When did you start letting your child go to Birthday parties without you?

Posted on: Wed, 01/17/2007 - 4:20am
CorinneM1's picture
Joined: 06/20/2002 - 09:00

My son is in kindergarten, age 5. Last year I attended every birthday party and spoke with the parents before hand about his allergy and that I would be happy to help etc etc. I found that most parents did stay with their children at these parties when they were 4 and/or 5 years old at the beginning of the school year.

Towards the end of the year (Pre-K4) I noticed that many of the parents did not stay. At my son's party in May, only one parent stayed behind.

Well he has received his first invite to a party this weekend. I have called and RSVPed to the parents that he will be there and left a message about them calling me back to chat about Aidan's allergy.

It is a cake only party and I am debating about sending Aidan with a safe treat for him in a lunchbox that he can eat. He is really good about not eating food other than what we give him and he is very alert about his allergy.

The party is about 3 blocks from where I live and in the child's home. My son is 5.

When did you start to allow your child to attend parties without you being present?

Posted on: Wed, 01/17/2007 - 4:52am
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

For us it wasn't until 4th grade I think. I would always call and speak to the parent about dd's allergies and they were always very cooperative and actally grateful that I offered to stay. Many of the parents were afraid of dd having a rx on their watch and didn't want to deal w/ the added responsibility anyway.
It was never a big deal at skating rinks or Chuck E cheese. I would stay out of the way and be there just in case and of course make sure my dd had a safe treat.
If it was at someones home, I would offer to help out w/ the kids and activies. It was actually a great way to meet all the parents and educate them on food allergies. ANd like I said, most the time they were relieved to not have the added responsibility of "watching" my dd and running the bday party.
I remember one party in second where they were going to the movies and then back to the house for pizza. The parents included a ticket for me to go the movies w/ them in the invitation and asked if I would mind driving a van full of kids in return [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I did notice that the parents were starting to just drop off in kindergarten and IMO this is too young even w/o food allergies unless I already know the parents pretty well!
It actually gets a little easier as they get older because
1) There are fewer bday parties
2) Bday parties they are invited to are now generally at a house that is familiar w/ your childs food allergies
3) Child is older and can be more responsible for what she can and cannot eat.
Good luck [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Wow- this is longer than I originally intended-oops!

Posted on: Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:23am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

my son is 6 and he has only been to maybe 1 or 2 parties alone(the parents were good friends of mine). I don't allow him to attend people we don't know, like some random kid in class that invites everyone...we pass on those. Good friends we attend and I usually stay...comfort zone for me as well as the parents throwing the party(so they don't have to worry so much either)....and like I said, in the past he's gone alone, but I actually don't want to do that anymore. I was a bit nieve when this all started, so I am *on it* now!! I go, Epi goes(I'd actually sent him without in the past, no more!!)....good luck on your decision.

Posted on: Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:31am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

He's 8 (will be 9 soon), and I go.

Posted on: Wed, 01/17/2007 - 11:38am
mcmom's picture
Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

My son is seven and a half (2nd grade) and I attend every party or he doesn't go. Parties that are held "out" somewhere are never a problem - yes, the majority of parents do drop off but there are always a few who stay. He is rarely invited to a "house party" (not popular here!) - if I am friends with the parent, I have gone along, if it's a parent I don't know, we
just decline and do something else fun.
Each year as the kids get older there are fewer parties, thankfully!
Personally, I wouldn't leave a five year old alone, unless you know the parents really well and feel 100% comfortable leaving them with the Epipen. (And so far, I have *never* had a parent who wanted to take on the Epipen - they would rather have me stay around.)

Posted on: Wed, 01/17/2007 - 1:27pm
kelly01's picture
Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

Hi CorinneM1:
My son is in 4th grade, but he started going to birthday parties on his own in kindergarten. I would always call ahead (and provide his food if necessary). I would explain to the parents that I would be leaving his epi with them (and that I would need to go over it with one of the adults when I dropped him off). I always provided my phone number and cellphone with the epi (I was never far).
I try to emphasize the seriousness of his allergy, but at the same time reassure them that he goes to school, plays at friends houses, etc., everyday and doesn't have reactions. I want them to be aware and cautious...but not scared to have him.
My son has grown to be very responsible and good at managing his allergy. I know that some would think this is too big of a risk, but I really feel that an emergency can happen any time to any child. As long preventative measures are taken, he should be able to do all the things that other children do, with very few exceptions.
Hope this helps. I would definately feel comfortable if 1)he was eating his own food, 2)they are not serving PB&J at the party (or something like that), and 3) I was only 3 blocks away.
Go with whatever feels right for you. My son has 2 other children with peanut allergies in his class, and they both attend birthday parties on their own (and have since about kindergarten.)

Posted on: Wed, 01/17/2007 - 9:11pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Ryan's 10 and I have gone to every single birthday party he has attended. I'm just not "there" comfort level wise to leave him at a birthday party without me being there.

Posted on: Wed, 01/17/2007 - 11:48pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Haven't let him go alone yet, and don't plan to anytime soon. He's 10.

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:18am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

My DS is 8, very responsible with his allergies.
I haven't left him too many times. Only when another parent has been there who I trust to watch him and use EPI pen.
We have a close group of moms in my son's grade and a lot of times we use it as a chance to chat etc.
I still don't leave him at sports practices.

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:52am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i have two that are PA. the oldest is in 5th grade and she just started attending some bday parties without me this year at age 10/11. sometimes i still hang around if it's someone i know very well and they seem to need help with party details but i have comfortably left her at several parties this year. i always speak to the parents well in advance of the party so they have knowledge about our PA issues well ahead of time to plan. so far this year i've had almost every parent phone me ahead of time to ask about the safety of the foods planned. my daughter carries all her meds with her when she attends parties -not on her - but within reach in a bag that she recognizes quickly.

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:38am
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

He stopped getting birthday invitations after the second grade... a definite sore spot for me, but he seems oblivious.
Cheryl, mom to Jason (9 MFA including peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and egg)
Joey (7 NKA)
Allison (4 milk allergic, suspect shellfish, avoiding PN/TN for now)
Ryan (1) nka *knock on wood*


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