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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I have not been posting much lately because everything has been going really well for us. However, I've found myself in a situation with my best friend that is REALLY bugging me...and I want to see what others think about it.

A bit of back ground info on my best friend...her oldest is allergic to peanuts and her middle child is allergic to milk and eggs...both asthmatic and allergic to cats etc.. We've been friends since the kids were little...and I could always count on her house as somewhere safe my kids could go...and our kids could always safely attend each others birthdays (until this year).

However, she is not nearly as careful as I am. Her oldest daughters birthday this past spring was a party where they invited NUMEROUS assorted furry critters into their home (including cats) for a show and tell about animals. We did not attend. Now her middle childs party is coming up and it is a pizza party...for a milk allergic child (who will be having alternate food)...followed by bowling. I'm quite shocked at the lack of consideration for the milk allergic kids (mine and hers). I'm not at all comfortable attending which is very difficult to tell her.

But mostly, I'm just disappointed. My kids could always go to their parties safely and be included. And somehow I feel I just come across as the "over protective" mom. So my question is...How do I tell her that the party is not safe for my kid, when she's planned it for hers???

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
You mean the birthday child is going to have to eat a substitute while everyone eats pizza around her??? What is up with that?? Okay, different topic. But that is shocking. Why do that to a child on their birthday?

I guess the only way to handle the fact that you aren't comfortable attending is to acknowledge that there are lots of different parenting styles (not just regarding allergies - regarding lots of different things), and different levels of comfort around allergens. People approach things differently, and I guess the sign of a good friendship is when you can acknowledge that and then move on. If she feels judged, well, that is not your problem. You have a right to want to not expose your kids to too many of their allergens.

No one ever said that parenting and allergies were always fun, fun, fun... :?

And man, if anyone ever threw a party for me and served my allergies for the main course... Well, let's just say I'd probably never forget. And maybe never forgive either!

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Ohio
That is um wow. My 15 yearold would be very mad. She is allergic to milk and can't even be around pizza she had to miss youth group on Tuesday because someone brought pizza. She was very upset. People where not to do it and did it anyway. We were getting ready to leave and her friend called and said don't come pizza is here. Now her at 15 feeling this way I can't imagine how that child will feel. :shock:

_________________
Karen in Ohio mom of 7
Allergic to tons and tons of food as well as perfumes, scented air sprays and cleaners. Hubby to Fish, ds #2 Shellfish, youngest to Eggplant, potato, Caesin, Raw Tomato & spinach.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Quote:
You mean the birthday child is going to have to eat a substitute while everyone eats pizza around her???


Yes...that's right (except it's a he). My girls are soooo looking forward to his birthday because they've always been able to go safely. Now I have the whole problem of telling my girls they can't go...or letting my oldest go and leave my youngest at home. It just totally sucks!

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I agree with all of the above, but I can sort of understand how some people don't think that way. What is "hospitable" is pretty much engrained and is hard to change for some. . ..especially if their sense of self-worth is really tied up with being a 'good hostess'. i.e. some people have set ideas about what it is proper to serve. pizza at a kids' party is one of those standard things it is hard to get people to change. Also, if she serves non-dairy pizza it would probably involve a lot of work.

Is your friend's daughter as reactive as your daughter?

Regardless of the situation with your friend's child, I agree that a good approach would be to explain why you can't go in terms of your child's situation. If I remember correctly, your child is contact-reactive, no? Perhaps you could point that out. If your friend gets offended, there isn't much you can do. Since you have been good friends for so long, hopefully this won't be an issue. But this would be frustrating for sure!


Last edited by Helen on Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
I'm completely gobsmacked. The b-day boy won't be able to eat the food at his OWN party? Whuh??

And it does put you in an awkward position with your friend, all you can do is decline in the gentlest, least judgemental way possible, and hope for the best. Maybe you can take your daughters to do something really, really fun that day, to distract them from their disappointment.

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
:shock:

Now that I have picked my jaw off the floor...

Maybe the b-day boy was feeling some pressure to conform and the mom wanted to support him on that. Maybe your friend needs some support from you as another mom of allergic children. Have you talked to her about this?

I have found that different parents of allergic children have different levels of security and perhaps awareness of life threatening allergies. I find that some people who have never had their child anaphylax are quite a bit more relaxed than I am about their child's allergy.

It must be so disappointing for you and your girls to have lost out on one of your few "safe" social outings. I have been trying to explain to friends recently that outings that other can families look forward to cause us stress and anxiety.

_________________
daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Thanks for the support guys. It's always nice to know there are people out there who seem to "get it" on stuff like this.

Momofhalfadozen,
Your daughter's pizza problem is with a church youth group right? That just baffles me too. You'd think that a youth group (and best friends with milk allergic children) would be places where kids would be included and people would care about their safety and feelings.

Helen,
My youngest is very contact reactive. Her son is not as contact reactive but more asthma, breathing problems reactive. I've seen situations where he's probably been exposed to milk (like after eating fries at Boston Pizza, while the family eats what ever) and then "needs a puffer" 'cause he's suddenly having a "little mysterious bout of asthma". I'm not sure if it occurs to his mom that it is milk related...and if it does occur to her... serious enough to not needlessly expose him, at the expense of not eating out for the rest of the family.

I seem to come across more parents of allergic children in my real (non-computer) life that are pretty relaxed about the whole allergy thing... who go to the same allergist as me who make comments like "I don't like Dr. So and So because he treats me like I'm a stupid woman"...when I love Dr. So and So and get along great with him. It's quite scary to think that cautious parents might not be the norm.

Gem,
The b'day boy is only turning 4, and is only inviting his neighbour (who is 3) and a day care friend (who is 4), us, and anyone he might want from preschool which hasn't started yet (the party is in about a month)...I don't think he had any input into the pizza.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
I had another parent of an allergic child recently tell me ( politely) that she thought I was over-protective. Her child has never had a serious reaction and I think it is hard for her to visualize the severity of the condition.

There are a few children at DD's preschool with LTA's but we are the only family with an epipen on site. Luckily there is at least one on site in case anything ever happens!

_________________
daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Quote:
There are a few children at DD's preschool with LTA's but we are the only family with an epipen on site.


That is insane. We had a similar experience when my oldest attended preschool (we homeschool now). Everyone else just seemed horribly irresponsible, and then those horribly irresponsible parents end up also being consulted in matters concerning allergies at the school...which made me "the crazy paranoid lady".

My friends daughter attends one of our neighbourhood schools, and has set a bit of a precident as far as allergy management (a very poor precedent, like it's okay to give a PA kid cookies from Mr. Sub :roll: ) and our other neighbourhood school has a teacher(who is also consulted on matters concerning allergies for all kids) with a PA son who thinks it's okay to give him "may contains" because he's "fine with them", but has very uncontrolled asthma.

Luckily homeschooling has been going really well for us because our local schools are just a lost cause.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
gem wrote:
I had another parent of an allergic child recently tell me ( politely) that she thought I was over-protective. Her child has never had a serious reaction and I think it is hard for her to visualize the severity of the condition.


Two years ago, I had to go to speak to my older son's teacher because she gave him candy in class... when we had been extremely clear that DS was not to be given anything without our permission. She got defensive, and at first told me that she found she was getting mixed messages from us. When I said in a politely puzzled way, "Oh... well I always thought I was pretty clear about all that (knowing full well that I WAS clear), but I'll make sure I'm clear in the future," she backed off and said that it was more that she got mixed messages from other parents. And I knew that she was talking about another family whose son is "a little bit allergic to peanuts" and who is allowed to eat foods that may contain traces of peanuts (according to my son).

I very calmly (and probably icily) told her that I didn't care what other parents did or said... because they were not as well educated or as well informed about allergies as I am, and they have not heard all of the horror stories that I have. I probably sounded like a snotty know-it-all, but I didn't care. And frankly, "it ain't braggin' if ya done it" (by which I mean I KNOW I am better informed and better educated about allergies than many other parents of allergic kids).

I also explained how it gave very dangerous mixed messages to my son (in grade 2 at the time) - thinking that the food-safety rules that his parents had laid down were there to be broken. :shock:

For the rest of the year she was very accommodating and made sure to not give our son candy (except from his safe treats box), and went out of her way (very nicely) to tell me that.

And ironically enough, that summer her child had a serious reaction to shellfish, and she was completely freaked out when I saw her on the first day of school. And she had my son again that year, and was even more accommodating about the allergies. I always wonder if she felt a bit bad about obviously thinking I was being overprotective during that first year.... I will never know. But I'm sure she could relate to me a whole lot more during that second year!

Moral of the story: some say over-protective. I say appropriately vigilant because you are well-informed, well-educated, and you know how serious an allergic reaction can be for your child.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:51 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
Yeah, they used to say wearing seat belts was over protective (anyone else old enough to remember when they were an option?)...now, they say seatbelts save lives.
Saskmommyof2-I hope your children have something fun to do to take their mind off the fact that they are not able to attend his birthday party.
I would just tell your friend that you are not comfortable with pizza being served. If she knows you, she probably will expect this anyway. (She knows that you home school, right?)

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
saskmommyof2 wrote:
ISo my question is...How do I tell her that the party is not safe for my kid, when she's planned it for hers???


My children don't have food allergies, so I haven't ever dealt with this exact situation. But, driving in cars.....Other people seem to feel it's OK to take their kids out of child car seats when they are under the height/weight requirements just this once so they can fit three kids in the back seat. Not me. My son is nine and still rides in a booster seat because otherwise the seatbelt doesn't fit properly. I have had to not allow his to go places with a friend because they couldn't fit the booster seat in with all the kids -- and sometimes I can't get him there myself.

I tend not to be very tactful though -- I tell them straight out that it's dangerous and could kill or severely harm the children -- theirs and mine. They usually respond that they do it all the time -- and I ask how many car accidents they've been in while doing it -- none -- so I say "then you're about due to be in one aren't you". (See, not tactful at all. But honest.)

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Ohio
People always think i am being a bit over reactive with my Daughter. Until their is some one who causes her to react then they go OH. Like her friend ate pizza rolls then breathed in her face talking her and she doubled over coughing and hacking using her ihaler and breaking out in hives. Kids at youth group think oh allergic yeah so she has bowel trouble :shock: . It does get a bit to much somtimes.

_________________
Karen in Ohio mom of 7
Allergic to tons and tons of food as well as perfumes, scented air sprays and cleaners. Hubby to Fish, ds #2 Shellfish, youngest to Eggplant, potato, Caesin, Raw Tomato & spinach.


Last edited by Momofhalfadozen on Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
KarenOASG wrote:
Moral of the story: some say over-protective. I say appropriately vigilant because you are well-informed, well-educated, and you know how serious an allergic reaction can be for your child.

Very well said Karen, I have to remember that one.

saskmommy, I can understand how disappointed you are for your kids, and yourself for that matter. I think we all dream of establishing friendships with others who live with the same food allergies -- just so we can take some time off from our "high alert vigilance" while our kids play with others. Being able to take a break from wondering if someone has residual *insert your allergen(s) here* on their hands while your kids play would be so nice. I so understand your disappointment. I really feel for her little boy though. I can't imagine serving my son's allergens at his birthday party -- let alone EVER. Pizza being a traditional party food or not, I think our kids feel left out too often to have mom or dad leave them out on their special day too. I'd just tell her that because your daughter is contact reactive, you don't want to put her at risk with all of that greasy cheese being around -- and you don't want to put other children in the position of having to witness a serious allergic reaction either. If it does make her "feel badly" -- perhaps that's a good thing in that it will cause her to reexamine her decisions for her own children?? I think others learn so much more from us, not by what we tell them, but by simply being who we are.


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