when and how to educate ds about allergy

Posted on: Wed, 06/16/2004 - 2:18pm
srujed's picture
Joined: 09/05/2003 - 09:00

Hello! My ds will be 2 in a few months and so far has been pretty sheltered as far as being around other kids and the risk of peanut exposure, i.e-has mostly been around family and friends who are very aware. I am thinking of sending him to one day a week preschool type program this fall which started me thinking about how I should educate him about his allergies??? At what age did you guys start to teach your kids and when do you think they really "got it"? I tell him all of the time about no peanuts or eggs and we have some of the Alexander books and the tape from FAAN but I know right now he doesn't have any idea what I am talking about... So basically what I am asking is how did you educate your little ones and when do you think it became effective, any little tidbits would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Posted on: Wed, 06/16/2004 - 7:54pm
Rach's picture
Joined: 05/01/2001 - 09:00

Well, this might be a slightly different response than you wanted, being as I am the PA sufferer.
It is something that my Mum has drummed into me and my sister before we even understood what she was saying, and it became automatic that we would then question all food that was offered. Things were slightly different for me as until aged 5 I lived in Belgium and Holland, neither of which have the same concept of "nut allergy" as the UK and USA.
The best thing my Mum did was to be so open about it from such a young age, because never having known anything different meant we grew to understand it firstly through habit - weren't always sure exactly why we couldn't have something, but still understood it made us very ill. Understanding why came later, but by then it was easier to grasp because we knew the "routine" - coat, shoes, epi pen, "if you aren't sure what's in it don't eat it" etc.
Hand on heart I can't remember a time when PA didn't exist, of course Mum supervised exactly what was going on, but she made us take responsibility very young. She'd make us take epi pens, we had to remember them (she of course had a spare one - not that we knew that!)
There's a good saying - tell me, and I'll forget. Show me and I might remember. Involve me and I'll always know.
The fact that your child is still so young and you're already explaining things is so good, and I reckon the more a child knows, the less you and him will have to fear.
Hope this is of some help
Take care

Posted on: Wed, 06/16/2004 - 8:28pm
attlun's picture
Joined: 06/13/2003 - 09:00

My ds will turn 3 this August, and we have always talked to him about his allergies. He has always been sheltered by us and his family, so the only way to teach him about it was to talk about it all the time.
He didn't really start to get it until about 6 months ago. Now, whenever he sees me eating something he's never seen before, he asks if it is safe for him or not.
If I tell him it isn't, he just goes on his happy little way. Whenever we give him something new, he looks at us and asks if it has "no peanuts" and if it is safe for him, and after we assure him it is, then he will eat it.
Talking about it every chance you get, should help him come to an understanding eventually.
Good luck!
Trevor age 2 -PA
Harmony age 1 -KNA
It's a BOY!!! due June 24, 2004

Posted on: Fri, 06/18/2004 - 3:00am
julieneaman's picture
Joined: 01/11/2004 - 09:00

I completely relate to your situation and your questions about how and when to educate. Ds turned 2 in April, but is still non-verbal. He signs proficiently, though. Anyway, he doesn't understand the word "sick" when I say a food will make him sick. And he associates hurt with a cut and it doesn't make sense to him. Also, he tends to put food into his mouth quickly and sneakily before I can say no. So far, it hasn't been a problem bc we are mostly home or in "safe" environments. I chose not to send him to 1 day/week preschool this year bc I didn't feel comfortable about the allergy. At this age, I would be satisfied if he made eye contact with me bf eating something. Any suggestions?

Posted on: Fri, 06/18/2004 - 3:53am
mommyofmatt's picture
Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

I've been pondering the same thing myself lately. My ds turned 2 in May and has become very verbal. I've been uncertain how much to say to him for fear of scaring him and him not being able to tell me his fears.
He's had a milk reaction by grabbing another child's sippy cup, so I started there. I tell him to only drink out of his cup, and he's getting that. He tells me when it's his cup, ask whose cup it is etc.
Angie, I liked your post, it encouraged me to jump in and start talking about the other stuff too. I can see how a matter of fact approach without too much emotion is the best way to go. That's wonderful that your little guy is doing so well with understanding his allergy at a young age.
Meg, mom to:
Matt 2 yrs. PA,MA,EA
Sean 2 yrs. NKA

Posted on: Thu, 07/01/2004 - 11:00am
lalow's picture
Joined: 03/24/2004 - 09:00

My PA and MA son is 18 months and I just say that he cannot have certain things because they make him sick or give him hives. The other day he reached out for something and James my 2 1/2 year old said "No, Benny can't have.. he get hives". A few days later I saw my very independent James go in the kitchen, open the fridge and get out the milk. Ben who is allergic to milk followed him. James poured himself a cup of milk and I watched carefully as he put the milk back in the fridge because I noticed he watched Ben like a hawk to make sure he didnt get his milk... James knows Ben cant have Cow's milk and he made sure he didnt get his. I never really would have thought 2 1/2 was old enough to get all that but he surely does.
James 2yrs NKA
Ben 17 months PA,MA,possible EA, and SA

Posted on: Fri, 07/02/2004 - 4:40am
momtomitchell's picture
Joined: 04/20/2004 - 09:00

My son is just over 2 and since we found out just how serious his allergy is a few months back we talk often to him about it. If you ask him what his bracelet says he says, "no blue eggs and no peanuts" of course its not pronounced that well but you can understand him [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] and just to explain, the reason he says blue eggs is because at easter he ate the chocolate malted milk balls and he would only eat the blue ones, so thats what he says [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] We correct him on it all the time.
Anyway, not to get off subject but we did get the book Ally the Allergic Elephant and this book is really teaching him to say "no thank you" when eggs or peanut-anything is mentioned. It is a great book and I highly recommend it!
I'm very honest with him, even when he asks for his old daycare provider, I will tell him sorry we can't go because she has peanuts at her house and you can't touch them because they make you sick. (long story short, she wasn't very attentive to his PA)
Hope this helps!

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