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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:39 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 668
Location: AB, Canada
My twins are in a class with 2 other PA children (gr 1). They are quite agitated this week, with all of the valentine's parties/food, and monitoring/excluding for them. I always provide safe alternatives from home, and do all of the baking for the class.

Yesterday they were talking about being the only ones with peanut allergies in their class, and I said 'no, D & K are also allergic'. They didn't believe me and said 'but they are allowed to have food from other people'.

I don't know how to explain this to them, because, quite frankly, I don't understand it either. :scratchy

DSs 12, 12, 14 all PA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:24 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:04 am
Posts: 101
See the string on International Day because multiple people were commenting on this and wondering if Allergic Living should do a feature on the more laissez faire approach of SOME parents with peanut/tree nut food allergies - particularly in relation to school related events as the schools have a peanut/tree nut free designation.

myself: seasonal allergies, chemical sensitivities
son 2007: allergic to sesame and raw eggs
daughter 2009: no allergies
daughter 2011: severe eczema, no allergies

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:47 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 816
Location: Vancouver, BC
I get this question from my kids too, and I say that it's possible some people's allergies are more severe than others, and that other parents have different rules, but our rules are XYZ based on our allergist's advice and my research, so this is what we do.

DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:48 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6616
Location: Ottawa
Yes, levels of severity are sometimes an issue. Levels of understanding are another.
Unfortunately, sometimes people recognize the risk but choose to ignore it. How many times have you witnessed someone speeding on the highway etc. Not everyone will choose to follow the rules all of the time.
In our family, we choose to follow the guidelines as set out by those whom we trust. In Canada that is the CSACI and in the USA it is the AAAAI. They both recomend carrying at least 2 doses of epinephrine at all times, strict avoidance of allergens and prompt use of the auto-injector followed up by a trip to the nearest ER at the first sign of anaphylaxis.

Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy and green beans) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: Oral Allergy Syndrome, Allergic to Birch trees

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 984
Location: Oakville, Ontario
This is a tough one... I never like to seem critical of another's choices, but it's hard to explain to a young child. Our son is now 11; however, we are still careful with our words. I will explain that with his food allergies, in our experience, we need to be more careful than others, so we must avoid the foods. When our son was younger, we really tried to send along an absolute FAVOURITE, comparable treat (whatever it might have been) so there was no objection (on his part) to eating something different than the others. Now that he's older, we do something similar, but he's more receptive and understanding. But, the tough part is, when others have "his" allergy and still seem to eat whatever they want!?!? why does he have to eat something different. So confusing to a young child. Honestly, we don't have this issue anymore with an 11 year old, but we certainly did. We tried, as best we could, to explain that we didn't want to take any chances at school... others children's allergies may not be as severe as his... something along those lines. Every child is different, in their temperment, so you have to try different approaches, but this worked for us. Even this week, with Valentines Day, I learned thru my older daughter, that Heart-Shaped Valentines cookies were being sold, THAT day for $2!!!! Aacckkk!!! So, I said to my son, "What if I cut out bread, in the shape of a heart and put some strawberry jam on it"? And he said "That's okay mom." What a sweetie... you see, we're at this stage... he's okay with it now, and understands it. I understand your difficulty. Whenever I could replace, I did. As much as the school says they do not have food related events, THEY DO!!! I don't get it!! The best advice I can give you is to explain, given your own circumstances, the choices you are making for them, without being critical of others choices. Young children simply don't understand this. But, most importantly, you need to ensure they are safe at school!!

18 yr old daughter: no health issues
16 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, egg, fish, sesame,sunflower,mustard,poppy seeds, peas, carrots, some fruits, instructed to avoid legumes(except soy & green beans),pollen, cats, horses, cold urticaria

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:10 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Thornhill
We encountered this early on - I can't remember exactly what age....
The thing is, my daughter had already noticed that within our network, there was so much difference (family compositions - two dads, two moms, mixed families and family rules - shoes in the house or not, food on the couch or not, it's ok to bud in line or not etc) that we treated it as a simple extension - every person and family is unique and they make the right rules for themselves.
This was a good foundation for us and it was only later that it evolved into a conversation about severity and risk taking.

Again, we had a lot of diversity to draw on
- cousins with allergies (and asthma) who don't share what their allergens ARE, carry epi-pens or inhalers,
- A classmate with multiple allergies including dairy but she can tolerate clarified butter,
- a friend with allergies whose mom has always said "when we come to events with you I leave our epis at home"

I do believe her reactions have solidified for her that it doesn't matter what risks others accept - she needs to take steps that are appropriate and safe. Since we have 'educated' from the time she was a toddler, it seems apparent.

I don't know what lies ahead but I cherish that we have open conversations about these issues as they arise (and hope they continue in the teen years!)

daughter: ana for egg, sesame, dairy, pistachio/cashew/hazelnut. on contact. allergic+ to soy protein isolate, environmental allergies (e.g. dogs, dust mites). asthma. eczema.
son: peanuts, tree-nuts, OAS, environmental allergies. asthma.

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