Advice on handling playdates?

Posted on: Thu, 08/24/2000 - 11:26pm
booandbrimom's picture
Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

I know a lot of you have been dealing with this longer than I have, so I'm hoping for some good advice in balancing risk vs. "normal" experiences...

My son started kindergarten on Wednesday and had a playdate with a new friend in the neighborhood the next day. I explained his allergies (milk/peanut/soy) to the mom and she said "yes, I know, your husband already told me." I was very careful to tell her that we do not allow our son to eat at a friend's house unless we send a snack and the playdate was 3:30 to 5:00, so I figured she would be even less likely to feed him because it was right before dinner.

When I got there, she said she gave the boys a freezer pop because they were hungry. I probably overreacted - explained again that we do not allow ANY food and that some of those freezer pops contain soy. She seemed really hurt, but I do feel that I got it across to her that she can't give any food. I also told her again that he can start wheezing, not be able to breathe, need a shot and have to go to the hospital. To complicate matters, the family is 1st generation Chinese, and while her English is very good, I'm never sure if there's a language barrier with what I'm saying.

So, long story short... Do any of you have a better, more direct way of communicating about allergies? Would you just bring a snack to every play date?

I want to balance safety and normalcy, but at the same time it scared me that this mother would totally ignore my instructions after my husband and I both talked to her. Is there anything I could have done better?

Posted on: Fri, 08/25/2000 - 1:42am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

Definitely provide the treat for every play date. Buy something special and safe that the kids will go gaga over. Then leave the rest of the box with the family as sort of a little treat for their kid. People respond very well to this. It means there's an "admission charge" for every play date but the peace of mind is worth a few bucks. Even if they have safe snacks, the cross-contamination issue is too hard to explain.

Posted on: Fri, 08/25/2000 - 1:47am
Heather's picture
Joined: 10/08/2006 - 09:00

I think that sounds like good advice. I don't want to scare my son's playmate's parents by demonstrating an epi and leaving it with them. Any advice on how to handle that delicately?

Posted on: Fri, 08/25/2000 - 3:34am
rilira's picture
Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

I think it is essential to leave an epi. I find if you give clear written instructions on when to use it and just matter of factly explain how to use it then it is not a big deal.
I think it takes some of the pressure off if i have my daughter show them how to use it. She is 6 and will explain and show them with a trainer.I think people then realize if she can do it then I can too.

Posted on: Sun, 09/03/2000 - 5:41am
Lidia's picture
Joined: 04/25/1999 - 09:00

I only leave my son with another PN allergic friend and our next door neighbor. At my neighbors house he doesn't eat anything and I will only leave him if I am home. It works now, but he starts Kindergarten in a few days and will meet new friends. I think I will have them over to my house until I know the parents well enough to send an epi-pen. How long will that take?? Who knows, but I can't send him to someone else's house, even if he doesn't eat, without that protection. He could touch something or eat something. Remember these kids are just that.. KIDS! My son is very responsible about his allergy, but i can't take the chance that one day he might want to try something. I just hope and pray for the best.

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