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Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2000 - 5:57am
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Hi everyone! I have been lurking on this site for several months now, but knowing we were going to move, I decided not to register until now. I am a stay at home mom with one little boy who will be two on the 19th! I gave him milk based formula at 3 months to supplament breast feeding and he broke out in hives wherever it touched. A few weeks later the same thing happened. I was clueless! The pediatricians office said to use soy instead. I continued breast feeding then went to soy formula no problem. But by that time I was giving him cheese and watching him turn red all over. Yogurt did the same. I had no clue but was bothered. Eventually scrambled egg did it too and finally a really thin spread of peanut butter at 10 months made his eyes swell slightly and he was completely covered in hives. They always went away quickly though so I didn't catch on. The peanut reminded me of having heard of life threatening allergies to nuts and that was when I got more concerned. My pediatrician had said basically nothing until this point. I had started looking into allergies on the internet and at that point requested a referral to an allergist. Know what the pediatrician said! "Why?"!!! Well, at eleven months we saw the allergist who was greatly alarmed at how quickly and severly he reacts (within 10 minutes, contact sensitive!). He gave us an epi-pen and talked with us for a bit but said testing wasn't necessary because of the number of reactions he had already had. Well about six months later dh and I were fighting regularly about my "over reacting" so we insisted on a RAST test and the doctor readily agreed. That was a horrible experience, but I'm glad we did it he scored a 2/3 on egg yolk/white, and a 3 for peanut and milk (on a scale of one to 5). Dh has not once accused me of over reacting since - in fact he often catches me being to relaxed! I tend to be a very laid back mom (which was partly why I was so slow in the beginning). At first I thought the rug had been pulled out from under me! What on earth could I feed him? I made two dinners every night and was so overloaded on stress. I cried a lot for the things he will miss in life. But slowly it is falling into place. Not with out occasional set backs. Just the other morning I was at the mall and trying to find a treat to get him, my eyes welled up when I realized there just wasn't anything safe - he can never have a cookie while I shop like other kids! We now carry three epi-pens and benedry with us every where and he wears a medic alert bracelet. I am actively starting to teach him that things "aren't safe for Trace". I just keep praying that he will outgrow ONE of these. But I don't really expect it! Well sorry for rambling, it's just nice to share sometimes! Hopefully I'll be around more now!
CoCo

Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2000 - 5:59am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Oh- yeah, I forgot. We just moved to Calgary Alberta from the states. Is there anyone here from the same area? I need to find a doctor and am wondering if there are any support groups or anything. Thanks

Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2000 - 7:39am
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Joined: 07/21/2000 - 09:00

When I read your post, I felt as if I were reliving my past. My son was diagnosed with milk and soy allergies at 10 days, egg allergy at 8 months, and peanut/tree nut at 18 months. He outgrew the egg and soy alleries by 4 years of age and the milk allergy by 5 years of age. Your child will probably outgrow these allergies as well. The majority of children do. Peanut/tree nut, and seafood allergies are the ones that are not frequently outgrown. I just wanted to let you know, so that you will have something to look forward to. I know how difficult it is to find something for your child to eat - especially at the mall. It used to break my heart when I had to tell my son, when he was a toddler, that he couldn't have ice cream, etc. like every one else he saw. When he got older, it was easier as he understood. It is work - use your imagination and read labels. You will get through these years just like a lot of us have. It does get better!

Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2000 - 8:29am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hi, Trace's Mom, and Welcome to the boards!!

Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2000 - 12:17pm
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DMB
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Joined: 02/22/2001 - 09:00

It may not seem like it now, but it does get easier with time. Hopefully he'll outgrow a couple of his allergies and that will open up a variety of new foods for him to eat. Good luck to you and welcome to the board! Deanna

Posted on: Wed, 10/18/2000 - 7:30am
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Hi Trace. Welcome to Canada. In my humble opinion the best Canadian allergy awareness site is the one sponsored by the Calgary Allergy Network. Check out [url="http://www.cadvision.com/allergy"]www.cadvision.com/allergy[/url] and you will find all the information including a support group that you are looking for. Take care.

Posted on: Thu, 11/21/2002 - 1:33pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Lynn: Don't feel you have to apologize for keeping your daughter alive to ANYONE.
The cafeteria worker probably works very hard at what she does everyday, and her food for 499 kids is probably really tasty [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] but maybe not safe for that 1 allergic child - yours. That cafeteria worker's behaviour towards you was, simply put "bullying" and should be reported to the principal directly by you - don't rely on the teacher, as the teacher seems overconsumed with not being able to have all her "treats for teaching aids" (which is ridiculous in my opinion).
Next time you see the aid worker, mention the problem with her "nutty bar on the desk, on her breath, on her hands, etc" and your daughters allergy - she probably doesn't even know that a peanut allergic child is in the classroom (again I fault the teacher - even something simple as getting a sign on the door helps others become aware) - talk to the aidworker - any caring person will get the message but I again wouldn't rely on the teacher to do this because I don't think the teacher gets it, and it sounds like you're ending up having to do most of the work managing the allergy in the classroom.
Do you have a safety plan in place for the classroom? What if you are really sick and can't volunteer for a few days - does that mean your daughter will be taken out of school? It's not fair that the school is holding you hostage in having only you being responsible for keeping your child safe in their school. What happens when she's beyong the primary grades - you can't be expected to spend your days in the classroom with her - they (the faculty, principal, staff and students) have to be "trained now" so that you can eventually send her off to school where you know it will be safe for her.
PeanutTrace has posted really great school plans and Cindy Spowart Cook and others have posted amazing links and topics that are in the archives in this schools thread, that have helped others put together customized school plans depending on where they live, the laws of the state/country/province.
Becca's (another poster) daughter has a teacher that also relies alot on food in the classroom - for use during lesson plans. Do a couple of searches in this thread with these posters names to bring up their threads on dealing with similar problems in the classroom.
I'm not sure if you're in the UK, US, Canada or elsewhere, but there are posters here from all over, including Australia (my dream destination) who have dealt with or are dealing with getting their classrooms safe for their kids.
Hope you post back to let us know how it's going. Cheers, Syd's mom [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by Syd's Mom (edited November 21, 2002).]

Posted on: Thu, 11/21/2002 - 11:13pm
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Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

I can sure sympathize with you Lynn but there are steps you can take to get some measures implemented to protect your child.
Are you in the US? If so, you need to look in to having a 504 implemented for you daughter. If you are in Canada, there are steps you can take as well. Alot of what you are experiencing is due to ignorance on the part of the school administration. They need to be woken up so to speak. A good start would be showing them an educational video such as "It only takes one bite!" or something similar. From a Canadian perspective, having them read the "Duty of Care" article (available through the Calgary Allergy Network) would work wonders I think.
On a good note, with regard to the food issue in the schools. I had much the same problem at my kids school. It seemed that every day was an opportunity for more "FOOD". I mean, on the one hand, we keep hearing how obese North American children are yet the schools are doing nothing to stop the endless Junk Food Parade that comes in to the classrooms every day. When my non PA DD was in JK, there seemed to be a party every week, not to mention all the junk that came in wnenever a child had a birthday. I hated it then and it had nothing to do with PA.
After much head banging on my part, this year our school has seen the light. As of this year, there is no more food allowed in the classroom (as in junk food and the like). If a parent wants to do something special for their child's birthday, they are asked to send in a small token such as stickers or a special pencil. There has been some objection but overall, a success. Not to say that things are perfect at my son's school, but we're getting there.
Start looking into 504's and the like, I think you will find there is more help out there that you might have believed.
Good luck!
Katiee (Wade's mom)
(I bumped up the Duty of Care article for you!)
[This message has been edited by katiee (edited November 22, 2002).]

Posted on: Thu, 11/21/2002 - 11:39pm
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Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

Hi Lynn. I agree with what the other two parents had to say. Your daughter's only five now, but she's going to be in school a long time. I'm not normally a pushy person (I don't think many of us here at pa.com are by nature.) But I gotta tell you, I had to learn to talk to people and explain the way things are. Of course, you want to be as polite as possible, but firm. When dealing with the school, you don't want to turn anyone off, all the while getting your message understood. As others on the board have said, you don't want to be perceived as "that crazy peanut mother." You have to organize your information (all kinds of stuff is available here and from the Food Allergy Network). Then you need to go to the principal with a plan. It was hard for me at first. Who wants to tell someone how to run their school? But it wasn't really like that. Our school nurse isn't the friendliest person, but after giving her food allergy posters and stuff I bought from the Food Allergy Network (not to mention a nice little Christmas gift every year), she and I work together well. You gotta do what you gotta do.
My daughter is really getting more responsible; I'm so proud of her. She's 7 now. Just this week, her teacher told her that another child was bringing in cupcakes for her birthday today. My daughter called the girl and asked her mother to call me about the cupcakes! The mother did, and she read the whole box to me, the icing too. Otherwise, I would have called her. It turns out there is going to be a substitute teacher today. This teacher may have just given my daughter a cupcake (I certainly hope not since the regular teacher has my daughter's information in the substitute folder). But just in case, I know my daughter would say no. I provide a basket full of safe snacks for the teacher to give my daughter instead. Anyway, I wrote the substitute a note saying it was okay for my daughter to have a cupcake.
There is a support group in our area with parents whose children have food allergies. These people are absolutely wonderful. Maybe you can ask you child's allergist if he knows if such a group, or you can find other parents of food allergic children. It helps to talk to others going through the same thing.

Posted on: Fri, 11/22/2002 - 1:16am
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Lynn, I hear you! My dd's teacher(preschool) does food crafts all the time. It drives me insane. I have wasted so much time trying to ferret out safe things I would never have cared about. I also just do not like so much focus on food and especially sweets. It is not in keeping with my day to day food philosophies. I feel we offer our dd too many treats as it is because of comensatinf for her not having the cake at a party or such. I do not like giving her much more than that!
Because I am in a private preschool, I need to be more careful, I think. I also have a tight neighborhood community who all go there, and do not want my dd affected socially by this any more than is needed.
I plan to be more firm, less tolerant, and crystal clear with public scholl, and have not ruled out yanking her from her present preschool. I do think she is safe, an occasional mistake is going to happen here and there(like the aid eating the Snickers), but it needs to be addresses seriously. Our director goes throuth the luches daily. She takes out anything nutty and sends it back home when kids get picked up. The troubles are totally with homemade things. No matter how often they are told, someone always seems to show up with "illegal" food!
I agree it is best to keep these food things to a minimum. I figure Christmas time/Holiday time is one tough one, where I will just always be there, but I go for all the parties, actually. The teacher is busy and siblings show up and it is uncontrollable. I will *never* trust the teacher to watch my child around food at a party. I have seen the difficulty there. I cannot expect her to handle that. However, I wish she would figure out it is simply unsafe and change things.... It is the first year here and they went nut free and are trying and learning.
I could go on and on. I know our public system has a school with tough peanut restrictions. A table for peanuts, not a single nut free table. Nearly a ban, but well controlled. You can email me if you want. I am tight on time, but understand your feelings and could go on a bit sharing and talking about things I have done. [email]imissmandms@hotmail.com[/email]. Becca

Posted on: Fri, 11/22/2002 - 5:50am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Lynn1999_2000, welcome! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I'll re-raise my son's school plan which adheres to school board policy throughout the province of Ontario, Canada. It was written by another member of PA.com, PeanutTrace. I have found a lot of American PA parents requesting it as well as they try to write their 504 Plans.
I guess my basic question would have to be, what country are you in?
Also, excellent that Katiee re-raised Duty of Care. I can't remember if it's Canadian specific but I know a lot of Americans also using it as part of the information they give to their PA child's school.
I'll re-raise the school plan and then, if I find out you're American, I'll be able to suggest some *good* 504 Plans that have been posted here.
I wasn't able to read your whole post (much banging in the background by my daughter right now, I believe on purpose [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) but the teacher has to get a grip. School things irritate me to no end, as anyone here can attest to, and I'm sorry, there are many craft projects that can be made without peanut products. Even the apparently standard peanut butter pine cone, we have wonderful suggestions here on what you can use instead of pb. I truly don't understand this focus focus focus on food all the time in school. I can't remember it 30 years ago.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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