You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:04 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:27 pm
Posts: 7
My daughter just started grade 1 at a new school. The school itself has excellent procedures in place to prevent anaphylaxis, so I am very happy with that, but today a group of kids in her class told her that if she eats peanuts she "will die." She was extremely upset when I picked her up and cried, not only at being told she would die (which is how she interpreted it) but also at being made to feel different. I don't think the kids meant to be malicious (probably their parents had said something about the peanut butter ban at school). I'm wondering how other parents have dealt with a situation like this. She is very aware of her allergy and will tell anyone, including strangers, that she can't eat candy or anything other than what we have approved because she's allergic to peanuts, and she knows that if she ate peanuts or an unapproved food she would get very sick. But I have never told her that her allergy is potentially lethal because I think she is too young to cope with this information. I'm thinking I should talk to her teacher, but I'm not sure what to ask her to do about what the kids said. Does anyone have any advice?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:53 am
Posts: 207
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Well, now that the cat is out of the bag, I would talk with her about the reality check. How sometimes, if people eat something they shouldn't and if they don't have the medicines that they need and if don't get to a hospital, that some people have died from their allergies.

I had this talk with my son on the way to Kindergarten one day. He was asking "how sick" he would get if he ate something he was allergic to. He had just had a rotten cold and flu and thought he would get "that" sick if he ate peanuts. We had to make it clear that it could be much worse than being sick like with a cold.

It was alot of information to process, but it needed to be done and when opportunity knocked, I had to answer. I didn't dwell on it, but just planted the seed.

Reassurance with her about all the precautions you take, safe food, no sharing, medicine always ready, hospitals near by, letting people know about her allergies, all contributing to that never happening to her will also help. It puts it in perspective for them.

I would talk with the teacher (school) about having a chat so that the kids understand how serious allergies are, but that it is not something that needs to be a topic of conversation. If they have questions, they can talk to an adult at school.

Just my thoughts.

_________________
adult son allergic to peanuts, most tree nuts, eggs and penicillin.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I've also never told my son that he could die if he were to have peanuts/nuts -- always just said that he would get very sick and have to have his Epi and then go to hospital. Before the start of this school year we went to his JK class for an orientation. Upon greeting us, his teacher noticed his Epi-belt and began to discuss some of the policies and procedures that they have in place (as a nut-safe school). Nothing terrible -- just reaffirming their "no sharing food" policies, showed us where in the staff room all of the children's pictures/emergency plans were for staff to see, etc. When it was over and we were in the car and driving home, out of the blue he said "I don't want to die". Which really threw us for a loop. I started thinking "where did he hear this...?", and realized that I've (and others have) referred to his allergy many times in discussions as "life threatening", and thought -- he must have put 2 and 2 together. Anyway, I told him that he had a very long life to live and that he was going to grow old enough to even be a grandpa one day. That his school was peanut and nut-safe, etc. (reaffirmed all of the precautions we take everyday and that the school was taking) and that his Epi was there if he ever needed it. I'd really like to hear other's thoughts on this too because it's a really tough line between scaring them into worry and making them concerned enough to ensure that they take the precautions that are necessary.

Has her teacher already done a presentation about food allergies as a way to educate her classmates? Perhaps in doing so, she could affirm that while the allergy is life-threatening, the liklihood of dying is very small given the precautions she (and everyone else) takes including carrying her Epi. ?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:12 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
We had this talk many talks about death when she was 2 1/2-3 years old . We had read a few books on the subject as she was very interested in death following a memorial and as her grandfather was very sick and not likely to survive. She seemed to accept death but then, that was other people.

When she was about 3 1/2 years old, she figured out that she that her allergies were life threatening after reading the Old Woman Who Swalowed a Fly. She asked me point blank and I told her that there is a chance that her allergic reaction could keep getting worse if we didn't treat it and that she could die. I made sure that she realized that we have the medicine in the Epi-Pen to stop the reaction from getting worse and this is why we will not give her something to eat if she doesn't have her Epi-Pen with her.

I told her that the Epi-Pen is like a fire hydrant. It's there just in case. I told her that I have never been in a fire but have always had fire hydrants and fire drills.

I told her that she was very precious and that Daddy and I would never want her to die so we always read the ingredients 3x and call companies if there is even the slightest question.

Maybe you can point out to her all of the things that are in your control to keep her safe.

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:27 pm
Posts: 7
Thanks everyone for your good advice. I did talk to my daughter last night and told her that although people can die from allergies, she will not because she is very careful to eat only what we know is safe because we check the label every time, and she always carries her Epis with her. I told her to tell the other kids this. I think the kids were trying to be helpful, but she just interpreted what they were saying as "you are going to die." She seemed reassured by what I told her though. The teacher has told the kids that they can't bring in peanut or nut products because two kids in the class have these allergies, but I don't think she would have told them that kids with allergies could die. Probably their parents did, in explaining to them why they can't bring in peanut butter sandwiches. I guess it's good that everyone realizes how serious it is, and that my daughter does too.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
My son was a little bit older (7 or 8) and it was a teacher that said it. :shock:

He's allergic to insects, and since he's absollutely terrified of all insects, I didn't see the need to scare him more by adding that his reactions could be fatal. He was in the school yard being teased by an older boy. My son went to the teacher on yard duty, exlained about his allergy and the teasing. The teacher immediately spoke to the older boy and told him that was bullying and allergies are not funny "HE COULD DIE FROM IT". My poor little guy was stuck at school all day worrying about that, before he finally was able to ask me while we were walking home.

I might be a bad mom because my answer was that "Yes, a reaction to an insect allergy can be that serious. That's why you ALWAYS carry your epi-pen. BUT, you are much more likely to be killed by the car you run in front of to avoid the shadow of a falling leaf, then from an insect bite or sting." I know, I know. Bad mommy. But, it's a very busy street, and he darts when he sees a shadow. It scares me -- more then the allergy does.

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: GBing and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group