Talking Allergies

Need Help and Advice!!!
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Author:  nuttyniko [ Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Need Help and Advice!!!

My 4 year old son..was just diagnosed with a peanut allergy. Just hoping you all could share some advice with me. I feel like I dont even know where to begin... Im curious to know a few brands of food that are peanut free...OR..some things that your kids have eaten that you wouldnt think contained peanuts. I guess im looking for any advice, that you wont find in the books or online..I want the truth about PA..from moms who live it everyday!!! Even ideas to help me teach my son about his allergy..

Author:  walooet [ Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

Welcome to the Club that none of us wanted to join :huggy

I recommend to start reading the forums and you will learn so much. That was how many of us started. It was overwhelming at first so I had to take in information in doses as to what I could handle at the time. It took a while to build my comfort level and that of my child's.

Are you in Canada? Dare has a peanut-free facility as do some others. We don't buy from any in-store bakeries in grocery stores. I shop mainly at Superstore and Sobey's - have had a couple of problems at Safeway. In my experience, both Superstore and Sobey's have great labelling on their products. Initially, we called many companies from the grocery store aisles. Read every label.

When we learned of the peanut and tree nut allergy in our home, we emptied every cupboard and read every label before putting it back in the cupboard - I even labelled them OK so we knew they had been checked. We gave away a lot of food! If a label does not have "May Contains" on it we don't use it unless we know that the company DOES label for May Contains - e.g., Kraft or Hershey's. We also do not buy products made outside of Canada or the USA.

We have chosen to not bring the anaphylactic allergens into our home so that our child knows they don't have to worry at home.

Oddest thing we found with peanuts - potatoes! Small ones in a bag with a warning that they may contain peanuts.

The 'good' thing with peanuts is that it is the best known.

Take care.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

Well, the good news is that peanut allergies are the most understood by others. Many companies will put the peanut-free logo (peanut in a red circle with a red diagonal bar) on their products. You can do this!

Author:  nuttyniko [ Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

Thanks for the great advice so far...

Author:  BC2007 [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

Hi there, welcome. Are you in Canada or the US. That would help us out with where to send you to shop for certain items.

Also go to the shopping thread on this forum as we try to list new products as we find them. Since you are starting out I would focus on what your son wants to eat now. Say he wants ice cream, focus on that. Chapmans has an entire peanut/tree nut free line of ice cream, ice cream, popsicles etc..

For peanuts I find products fairly well labeled, crackers, cookies etc..

Stay away from all in house baked goods, the deli section, bulk food etc. due to cross contamination. What you are comfortable with later might change, it does for every family, but really know your ingredients and what is made where before feeding DS any open goods.

The golden rule: if you aren't sure don't feed your son. We write or call companies constantly. Be sure not just to ask if there are peanuts in a product but is the product in question made on a line or in a facility where other peanut products are processed, stored (raw ingredients) etc..

Always keep a snack bag in your vehicle with a variety of non perishable goods. You never know when your son might want a snack and you can't find a safe one quickly. Also you can never have enough hand wipes. Most of us buy them by the box in the baby section. I have one tub at home an re-fill it with the packages from the box. I also keep in the car and in my purse a zip lock bag of wipes. Wipes and hand sanitizer, a must.

Most of all, ask any of us if you are unsure and know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!! :huggy

Author:  nuttyniko [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

I am from Ontario Canada...i shop mostly at The superstore or zehrs.
Great advice..thanks for taking the time to reply to my post!
I would love to hear more...

Author:  BC2007 [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

Nuttyniko, I PM you with some safe products info. :D

Author:  walooet [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

nuttyniko wrote:
I am from Ontario Canada...i shop mostly at The superstore or zehrs.

That is great because Superstore has a lot of peanut free products! I call their 1-800 a lot for their blue label or no name products and they are always helpful.

They have mini muffins in the bakery. They carry many peanut free bread including some nice dinner rolls at holiday time. They have a lot of snack foods that are labelled peanut free - we recommend the bran bites - banana flavour --- before he knows that bran is good for him it could be good to get your son to like them :) They are in bags and are 'durable' enough that they won't get squished if in a bag as an extra snack.

Giant Tiger has the best selection of Chapman's products - both ice cream and novelties. Watch the label though as they do have some products with nuts.

For birthday parties, we used to offer to provide the ice cream so that it was safe. We would provide a similar dessert to the birthday one if it was not safe. Check if there is a peanut-free bakery in your area. Friends never minded me tagging along to birthday parties when my daughter was younger -- they often appreciated the help! For chips etc, we would open the bag first and use a cup to scoop out enough for her. Other parents don't want your child to have a reaction but don't know what to do in most cases so just let them know what is best for your son.

This next part is heavy, but I wish that I knew it back then...

The biggest thing that we learned 6 years after my daughter first got her epi-pen was that she thought that if it was used when not needed it would kill her :( She had never told us that and it had always scared her. If I had known that, I obviously would have made sure she knew that it couldn't hurt her if it was a false alarm and that it is better safe than sorry. She didn't tell us that until the first time the epi-pen was needed.

I was also scared of the epi-pen and when she did have an anaphylactic reaction, I debated whether to use it --- now I know that if in doubt, call 911 and a paramedic will be on the phone quickly and will help you. There are people that call 911 so I tell any caregiver that if in doubt, call 911 because they know more than we do!

Author:  nuttyniko [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

THANK YOU bc2007 for the PM..amazing info!!!!
Thanks to all of you for taking the time to post...i feel better already...great advice from everyone.. :P

Author:  Doitalldawnee [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

One thing that I would highly suggest, doesn't matter what the anaphylactic allergy, is to get the child to start carrying their OWN epipens ASAP. Start to train them early on this. That way, you won't be fighting them to have it on their person when they start school - it will just become a part of them (like a diabetic child with an insulin pump). It also saves the parent's hassle when out and about if you change who is going with the allergic child in a moments notice because the child will always have their epipen with them. Also, heaven forbid that your child be separated from you, they will have their epipen with them (and if you include a small laminated card, it can tell what the allergies are) - plus, GET A MEDIC ALERT for your child, and train them to NEVER TAKE IT OFF, and to never let anyone else remove it!!

Those are my hints/suggestions (from a mom to a child with WIERD allergy!)

Author:  BC2007 [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

get the child to start carrying their OWN epipens ASAP. Start to train them early on this. That way, you won't be fighting them to have it on their person when they start school - it

I agree completely. That is one reason we had DS start to wear his in the summer. The funny thing is that as curious (trust me) that he is he's never tried even once to open the epi-pouch or questioned wearing it. Be sure to get a medic alert bracelet also. Once 4 yrs old and registered in school Canadian children can contact Medic Alert and receive a bracelet for free through a program called No Child Without. Just call Medic Alert and they can tell you if your school is on the list. If not I think all you need to do is have your school office call in, I really can't see any school not being registered already for the program though.


Author:  nuttyniko [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

Great ideas Guys!!!
I have another question...ive now noticed a few food products that say may contain peanuts..but i have fed them to my son and he has had no the past. Now , that i know he is PA for sure..should i reduce him to only product that say peanut free?? My gut tells me yes..its hard not to refer to the past..or to continue on with the things that never caused a problem before??? so confused!

Author:  nuttyniko [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

Im not getting sick of you...your advice is awesome! :bouncyblue

Author:  walooet [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

Our daughter's allergist said that she cannot eat anything with May Contains for her anaphylactic allergen. Some people do eat 'may contain's. The problem is that because you ate it last time does not mean it will not have it the next time because it is May Contain. I read somewhere, perhaps here, that in tests it was a certain percentage of May Contains that Do Contain :? i.e., you never know!

My understanding is that each exposure may be worse hence why we avoid all May Contains.

We like the No Label, No Thank You slogan.

Author:  BC2007 [ Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Need Help and Advice!!!

I would never feed DS anything with a may contain. I too read that there was some study done and of certain allergens there was a 70% chance of the product containing what it warned for. There are probably many factors, say: If certain foods are run on the same line as an allergen, the batch run soonest after the allergen might have a higher chance of the allergen trace. So you might be lucky the first 10 x but on the 11th time you aren't so lucky. Not worth the chance.

Not worth the chance as all it would take for a life threatening reaction is that teeny bit of trace.
I'd avoid all may contains. Many companies are now catering to the peanut free market (and allergens) so you should have no problem in finding enough safe food.

Nuttyniko, how has the transition gone at school with regards to your son's recently diagnosed peanut allergy?

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