerie. I also have trouble understanding her questions even though I try. I just try my best and try not to worry about it. If I answer the wrong question, that's life.

Quote:

Originally posted by erik: [b] I think we have seen from various member's postings that an implied guarantee often won't work as there is nothing of substance behind it to ensure it means anything. [/b]

Quote:

Originally posted by Momma Bear: [b]

You actually missed my point. Sigh.[/b]

[This message has been edited by erik (edited May 24, 2003).]

On May 24, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by joeybeth: [b]valerie:

you are not stupid. i had to edit my lengthy reply to you. just wanted to let you know that you aren't stupid. very few people understand wording such as that. it's not you.

joey

[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited May 24, 2003).][/b]

Maybe Corvallis mom or choguy would be able to elaborate on my statement (ponderings) thus presenting an easier to understand format. Here's to hoping.

Hugs, Joeybeth.

On May 24, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] Maybe Corvallis mom or choguy would be able to elaborate on my statement (ponderings) thus presenting an easier to understand format. Here's to hoping.

Hugs, Joeybeth.

[/b]

Or Anna Marie? She's an English major and she loves waffles too [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On May 24, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by erik: [b] Or Anna Marie? She's an English major and she loves waffles too [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

[/b]

You keep picking on me and I'll give a few new ideas of what to do with your waffles [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Was the original quote in English?

On May 24, 2003

Val, did your daughter have a skin test? If this was the case, she may not even be allergic as there is a high rate of false positives with this test. I know that my son eats almost all of the foods that he tested a 1 or a 2 for. The peanuts result was like your Timmy---a 4.

You're still smart to take precautions in the meantime, but she may be one of the lucky ones who "outgrow" it. I hope she is, as it's double the trouble trying to keep two PA children safe.

Good luck!

On May 24, 2003

Now, as for more or less allergic....

I react much stronger to sesame seeds, but I don't consider that I am more allergic to it. I can understand a person being more concerned about a peanut allergy than a parsley allergy, because even if you have the same reaction to both, peanut is known to become life threatening. I'm not saying parsley couldn't, just that it isn't commonly known to.

Unfortunately, to many people don't take any allergy seriously until they are slapped in the face.

But isn't it like that in other ways, too? People let kids out to play, don't know where they are or who they are with. A child is abducted and suddenly these 4 and 5 year old kids have parents watching them. For a little while. Then, they slack off, don't have the time, whatever, and the kids are out alone again. Except mine. My five year old is never out alone.

On May 24, 2003

Valerie-Would you be willing to share the circumstances of Tim's reactions? My son is quite sensitive. He will be attending a public school this year (grade 1). The kids eat lunch in the classroom, since there is no cafeteria. The classroom will be peanut/nutfree. The rest of the school will not be. I am nervous about the potential for contact reactions, but we go to parks, museums, etc. and my son rubs his hands and arms along the banisters all the time without a reaction to anything so far...He has had 3 mystery contact reactions. Twice at COSTCO and once at a restaurant that does not serve anything with peanuts.

Were you able to identify the actual source and location of contact that led to reactions? If so, the school we are attending may try to better accomodate us---if I can provide specific examples. Feel free to email me directly. Thanks, Kathy.

On May 24, 2003

The difference in folks perspectives really does make it tough for me and I think will cause my son a lot of frustration as he starts to realize that a lot of folks with this allergy eat a lot of foods that I do not permit. My comfort zone is pretty narrow. I have been trying to increase my zone a bit and hope some of you will reply to this...as many of you sound as cautious as me. (which is why I am posting this question here) Do any of you have a comfort level with Nabisco foods? Particularly regular oreos, Uh-ohs, and the Graham Cracker Sticks, and crackers in general. I have never received a satisfactory response from them, just standard ---we clean our lines, everything is mixed use, blah, blah... a recent post indicates that oreos and uh-ohs are made in a nut free facility...what do you think? The only store bought cookies I have ever let him have are the nabisco animal crackers. (and that only rarely)

On May 24, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by AnnaMarie: [b] You keep picking on me and I'll give a few new ideas of what to do with your waffles [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Was the original quote in English?[/b]

[i]Would it involve a thong?[/i]

On May 24, 2003

I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to reply. I'll see if I can remember all the questions.

Becky was tested with the skin prick method. She has been a 1 on a range of 0 to 4++ since she was 11 months old. My allergist refuses to do any blood tests. She started out with severe eczema, asthma and allergies to about 20 different foods. (10 of those were 3's and 4's) She has outgrown almost every allergy, almost outgrown the asthma and no more ecxema. So the way we are handling her must not be all bad!

Timmy on the other hand, has progressed to a 4++ to peanut, a 3 to shellfish, and a 4 to cats and bunnies. And a 3 to dust. He also has fairly severe asthma but hasn't had much ecxema since he was a baby.

His anaphalactic reactions this school year were to... 1) a bunny that was brought in for show and tell (did not know he was allergic and he held and petted it). 2)Contact reaction in early morning care at school in lunchroom 3) One bite of a Chips Ahoy Cookie- woke up in the morning in the midst of anaphalaxis. 4) Contact reaction to pn residue from the night before on a computer keyboard.

Two of his anaphalactic reactions were at school, one at home and one at church (an hour or two after playing a video game on the computer at home).

Just a word of caution if your child is allergic to dust... I was being called to the school almost every day at nap time to come and get Timmy and he would be in the midst of a near anaphalactic reaction... turned out that sleeping on his nap mat on the floor was causing the reactions (dust). Nearly had to homeschool till we finally figured it out. Bought a chaise lounge chair for him to sleep on and the rest of the year went very smooth!

We do not have a pn free table at school. They attend a very small private school and the teacher is very good at making sure nobody sits within a half a table of him with pb.

Sorry to talk everyone's ear off. Just wanted to say that I appreciate everyone's replys and encouragement... thanks!

Valerie

On May 24, 2003

Kstreeter,

We seem to have a much looser comfort zone. We do have Oreos here. DD's favorite. She has never had any problems with them.

Maggie

On May 24, 2003

KStreeter, My comfort zone in regards to cookies is pretty narrow also. My children eat regular and chocolate Oreos and Murry Chocolate Chip and Murry Butter cookies with no problems. I called Murry's and they sounded like they had excellent labeling practices and a safe product, they have two plants and one is pn free (I believe the sugar free products are not safe).

HTH, Valerie

On May 25, 2003

I suppose this thread just exposes the appalling lack of advice and support world wide that parents and adults receive re peanut allergy management.

I have met doctors and nurses who have children with PA who let their children eat 'may contain', usually by 'testing' product with tongue, with advice like this....' if it tingles, spit it out'!. It seems to me that not even the medical prof are not taught the basics of allergy management. It isnt any wonder that others look at me as if I am a mad over reactive parent. !!!

Why do allergist's refuse to do blood tests ? To get a decent dx you need to do both skin and blood tests dont you?

As River pointed out, Skin tests are not that reliable, they only seem to give accurate results for egg and peanut.

As for waffles, thongs etc, Well, I would never eat a waffle for breakfast, and eating one in a thong IMO would end up with a very sticky lap, esp if eaten with syrup. There is a time for thong wearing , and a time for waffle eating. They should not be mixed.

Oh, and am compelled to add my next winge, which does not have much to do with this thread, Hubbys new diet, doc told him to go on a lipid lowering diet. Which is just fab in this house AHHHHHHHHH! recommended fats and oils for him to have meals prepared with etc, walnut oil, vegatable oil, sesame oil. Oh, and included pulses such as kidney beans, baked beans and the odd handful of salt free peanuts!

So , William on high fat diet, hubby on low fat, low salt low colestrol etc etc,( no booze either !!, very hard to get hubby to smile this week !!! ) I am on slimmming world diet,other children on a as near as I can get to a balanced diet. I am finding each meal a complete pain . The fridge is full of at least 3 different spreads, and 3-4 types of milk. Have not bought nut oil , or peanuts for hubby, he can move out and eat them with his mother.

better go and find something for everyone to eat, bye sarah

On May 25, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by williamsmummy: [b]

As for waffles, thongs etc, Well, I would never eat a waffle for breakfast, and eating one in a thong IMO would end up with a very sticky lap, esp if eaten with syrup.

[/b]

A golden opportunity, in my honest, personal, opinion. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

On May 25, 2003

Sarah, you have made me realize just how easy dinner time around here is. My biggest problem is that everyone comes and goes at different times, and everybody wants their meal freshly made. (I have introduced them all to Mr. Fridge and Mrs. Stove.)

On May 25, 2003

I was roflmao when I read about the thongs and waffles here!

My son tested a 4 on a rast test.He never had a skin test.He eats oreos. Once in awhile we buy chips ahoy.He has had them with no reaction.It makes me wonder, is the cookie really ok or is he just not that sensitive to traces? I thought the cookies were ok. They dont have may contain nuts on the label. I have alot of calling to do!

On May 25, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by patsmommy: [b] Once in awhile we buy chips ahoy.He has had them with no reaction.[/b]

PatsMommy, Please check these out before buying them again! I also thought that they were ok and bought them. Timmy had them before with no problem... they caused almost the worst anaphalactic reaction that he has had! When I called the manufacturer they said they cleaned the lines between productions so did not feel the need to label... UGH! BTW, he only ate 1 bite of the cookie and threw it out but did not mention to me that he didn't like it. The next morning he awoke to full blown anaphalaxis. (Ate it just before bed, which we try not to do anymore!)

HTH, Valerie

On May 25, 2003

Sarah,

I realte to your problems planning meals. DH is on the Atkins diet and with already working around PA / TNA dd, my attempt at Weight Watcher maintence and dd's general picky eating meal planning has been rough!

As to your orginal question - I feel fortunate that dd has not had a contact or inhalation reacation. While I know that that does not make her "less allergic" it does make me more comfortable with things such as her eating at a regular table in the lunch room etc... A classmate of hers has had several serious reactions from contact to peanuts and has more restrictions then my dd - so I guess it could look as though I consider her "less allergic".

On May 25, 2003

Sarah,

I bumped up a thread under Living with PA to compliment this one, maybe some of the responses in that one would be of additional help....

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On May 26, 2003

I have a comment regarding all the cookie talk in this thread...

I am assuming the comments are from Americans? This is an important fact for this discussion as I believe they are made in a different facility for sale in Canada - and I'm not sure about the UK.

Sorry, I have no actual info to add here, as I bake my own cookies and very rarely eat any store bought.

On May 26, 2003

Sarah, you do have my sympathy with your meal planning. That sounds like a full time job in itself; never mind all the rest of your work as a mom of four!

I am horrible, but I heard something yesterday that made me feel very vindicated. Last year, when Leah was in first grade, there was another boy in first grade who apparently had a peanut allergy. I didn't know who he was, but his teacher told me she had a pa boy in her class, but his parents said it wasn't severe and he did not have an epi-pen. We had a peanut free table and he did not sit there. We switched schools this year so I've had no further contact with that situation.

Yesterday I found out (from my friend whose daughter is still at the school) that this boy ate a piece of candy from a bag that also had loose peanuts in it. Apparently he thought it would be safe since he didn't eat the actual peanuts. (I feel so bad for the poor little guy who was never given the proper guidance on managing his allergies!) Next thing, he had a severe reaction (I don't know any details) and the paramedics were called. Guess what?! Now he has an epi-pen at school! I am hoping that every teacher, parent, and school official who ever rolled their eyes behind my back is now "getting it"! Just wanted to share... You never know what it may take to wake these people up. - Miriam

On May 26, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by AnnaMarie: [b]I have a comment regarding all the cookie talk in this thread...

I am assuming the comments are from Americans? This is an important fact for this discussion as I believe they are made in a different facility for sale in Canada - and I'm not sure about the UK.[/b]

That is a good point. The Canadian Chips Ahoy and Oreos are made here (different facility) than the American ones. So even if people have reactions to American Chips Ahoy, it would not mean that the Canadian ones were unsafe.

There are a few exceptions (Canadian mini-Oreos are imported from the USA).

On May 26, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by California Mom: [b]Sarah, you do have my sympathy with your meal planning. That sounds like a full time job in itself; never mind all the rest of your work as a mom of four!

I am horrible, but I heard something yesterday that made me feel very vindicated. Last year, when Leah was in first grade, there was another boy in first grade who apparently had a peanut allergy. I didn't know who he was, but his teacher told me she had a pa boy in her class, but his parents said it wasn't severe and he did not have an epi-pen. We had a peanut free table and he did not sit there. We switched schools this year so I've had no further contact with that situation.

Yesterday I found out (from my friend whose daughter is still at the school) that this boy ate a piece of candy from a bag that also had loose peanuts in it. Apparently he thought it would be safe since he didn't eat the actual peanuts. (I feel so bad for the poor little guy who was never given the proper guidance on managing his allergies!) Next thing, he had a severe reaction (I don't know any details) and the paramedics were called. Guess what?! Now he has an epi-pen at school! I am hoping that every teacher, parent, and school official who ever rolled their eyes behind my back is now "getting it"! Just wanted to share... You never know what it may take to wake these people up. - Miriam[/b]

I posted in a different thread:

(page three of this thread, from my March 02, 2003 08:00 AM post):

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000894.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000894.html[/url]

[i]"The mom (A or B -----can't remember which) who would feel ok giving her child the "may contains". In your example situation. I still wonder about that (giving may contains deliberately). Is this "OK" to do, given the nature of PA, and the possibility of peanut protein in the item?? Does a more relaxed "comfort zone" make this acceptable (giving "may contains").

See, this is where we, as a PA community, need to start commiting to across the board "right way" or "wrong way". I'm not saying on everything. But on the big issues. Epi-pens. Where Epi-pens are kept. Training of individuals, documentation of such. What will be allow our children to eat at school.(ie: homebaked goods? "may contains", food that could be a risk----but is allowed because we haven't had a problem yet?).

There are still parents who have children with documented PA (by history and blood testing) who don't feel an epi pen is necessary. I know. I met two in two days this week. What are the odds of that? Complete strangers. Funny where God puts ya and who ya meet?"[/i]

(Paragraphing added [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img])

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

On May 26, 2003

Oh, just realized that it may not be clear from my original post (about the boy who ate the candy and the paramedics came)that this incident happened while the boy was at school. Miriam

On May 26, 2003

Valerie, thanks for the heads up. I always read labels and never give him anything that says may contain or made in a facility... its so scary that they dont have to label.Are you guys finding some companies to be more trustworthy then others? I called hershey once and the rep told me that the regular hershey bars are made on dedicated lines, Not minis or bigger ones. Then she said that hershey takes labeling very seriously. I am in America btw.

On May 26, 2003

I have a question. Since my son only reacted to eating pb and as far as I know never touched or smelled it since then, How would I know if hewas smell and touch sensitive? He never had a skin test.When I went to the allergist a few weeks ago I wanted to test him for the smell.He cried and she said it was not necessary. What test should be given to him?

On May 26, 2003

I too, feel the same frustration from this statement "Oh, my child is not as allergic as yours". I agree with whoever said it is like being only "kind of pregnant".

Here is one statement that actually gets me even more mad: "My child is only allergic to peanut butter". WHAT???? Isn't that the most insane thing??? I have met 2 moms who actually said this to me. That their kids were ok with everything BUT peanut butter, because that is what they reacted to. They actually give their kids things with pn and nuts. That is like giving your kid a bomb to play with.

AUGH!!!! It makes me so mad that I just have to walk away. I almost blow up at these people, but I find I have to bite my lip and walk away.

On May 26, 2003

Valerie, I just wanted to thank you for mentioning the whole nap mat thing. We are going through the 504 process for my ds starting kindergarten and he was a big 4 for dust and I never thought of this as a problem.

Thanks, you probably saved him alot of reactions.

On May 26, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by maddiesmom: [b]I too, feel the same frustration from this statement "Oh, my child is not as allergic as yours". I agree with whoever said it is like being only "kind of pregnant".

Here is one statement that actually gets me even more mad: "My child is only allergic to peanut butter". WHAT???? Isn't that the most insane thing??? I have met 2 moms who actually said this to me. That their kids were ok with everything BUT peanut butter, because that is what they reacted to. They actually give their kids things with pn and nuts. That is like giving your kid a bomb to play with.

AUGH!!!! It makes me so mad that I just have to walk away. I almost blow up at these people, but I find I have to bite my lip and walk away.[/b]

So you would say this is attributable to a "comfort zone" issue? Or is it an indicator of a need for further information? As I am still desperately trying to understand the whole "comfort zone" thing. It is an unfamiliar concept to me.

MommaBear

On May 27, 2003

I don't think it has to do with "comfort zone" but more about lack of education on allergies.

I think that some Dr.'s are to blame for not informing their patients about allergies, but I also think that some allergy parents are in denial and refuse to believe that their child can be "that allergic" or that their allergy is "not that bad".

On May 27, 2003

MB, a comfort zone is based on knowledge.

First, you have to have some understanding of living with the allergy. Then, you have to understand a bit about manufacturing food. Only then can you develope a "comfort zone".

On May 27, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by maddiesmom: [b]I don't think it has to do with "comfort zone" but more about lack of education on allergies. [/b]

and

Quote:

Originally posted by AnnaMarie: [b]MB, a comfort zone is based on knowledge [/b]

and

Quote:

Originally posted by maddiesmom: [b]I think that some Dr.'s are to blame for not informing their patients about allergies, but I also think that some allergy parents are in denial and refuse to believe that their child can be "that allergic" or that their allergy is "not that bad".[/b]

So how would you classify the actions of a parent who allows their PA child to eat "May Contains" indescriminantly? (For example)

"Comfort Zone"?

or

"Lack of Education on Allergies"?

or

"Denial"?

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

edit to add third choice: "Denial"

[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited May 27, 2003).]

On May 27, 2003

Could be either/or.

Could be a combination.

Personally, dealing with my own *denial* right now - maybe I should stay out of this.

On May 27, 2003

Just got this from the teacher today. "You shoulld consider (store brand x) animal crackers as a snack option for your dd next year(at this school). The 'highly allergic' boy in the other class is allowed to have those. Perhaps you should talk to his mother about those."

This is a store brand product I actually have on a list of shared equipment snacks on our list to avoid. I contacted the manager of that dept. of this store and was given a list of their snacks on dedicated lines and not. I told her my information. And she still challenged it saying, "Huh. Well he eats them and has no problems. That is very interesting." I just said some people have differing comfort levels as to manufacturing procedures and they were not okay by me.

Then I was pressured a bit again about the McDonald's field trip we are skipping on Thursday! This time, my dd was compared to the teacher's own dd who had multiple food intolerances, but not allergies, and all outgrown. Since her dd could bring her own food, my dd could too. never mind her egg allergy and they are going at 10 AM and eggs are all over at that time of day.

The comparisons to other allergic children are very unprofessional by a teacher, and I will be addressing this with the director! Geesh, allergies or not we should not be questioned on how we feed our children, especially if it is in the interest of healthful options(our bigger reason for boycotting the McDonald's trip)! becca

[This message has been edited by becca (edited May 27, 2003).]

On May 27, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b]So how would you classify the actions of a parent who allows their PA child to eat "May Contains" indescriminantly? (For example)

"Comfort Zone"? or "Lack of Education on Allergies"? or "Denial"? [/b]

If it is a may contain that really could contain traces of peanuts, I would say it is a "lack of education/denial" issue.

However, if you have researched the item and determined that you consider it safe, I would call it a 'comfort zone' issue.

For example.....

Some parents here have said they will not feed their PA children no-name rice krispie squares, Nestle Canada Nesquik chocolate syrup, Carnation hot chocolate powder, etc...

why???

Because the manufacturer will not guarantee that the product is 100% peanut free.

However, Nestle Canada does state that there are no penauts in Nesquik chocolate syrup, and that it is manufactured in a peanut-free facility, and they take precautions to keep it peanut-free.

But since they can't guarantee it is 100% peanut-free, some people at PA.COM will not feed these products to their children (please note that nomne of the products I have mentioend has any type of warning on the packaging at all).

Since I would eat these products (while others would not) that is what I would say is a definition of a comfort zone.

Just like some people scrub down the seats and tables at McDonalds prior to eating there, but I do not... differing zones of comfort. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On May 27, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by becca: [b]This is a store brand product I actually have on a list of shared equipment snacks on our list to avoid. I contacted the manager of that dept. of this store and was given a list of their snacks on dedicated lines and not. I told her my information. And she still challenged it saying, "Huh. Well he eats them and has no problems. That is very interesting." [/b]

Hi Becca,

This sounds very frustrating.... that teacher is uninformed and not professional. I hope the director can assit you...

She obviously does not understand that even if you have no reaction from a 'may cintain' product today is does not mean you won't have one tomorrow.

On May 27, 2003

Becca, the teacher needs to understand what *may contain* means. It does not mean that it does contain peanuts, but that it might. If the company cleans the equipment between all runs and the peanut product is followed by several other products before the particular cracker you buy, then chances are there will no longer be trace amounts. On the other hand, if the cracker you buy runs right after the peanut product the chance is much higher that there will be trace amounts. Russian roullette?

How many times can a child run across the road without looking before actually getting hit by a car? Same idea, but I'll bet the teacher wouldn't suggest you let your child run across the road without looking just because somebody else did, and see, their child didn't get hit.

Am I making sense here? I'm not even sure right now. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]

On May 27, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by AnnaMarie: [b]Am I making sense here?[/b]

Yes. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On May 27, 2003

Yes, Annemarie, you are making sense. I need to readdress with the school what they think means peanut free, since they chose to declare themselves that this year. They are kind of the bad example of the false sense of security because of this policy. I do not mind may contains(unlabeled ones and ones that would come in a child's individual lunch from home, which is an optional extended day program). in my dd's class or in her school, but do not want her eating them.

In this case, the other families with PA kids are not as strict as I am, and they have allowed foods that I do not. The teacher has addressed this with me a few times, and not professionally or particularly privately.

Funny thing is she does understand the nautre of a may contain or cross contamination, and did get it when I said they are made on shared equipment. But I did get the feeling she finds me extreme. Meaning, well, the other kid is more allergic(which was the topic here), and he can have them. So what? My dd cannot is what I wanted to say!

I did email her my exchange(an email) with the rep from that store, and mentioned she might want to share the knowledge with the school and other families about the shared equipment. I hope that got the message to her.

Thanks for your support. The whole unlabelled may contain thing is hard for people to grasp. But this teacher also made a mistake last week by putting an unsafe Hershy Dark(4oz) size candy bar into a concoction for the kids. She had checked all ingredients with me, except this, and only recalled and mentioned it in passing. She was recalling that I said I trust Hershey's and gave her very *specific* products. She is not good with remebering and did not check her list, obviously, and figured since it is Hershey it was okay. Another mistake when others are giving food to our kids. Every label must be checked. I remined her of this and we figured something out, but it came very close to being fed to my dd.

I am digressing from topic of comapring kids allergies here. Sorry! becca

On May 27, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by becca: [b]

I am digressing from topic of comapring kids allergies here. Sorry! becca[/b]

I don't mind. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Besides, your comments seem very connected to the subject at hand.

On May 27, 2003

eric,

So, in relation to my question, what is your answer? Please note I said "indescriminately". ie: Any "May Contains"?

Are you inferring that the concept of a 100% guarantee influences many manufacturers [b]to place[/b] a [b]label[/b] indicating such may [b]not[/b] be the case? (ie: a 100% guarantee)

[b]Even with regards to the most [i]remote[/i] of circumstances?[/b]. ie: [b]Labelling[/b] a product "May Contain" if there could be the most remote possibility that a substance not intentionally put there could find it's way into the product??

Just trying to understand the "comfort zone" thing.

On May 27, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear:

Are you inferring that the concept of a 100% guarantee influences many manufacturers [b]to place[/b] a [b]label[/b] indicating such may [b]not[/b] be the case? (ie: a 100% guarantee)

MommaBear, I can't answer for anyone else, but unfortunately it would not surprise me if this was the case. My coffee from McDonalds now has a label to let me know coffee is hot. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Liability???

[This message has been edited by maggie0303 (edited May 27, 2003).]

On May 27, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by maggie0303: [b] MommaBear, I can't answer for anyone else, but unfortunately it would not surprise me if this was the case. My coffee from McDonalds now has a label to let me know coffee is hot. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Liability???

[/b]

maggie0303,

Thank you for your reply. So, am I correct in assuming it is not difficult to understand liability being motivational in applying such a label?

Am I also correct in assuming many individuals are [i]appreciative[/i] that many companies take care in relaying to those at risk the possibility, even if somewhat remote? (although as I understand it, a "May Contain" label may also be indicative of a [b]somewhat likely[/b]probability of finding the particular substance in question in the product----in what amount, degree, percentage, I am unaware).

If I am correct in assuming, then why do many individuals find it peculiar or even unbelievable) that liability (and maybe "truth in labelling") could possibly be influential in determining whether the label "Peanut Free" (for example) be used to describe a classroom or school?

*******************************

Not directed at anyone in particular......... but still wondering about the "indiscriminate" issue? (As presented in my earlier question.

As I feel this is very connected to the original question in this thread.

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

On May 27, 2003

PS. I'm from IL too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On May 28, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b]So, in relation to my question, what is your answer? Please note I said "indescriminately". ie: Any "May Contains"?

[/b]

I would say that a parent feeding their PA child 'may contain peanuts' products would usually be due to a lack of education. They do not realize that even though the product may be safe the first 50 times it is eaten, on the 51st try a seveer peanut allergic reaction could occur.

This is also true with adults. However, I believe "denial" plays more of a role with adults, as if an adult has "eaten 'may contains' for many years they may be in denial and think it can't happen to them.

Of course, there are also those in our society who are risk takers. Sky-diving... climbing Mt. Everest... auto racing... etc.. so for those people, they truly may think the 'may contain' product is much of a rsik, since they are more likely to die from their other risk taking activities.

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b]Are you inferring that the concept of a 100% guarantee influences many manufacturers to place a label indicating such may not be the case? (ie: a 100% guarantee) [/b]

No.. that does not seem to be the case in Canada. I believe most 'may contains' truly are 'may contains" (shared manufacturing equipment, etc).

However, I have noticed in Canada that manufacturers do not say peanut-free on the label unless they have certified it as being peanut-free (suppliers, etc). Nestle Canada has peanut-free chocolate bars. However, they do not use the "peanut-free" label for their other products (ie: Carnation hot chocolate) because een though it is a peanut-free facility, they do not want to guarantee it is 100% peanut free. However, there is no warning on the label as they do strive to keep it free of peanuts (just no gaurantee).

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b]Just trying to understand the "comfort zone" thing. [/b]

Carnation hot chocolate has no peanut warning on the label. I drink it since it is made in a peanut-free facility and Nestle Canada said they make efforts to ensure it is peanut-free (but no guarantee). Therefore, some other people will not drink it since there is no guarantee.

Some people eat no name rice krispie squares from Loblaws (no warning label). Cindy Spowart Cook and others consider them unsafe since there is no guarantee from Loblaws that they are peanut-free.

These are some examples of what comfort zones are. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On May 28, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] If I am correct in assuming, then why do many individuals find it peculiar or even unbelievable) that liability (and maybe "truth in labelling") could possibly be influential in determining whether the label "Peanut Free" (for example) be used to describe a classroom or school? [/b]

I believe that since the Canadian courts have ruled that a school must make a reasonable effort to keep the PA children safe (peanut-free class) but will not be liable as long as reasonable efforts were made, that is why Canadians are more comfortabel than Americans with this term.

However, if the Canadian courts start to change their mind and hold schools liable, you will notice the term "peanut free" in schools becoming as rare as the great auk.

On May 28, 2003

Erik,

Tell that to the Great Auk in my back yard.

Peg

On May 28, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by Peg541: [b]Erik,

Tell that to the Great Auk in my back yard.

Peg[/b]

Hi Peg,

Really? You should contact the museum... since they are extinct.. haha [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Maybe it's just a "not-so-great" auk? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

[url="http://www.birdsofna.org/excerpts/auk.html"]http://www.birdsofna.org/excerpts/auk.html[/url]

On May 28, 2003

[b]Originally posted by MommaBear: So how would you classify the actions of a parent who allows their PA child to eat "May Contains" indescriminantly? (For example) "Comfort Zone"? or "Lack of Education on Allergies"? or "Denial"?[/b]

MB, I will reply to this as I know that it is pointed directly at me [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

As I said in my previous post, my daughter has NEVER had a reaction period, ever. So yes, maybe it is denial on my part. She has only had the skin test and has consistantly been barely a 1 on it. Whereas my son went from a 1 at 11 months old to now being a 4++ at 7 years old. (Until I found this site I did not understand fully about allergies and this one in particular, although I did keep him away from peanuts and carried an epi pen).

So, yes, I did allow her to occasionally eat "may contains" this year at school. At home she is totally peanut free. This has not posed a problem as she has never had the slightest reaction. Next year she will be in first grade and will not have a daily snack at school and there will be a supply of "safe snacks" in the school kitchen for her and her brother should an occasion arise that they may need one (birthday etc...) We have already been through all this with her 1st grade teacher as she had my son this year so is used to dealing with it effectively. (They carry a lunch from home daily).

So, if your concern is genuine about my daughter (which I have my doubts... seems to me you are just using me to make your point about bad mothers) then worry no more.

Valerie

On May 28, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by CVRTBB: [b][b]Originally posted by MommaBear: So how would you classify the actions of a parent who allows their PA child to eat "May Contains" indescriminantly? (For example) "Comfort Zone"? or "Lack of Education on Allergies"? or "Denial"?[/b]

MB, I will reply to this as I know that it is pointed directly at me [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

As I said in my previous post, my daughter has NEVER had a reaction period, ever. So yes, maybe it is denial on my part. She has only had the skin test and has consistantly been barely a 1 on it. Whereas my son went from a 1 at 11 months old to now being a 4++ at 7 years old. (Until I found this site I did not understand fully about allergies and this one in particular, although I did keep him away from peanuts and carried an epi pen).

So, yes, I did allow her to occasionally eat "may contains" this year at school. At home she is totally peanut free. This has not posed a problem as she has never had the slightest reaction. Next year she will be in first grade and will not have a daily snack at school and there will be a supply of "safe snacks" in the school kitchen for her and her brother should an occasion arise that they may need one (birthday etc...) We have already been through all this with her 1st grade teacher as she had my son this year so is used to dealing with it effectively. (They carry a lunch from home daily).

So, if your concern is genuine about my daughter (which I have my doubts... seems to me you are just using me to make your point about bad mothers) then worry no more.

Valerie[/b]

CVRTBB,

[b]honest to God[/b] you never crossed my mind when I posted my question. [b]Ever.[/b]

It's just a question that I have been relating to the "comfort zone" issue for quite some time. The subject of "May Contains" comes up often.

Do you necessarily equate Lack of Education, Denial, or "Comfort Zones", for that matter, with "Bad Mothers"???

I don't place moral judgement on my patients for the same, so I see no reason to lend the concept to the role of "Mothering" regarding PA.

PS.........Did I mention I really really really dislike "Dodge Ball"? (If you think about it, a rather questionable form of entertainment, let alone a childrens' schoolyard game) Is it [b]still[/b] played in school today???

MommaBear [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

On May 29, 2003

I feel that if I had the information when we found out dd was allergic that I have now, dd life would have been very different. I also think she would NOT be as allergic. I know that is using the term we hate. The first time she had contact with peanut oil, she had hives head to toe. I (dumb, dumb me) talked to my SIL since her son has food allergies. She told me to feed dd lots of peanut butter and see what happens. No I am NOT that dumb. I refused. I had a gut feeling. But we still had nuts in the house. We ate pb. I didn't know any better and not one doctor tried to explain it to me. I didn't take her to a allergist until she was five. Even then he didn't explain the whole picture. Now I rely on what I can find out. What I research. I trust meself at times. I double and triple check everything. I too, am called terrible names. There are lots of people who talk and say that we are making this up. It was so bad for a while (years) I refused to use the ambulance here in town. Seriously. I also have a SIL who is pa, she doesn't read labels, family insists on having pb in the house. And she has had one serious reaction. IMHO, if it wasn't for her mom, she would have died. At the time she admitted this,now of course she is fine. Her husband refuses to admit his wife's allergy. I am the crazy mom, since I watch dd so carefullly. SIL told me once how her eyes and skin burn when around peanuts. Will my BIL change his mind if his wife dies from a reaction? I doubt it. I will still be the crazy one. Hopefully, while I am being 'crazy', I will still have my dd with me.

On May 29, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by erik: [b] Hi Peg,

Really? You should contact the museum... since they are extinct.. haha [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Maybe it's just a "not-so-great" auk? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

[/b]

I spoke to him Erik as he was weeding my vegetables, he say he is a "Fair Auk." I suppose they are not all that rare, he says hi though.

Peg

On May 29, 2003

My son graduate High school on Monday. We are meeting with his University in Mid-June to answer questions about their concerns with his PA and their accommodations.

One thing I am concerned about is right now the University (very small) has never had a student with PA. We are pioneers again.

What happens if another PA student comes into this class and he/she has a much wider comfort zone than DS has? What if it is a person who has believed he is "not that allergic?"

Will this influence the way DS is treated by the people making accommodations? I imagine not because DS is responsible and will make safe choices but I am concerned that the panel might feel we are over reacting.

I think this is another side of the original question. Some of us might feel it necessary to defend our very tight comfort zones and I would rather that did not happen to DS at college. He has prepared himself for that eventuality though. He'll be fine either way.

Peg

On May 29, 2003

Peg, I think your son has had reactions that were very significant and he remembers, no? I think as an adult, sharing this experience should take care of any judgements/comparisons. I recall in my life having other adults tell me they had nut allergies(one particular coworker). I said, "What happens?" She told me. It was all I needed to know. I think we as parents are questioned more as being over protective, as opposed to adults speaking for themselves. Just seems to be what I have noticed on the boards.

It sounds like your son is well-equipped to handle the food situation at college, knowing his allergy well at this point. Not that it makes it any easier. It is a hard step for any parent, let alone with the PA to add.

I was just dining with a group of preschool moms. One was talking about hating sending them(her older kids) off on the bus, even after a year in kindergarten. I was thinking how much harder it will be for me, worrying about kids having candy or snack in their bags and such, in addition to the safety, bullies, etc.... Always just that extra added anxiety.

Sounds like he is as ready as he can be. becca

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