How do you answer this question?

Posted on: Fri, 08/08/2003 - 9:23am
ShariLB's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2003 - 09:00

When I tell people that my two boys (3 and 1.5yo) are peanut and tree-nut allergic, I often get the response "Oh really? Seems like those allergies are so common now...we never heard about them when we were growing up."

The person usually sounds doubtful of the severity of the allergy and skeptical that so many children have peanut allergies.

What is a good response to this question? Is there any data about % of kids with peanut/tree nut allergies now and then? And does the medical community know why so many more children have the allergy now?

If these skeptics saw my kid with hives and swelling face, or had a child with the problem, I'm sure they'd understand!

Thanks!

Posted on: Fri, 08/08/2003 - 2:13pm
Driving Me Nutty's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2003 - 09:00

ShariLB -
I had the same issue with my in-laws when we found out my dd was PA a few months ago. My initial response to her was that it is similar to SIDS - no one talked or knew about that back then either but since the campaign to put babies to sleep on their back, SIDs deaths decreased by 80%. Things change over time.
Now, my response is more scientific since I've done a lot of reading on it. I tell them that there are several different studies to find out the cause of the rise of food allergies in general. Some say it is because of all the preservatives and chemicals that we use now. I personally feel it is genetics and not dependant on whether a someone ate PB while pregnant or nursing.
Maybe you could stress that even though they are more prevalent, it doesn't decrease the seriousness of the issue. Schools are creating table free classrooms etc. You could stress that it is life-threatening and life-long -- and not just the common sneezing/wheezing allergy that most people think of.
Since our initial discussion, my MIL has come 'on board' after talking to friends and reading about it. People just have to get educated and up to speed on it. I wouldn't worry too much about the everyday person that you run into 'getting it'. What IS important is that people that are with your child frequently understand the seriousness of it.
Pamela
------------------
Mom to 2 y/o Karissa (PA >100 CAP RAST)

Posted on: Fri, 08/08/2003 - 3:15pm
deegann's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2003 - 09:00

.
[This message has been edited by deegann (edited March 15, 2004).]

Posted on: Sat, 08/09/2003 - 12:39am
Going Nuts's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Another theory is the "Hygiene Theory". Our kids get more vaccines than we did, and at earlier ages. Many of us are exposed to less dirt (rurul kids seem to have fewer allergies than suburban or urban kids). Therefore our immune systems have nothing to fight, so they look for something to flex their muscles on and settle for harmless substances like food.
Of course this is an oversimpification, but I'm sure you get the idea. And it's true, I knew relatively few kids with asthma growing up, and now it seems like 1/2 of my kid's friend's have it (as do my own kids!). I don't think I knew anyone with food allergies back then, although when dinosaurs roamed the earth, they probably didn't know why Johnny kept erupting in hives. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Amy

Posted on: Sat, 08/09/2003 - 1:19pm
Driving Me Nutty's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2003 - 09:00

Deegann,
I'm not sure if I read anything that gives the statistics on it. I'd love to see that also. I'm just basing it on everyone I've talked to. It seems everyone knows an niece or cousin with it now. And being that the schools now need peanut free tables and never did before. If I find some stats on it, I'll pass it on though!
Pamela
------------------
Mom to 2 y/o Karissa (PA >100 CAP RAST)

Posted on: Sat, 08/09/2003 - 1:28pm
virginia mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/12/2003 - 09:00

My mother was one of those people who thought that I was overreacting to my daughter's PA. She was the same one who had peanut butter chocolates on a Christmas Eve buffet and did not tell me until my family had been in her house for two hours (my then four year old PA daughter had been through the buffet a couple of times but, thankfully, had bypassed the chocolates). I let her "borrow" a copy of the "Peanut Allergy Answer Book" by Michael C. Young, M.D. After perusing it, she actually apologized to me for putting my daughter at risk! Keep in mind that she is the type of mother that has never apologized for anything in the forty years I've known her - this book is phenomenal! On pg. 22, it says that Hugh Sampson of New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine has observed that there is a 55% increase in the number of peanut allergic children in the past ten years and the number of allergic reactions to peanuts in both children and adults has increased by 95% over the same 10 years. This is consistent with reports worldwide. These may be the kind of facts that you're looking for when "friends" try to downplay the severity of your child's PA.

Posted on: Sun, 08/10/2003 - 4:25am
Driving Me Nutty's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2003 - 09:00

Thanks Virginia Mom! I was just perusing that book today as I thought it might have those stats.

Posted on: Sun, 08/10/2003 - 9:23am
StaceyK's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/06/2003 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Sun, 08/10/2003 - 1:20pm
deegann's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2003 - 09:00

.
[This message has been edited by deegann (edited March 15, 2004).]

Posted on: Mon, 08/11/2003 - 2:36pm
ElleMo's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

I tell them, that it is not definately known but mention many of the theories already mentioned here. Not everyone who asks this is a skeptic. Many are honestly curious & want to understand. So I always answer quite honestly & respectfully & without any underlying tone that I reserve for people with really obnoxious questions (such as the friend who was told not to bring certain foods into the house & asked 'it's your daughter with the allergy, why should everybody suffer?' -- he got a nasty response)
One thing that I always mention is that peanuts are used a lot more in processed items & we eat more processed items now so it more difficult to avoid peanuts now than when we were kids.
So we can't be 'quietly' allergic.
[quote]Originally posted by ShariLB:
[B]When I tell people that my two boys (3 and 1.5yo) are peanut and tree-nut allergic, I often get the response "Oh really? Seems like those allergies are so common now...we never heard about them when we were growing up."
------------------
Ellen
Allergic to Shellfish/ Mom to Jesse 9/01 who has PA

Posted on: Mon, 08/11/2003 - 11:54pm
choguy's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/20/2003 - 09:00

To put it simply for those that ask: Before antihistamines and Epinephrine were readily available, most PA people died [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ! Due to the genetic factor, there were fewer people inheriting a predisposition towards this allergy (and all food allergies in general). I also agree that the amount of chemicals the average person faces (by inhalation and in food) in their lifetime can cause many to have a hypersensitive immune system.
Troy

Pages

Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

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

Latest Discussions

Latest Post by tpdbqaxz Sat, 07/11/2020 - 10:54pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by RobertFrano Sat, 07/11/2020 - 6:04pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by beachgal2020 Thu, 07/09/2020 - 2:17pm
Comments: 173
Latest Post by beachgal2020 Thu, 07/09/2020 - 2:08pm
Comments: 714
Latest Post by beachgal2020 Thu, 07/09/2020 - 1:51pm
Comments: 483
Latest Post by doggydude (not verified) Wed, 07/08/2020 - 6:06am
Comments: 9
Latest Post by doggydude (not verified) Wed, 07/08/2020 - 6:00am
Comments: 14
Latest Post by SmilinMo Tue, 06/09/2020 - 11:29am
Comments: 7
Latest Post by MoRich Mon, 06/01/2020 - 10:06am
Comments: 6

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

Peanuts and Nuts Can Trigger An Asthma Attack

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI), more than 3...

There are more "peanut-free" products than ever on the supermarket shelves. This means more choices than ever for peanut-allergic shoppers and...

It Is Easy To Buy Peanut Free Chocolate Online

Ask any parent of a child with a potentially life-...

How Do You Determine If A Food Is Safe For A Peanut Allergic Person?

The answer varies. “Peanut-free” means different things to different...

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a New Drug Application for an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) designed for use with...

Fact 1: Over a third of food allergy reactions happen after the first known oral...

It can be easy to overlook the presence of nut allergens in non-food items because the allergens are often listed by their Latin or scientific...

It’s hard to think of Chinese food without thinking of peanuts. China is the world’s leading peanut producer, and that’s not a coincidence....

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...

My mom was at a lakeside restaurant enjoying fish and chips when her mouth began tingling. The next day at a family gathering, we had grilled...

Peanuts and peanut oil are cheap and easy additives to food and other commercial goods. It is surprising (and alarming if you have a...

Vegetable oil is healthy before it is hydrogenated and a process that requires adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats. Oils that are often...

Although it's true that peanuts are in many snack items, there are several snacks that do not contain peanuts. Anyone who has a peanut...

The most frightening thing about a severe allergic reaction to a new food is that it can happen so fast. If parents are not looking for allergic...

It may never be safe to begin feeding peanut butter to your baby or toddler if you have peanut allergies in your family. If either parent or one...

Families who have food allergies are familiar with reading food labels and of being aware of everything that they or their allergic child eats....

If a parent is alert and observing their toddler when peanuts are first introduced, the chance of the child receiving help if she has a reaction...

For those who don't have experience with peanut allergies, going 'peanut-free' often seems as easy as avoiding peanut butter sandwiches and bags...

Dealing with food allergies can be difficult, especially if you're not sure what's 'safe' to buy. This is especially true for those with severe...

Are you craving sweets? Those with peanut allergies must be especially careful when indulging their...