To Shake or Not To Shake, that is the question

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How do you handle hand shaking with your PA/TNA child? We were in the middle of successfully teaching our son to shake hands when he was being introduced, saying hello or good-bye (at church, etc), when he was diagnosed PA/TNA. He is touch-sensitive, so we are very nervous now. We have come up with 3 options:

1) Allow him to shake hands, then immediately have him wipe off with a baby wipe (ex. at church) or wash his hands (ex. at home). (I think this is beyond my comfort zone.)

2) Do not allow him to shake hands at all, have him keep his hands behind his back (as a quiet reminder for himself and a risk reducer for those people who grab his hands when he hasn't extended them) and just verbalize a salutation.

3) Combine option 2 with a short (if there is one) explanation.

We don't want to offend any one or appear rude. But there's not always enough time to explain why he can't touch someone.

Also, what about the risk of the rest of the family shaking hands (ex. at church, again) and accidently "contaminating" him?

This is the only place I could ask this question and not be accused of being an over-protective psycho parent! Thank-you all.

------------------ Peanut/Nut-free wishes, Victoria

On Apr 2, 2001

Stephen is almost 8 months old (will be Thurs)and everyone still wants to hold him or at least touch him. We have a "hands off" policy with him. No touching - no holding with people we barely or don't know. We have gotten a bunch of dirty looks for this, but I had to learn that my child's safety came above etiquette and people's perceptions of me. If there is time I try to slip in a real quick explanation so that they don't think I'm rude but rather that I've lost my mind [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] although most people are pretty understanding. We either give the quick "He has a weak immune system" or try and explain the allergy thing if there is more time and I think they might understand. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do. Jami

[This message has been edited by blackmoss (edited April 02, 2001).]

On Apr 4, 2001

Jami, thanks for the advice! A friend suggested he "wave" a hello. Another friend suggested we sit/stand away from others to reduce risk. You are absolutely right about ignoring etiquette and appearances! These allergies certainly have to touch (no pun intended) every part of our lives, don't they?! Thanks again.

------------------ Peanut/Nut-free wishes, Victoria

On Apr 12, 2001

vic, I would never have thought of this. Perhaps it's because we're not really out there socially so there are few times when handshaking is involved. I liked your Option #2 and then, if you like, the Option #3 in with it.

I'm not sure, but I think nowadays a LOT of people would feel uncomfortable shaking hands and not simply because of food allergies and contact reactions. It is well known that most colds/viruses are transmitted through touch. When I lived in Toronto and had to travel the local transit system back and forth to and from work, I swore that most of the colds I got were from touching a holding pole on the subway, streetcar or bus. This was pre-kids so it wasn't as if I had children bringing the virus into the home.

Yes, PA certainly does seem to affect parts of our lives that people not living with it could not even conceive of. But you were definitely right to post it here because it is an extremely valid question. It's the what may be perceived as "little" things that we think of as PA parents that may actually ensure the safety of our children.

I'd opt for the combo of Option #2 and #3. It would also be great if you had some PA Adults respond who could tell you what they do or don't do because it must be more required of an adult than a child. I'm going to e-mail this thread to a couple of PA adults I know and see if they can help you out at all.

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

Or, and that would be from one over-protective psycho Mom to another! LOL!

------------------

On Apr 13, 2001

Cindy, thank-you for your advice. I would love to know how PA adults handle (no pun intended) this situation. With our son's immune system being low, we've always been extra careful with touching, but the TNA/PA has really made this an issue. Thanks for checking into this for me and going the extra mile.

------------------ Peanut/Nut-free wishes, Victoria

On Apr 13, 2001

When I am in the vicinity of nuts or nut products, I don't shake hands or hug. But when I am not, I am the original shaker/hugger. I have not had a reaction from this. But WoozerPop kissed me once and I broke out in severe hives. (ate peanut butter) He sure heard about that for a long time.

WoozerMom

On Apr 13, 2001

When I am in the vicinity of nuts or nut products, I don't shake hands or hug. But when I am not, I am the original shaker/hugger. I have not had a reaction from this. But WoozerPop kissed me once and I broke out in severe hives. (ate peanut butter) He sure heard about that for a long time.

WoozerMom

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