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Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 2:51pm
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

Thank you all so much...I can tell that this board is great resource already. I have lots more questions but I'll wait until after tomorrow and just go from there. I think will probably be one of those mid spectrum types. Hey...maybe was something else? Thanks again and good night. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 7:07am
gw_mom3's picture
Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

Hi SarahB. I'm gale from SCS. I'm glad you found us-you'll learn a lot just by reading old threads. Be sure to visit the safe foods forum to learn what foods people feel are safe (but be sure to contact manufacturers yourself also).

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 8:33am
TwokidsNJ's picture
Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

Keep reading on this site and you will learn more here than anywhere. Your son's reaction sounds very serious, esp for a first reaction (subsequent reactions usually get worse). Some of the stuff will be scary at first -- but the more you educate yourselves, the LESS likely a real life scary event will happen to your DS.
The quickest things to implement:
* Stop going to bakeries, eating food from grocery store bakeries (ie, muffins, donuts), and ice cream parlors, and mexican and chinese/any asian foods. Those are the highest risk.
*Read labels.
*Ask questions when you eat out.
* Give the school 2 epipens, children's benadryl, and a "Food Allergy Action Plan" from FAAN's website ([url]http://www.foodallergy.org[/url]) -- take this to the allergist appt and have the dr sign it. Make sure the school can handle it. Ask for a peanut free classroom (important for preschool age especially) or at least peanut free zone.
Hope this helps! It took me a couple years to find this site but I learned more here in a month than I learned the hard way in 2 yrs.
Good luck! You CAN handle this and you WILL be successful! Keep in touch!

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 9:13am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

Ok...so it's confirmed...and I am so upset he scored a 25/50 - on the skin test...
he's in preschool - how can I leave him there tomorrow? They have epi pens there...they are trained...but I dont trust them right now.... Over the summer I was helping at school and in lunch one of the kids came to me these are 3-6 year olds..and she told me that Dave has a PA and was sitting next to Susie who was eating PB sandwhich!??? WHAT??!! How could they not tell me? I also gave milk to all the kids...even the two with milk allergies...there was nothing posted - no one told me...the kids did so that was good. But now it's my son and how can I trust them when that happened? My husband went to talk to them now...but my son is 3 and I know I will learn to live with this..and will have to trust people and trust him...but how can tomorrow? I want letters to parents...I want pnut free! My husband want to "ease them into it"... ??? Take normal mommmy guilt and multiply it by thousands! My son is very smart and mature...but he's 3. What am I supposed to do?

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 9:16am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

thanks twokidsnj...are you from joisey? I grew up there...but I read you post after I just posted....my husband thinks I am going to put my son in a bubble...and that's not true...I just want him to be safe. Or at least have a the best chance to be safe.

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 9:19am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by gw_mom3:
[b]Hi SarahB. I'm gale from SCS. I'm glad you found us-you'll learn a lot just by reading old threads. Be sure to visit the safe foods forum to learn what foods people feel are safe (but be sure to contact manufacturers yourself also).
Hi Gale! thank you! I miss SCS right about now. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 12:27pm
falcon's picture
Joined: 07/03/2004 - 09:00

If possible keep him home for a few days or a week until you get your bearings! Take vacation or sick days from work to give yourself time to draft an emergency plan, conferencing with the teachers, head of school, and nurse (if there is one). You might get some reassurance by finding out who the first responder will be, how long the response time will be in an emergency, and what the procedure is in case of a reaction. It was helpful to me to talk to the firemen that were likely to respond to the school in case of an emergency. Draft a letter to the school requesting the accommodations you need and a letter for parents. You can provide info from FAAN as well. At your conference with teachers and head of school, be sure to tell them about your experiences and ask them what they will do to be sure those mistakes/oversites don't happen anymore - Then you will find it helpful to talk to the teacher daily about how things are going....did anyone accidentally bring in peanutty foods and how was it handled and how did your son deal with it. Ask daily if anything different is planned. Is anyone bringing in treats for a birthday or anything...are they doing anything outside the classroom or going to other rooms...are those other rooms peanut free or carefully cleaned before hand.
Be sure to check the soap used at the school free of peanut/nut oils? Talk to the mothers, baby sitters, dads as much as you can as opportunity allows to educate them.
Our preschool provided snacks. They were willing to let me double check labels and they eliminated anything that I was not comfortable with, but it took a while for them to get into a pattern of safe snack purchases...so I was glad I was able to double check the snacks.
My husband took a while to understand the severity and how careful we had to be. I took control of the situation totally, initially and still do with respect to the schools and any trips we take.
My feeling is that if you "ease" the school into the individual health plan that you require for your child's safety, they will not take it seriously. If you were just diagnosed and things have to change, you will probably get a better and more consistent response if you keep your son out of school until the school has put into place the accommodations that you need. The school will see that you mean what you say and will recognize that it is a serious situation.
The fact that there is such a spectrum of comfort levels in how we all manage our lives and protect our children may be good for us, but it is quite confusing for the schools. One parent is comfortable with peanut butter as long as there is a dedicated peanut free table, another parent requires that there are no peanut items or may contains brought into the classroom or lunch area at all. Some parents are ok with may contain items but not with items that clearly contain peanuts.
Regardless of the reasons for these differences, the schools are programmed to find the simplest fix that impacts the least number of people. This is particularly common in public schools. Private schools are more likely to go out on a limb even if it is controversial. At least that has been my experience.
I tend to have a tight comfort zone because my son is sensitive to airborne, contact, and ingestion exposure to peanuts. When the schools hear that he is airborne sensitive they readily agree to keep the peanut/nut products out of the classroom. There are many preschools that ban peanuts regardless of the type of sensitivity since the younger kids tend to put their hands in their mouths so frequently.
Many schools think that if the child is not airborne sensitive then an appropriate accommodation is a dedicated peanut free table. Unfortunately many of these places do not enforce a hand washing rule. If that is what you are up against, you might consider finding a preschool that has a policy in place that you are comfortable with rather than dealing with the additional stress of feeling that there is a high likelihood chance that your child will be exposed to residue.
Be sure your child knows how to recognize peanuts, peanut butter, and foods that are likely to contain peanuts. Your child is the best advocate for himself and will be able to regularly ask teachers, etc. if a food is safe. This provides the ever necessary reminder that people need when they don't live with the allergy.
I believe there are some letters that parents have written to schools on the discussion board, probably under Schools. My son is in 3rd grade now and I think that I deleted his preschool letters. However, if you can't find one and need one to modify or to help you organize your thoughts post a request and someone will send you one. I will look for a hard copy of mine that may be around still.
Good luck. Take a deep breath and don't be afraid to tell the school what you need in order to feel that your child will be safe. Do what you can to help them accomplish this to your satisfaction. If the teacher is understanding - you are already half way there.

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 3:07pm
Nutternomore's picture
Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Sarahb:
[b]thanks twokidsnj...are you from joisey? I grew up there...but I read you post after I just posted....my husband thinks I am going to put my son in a bubble...and that's not true...I just want him to be safe. Or at least have a the best chance to be safe. [/b]
You might want to consider buying this book for both you and your husband to read.
It does a good job of discussing the emotional aspects and presents the concept of balancing [i]safety[/i] and [i]social normalcy[/i]. It's a pretty quick read...

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:02pm
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

Falcon...thanks..very sound advice I really appreciate the time you took to share that with me.
My husband are both self employeed - so we can take off and will do that for at least tomorrow to get a handle on this. The hard part is getting a handle on it with a crazy 3 year old running around! LOL. I am going to empty the fridge/freezer/pantry and start calling manufacturs - mark safe foods - donate unsafe unopened foods - and start a list of nut free schools in the area and a list of what needs to happen at his current school to make me comfortable. My husband had a good meeting with them today but he agreed that staying home tomorrow will help to send the message that we are taking this very seriously. He thinks my hair is on fire and I think he is asleep at the wheel...sounds typical. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Actually we are both very concerned and I think we can find common ground. I would rather be ultra vigilant at first to get a handle on what/where the risks are and then decide what I can tolerate as acceptable. My husband has brought up the point that our son has been in school/daycare since he was 16 wks and has not reacted in school. I don't care - just because it hasn't happened doesn't mean we are safe. We need to take steps to make it as safe as possible - safer than it was yesterday.
If anyone reading this can't guess...I work for myself because I can't spell! forgive me.

Posted on: Wed, 01/24/2007 - 12:34am
cam's picture
Joined: 11/16/2006 - 09:00

My husband and I also struggled with the fact that my son didn't react until we gave him something that obviously had peanuts in it until 3. For 3 years he went to birthday parties eating whatever was there, we let grandparents take him to any restaurant they wanted, etc., etc. We wondered if we could just go back to what we had been doing and avoid the obvious stuff since we didn't have any problems before that, and how could things change overnight? I'll share what our doctor told us--and if anyone can shed any light or has been told anything different, please share. Our allergist said that he believes that several months ago our son wasn't allergic. He said people can have the antibodies for a while before they start reacting. He said that once they react--once the allergy presents itself--it's like a switch has been flipped. That's how we're treating it; it's like a different world for us. I certainly don't want to be the voice of pessimism, but just want to share what was told to us. It takes a lot of work, but we are still doing the things we want to do and my son is doing well with this. This board has been a treasure of information and support.


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