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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 58
Hi,

Now that the snow has melted, I'm noticing several peanut shells in my gardens. We put rubber mulch in the kids' play yard, and there are peanut shells there as well. The squirrels sure have been busy!!!

Has anyone else with a peanut allergic child experienced this, and how did you deal with it? My kid is allergic to trace amounts. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:02 am
Posts: 164
Location: Winnipeg
I have been finding shells and whole, unopened peanuts in the yard. We've also encountered that in playground sandboxes, and on the beach last summer.

I don't have any great advice, but understand what you're dealing with. The other day when I found the first whole unshelled peanut, I took a breath and used it as a teachable moment with ds before I threw the peanut away.

Looking forward to advice/suggestions from others...

_________________
*Son, 5 years old: Asperger's, allergic to eggs, peanuts, and mustard seed (outgrew dairy and soy)
*Son, 23 months old
*Hubby: allergic to cats and trees (non-specified types)
*Self: allergic to penicillin


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
This will be our first summer with this concern as we added peanuts and tree nuts to our list last fall. My first thought is that this is all the more reason to ensure that you have your auto injector available and preferably on the child at all times.

We need to be aware that an asthma attack might be a possible anaphylaxis reaction to a trace of a peanut and be ready to give epinephrene even if we don't think they have eaten something.

I would be inclined to treat it as I do for other safety issues such as broken glass or possible syringes. If the child sees a dangerous object, they must not pick it up but go and inform a parent who will dispose of the danger. Children with anaphlaxis allergies should not participate in school yard clean up but they can hand out the (unused) garbage bags and keep track of how much waste has been picked up. Maybe older kids could use a camera to capture the schools achievements.

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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: Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
The day I was diagnosed with adult onset soy and peanut allergies, I came home to find an open, empty jar of peanut butter in my back garden. It was recycling day, and I guess a local raccoon had pulled it out of the garbage.

It does happen, and in your head you will think - eeeeekkk. (I sure did with a new diagnosis.)

Someone wrote in to AL's "Ask the Allergists" about peanut shells in a playground and Dr. Waserman replied that while the chances of a reaction are low, to make sure a child doesn't play with the shells in case of: contact reaction, accidental touching to mouth or eye (e.g. getting it into your system which might lead to a more serious reaction).

You'll want to clean up in your own yard - as Susan suggests. But you will see shells around in summer - especially in parks because some people like feeding the squirrels.

I'd pay close attn. to it in my own yard with young kids, but would just be mindful elsewhere. As kids get older, it shouldn't be an issue in school grounds if there are restrictions on peanut/peanut products. But I'd just tell them to watch out for shells, but not panic if they see them. They'd have to handle them, then touch an eye or mouth.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Thornhill
This is so fascinating for me now that I have a peanut allergic kid.

If I am going to be totally honest, coping with contact-non peanut allergies anaphylaxis has been challenging and at times I have felt alienated from the peanut/tree nut crowd (and yes, some of my best friends or their kids have peanut / tree nut allergies).

I can understand the fear and alarm and sense of "is nothing sacred?!" (my own feeling - not saying this is broadly applied!) but when our lives have been shaped by severe, minimal trace allergens resulting in epis and 911 the world becomes (for us) viewed through a permanent lens of risk. We try to instill responsibility (as Susan talked about in terms of not handling dangerous objects, about never leaving the house without multiple epis etc) without fear and acknowledge that the world around us may at times make steps to be accommodating but for the most part we expect lots of... hmmm... educational opportunities

Much like you can find peanut shells everywhere, same for sesame seeds and remnants - trace or obvious - of many allergens anywhere you go that is public. We've had to get over it and travel prepared (antibacterial wipes, benadryl cream & syrup, epis, puffers & chambers etc....). In our lives, we have had some marvelously supportive places and friends and others (including those with allergies in the family) who simply don't get it. It can be tiring, but we can't take the luxury to relax vigilance and choose to remain a part of the public life (I don't think most people consider the implications of eating while reading a library book).

It's upsetting but I have also come to believe that truly we are all a bit better as are shaped by our own/family/friend experiences. I like to think that some of the "emotional intelligence" and sweet character my daughter has is at least informed by the challenges she's faced....

_________________
renie
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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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 58
Hi Renie,

Sounds like you and I are in a similar boat. My little one lives in the safety of our home - his 'bubble'. We can't go to daycare or school (or even have play dates for that matter), as he is contact reactive to milk, wheat, eggs, soy, peas, peanuts, legumes, lentils, beans, tree nuts, shellfish ... and more that I wont bother getting into. He also can't be around anyone who owns any pets without breathing issues.

He was able to enjoy the backyard for the first time last year without any issues from pollen (at one point we couldn't open the front door to get mail without him breaking out in hives/asthma attacks). We've come along way but still have a way longer way to go with the food allergies.

We've tried to safely expand our 'bubble', and hoped the backyard would be that fun, safe outdoor place (we can't go to public parks either). It's a little disappointing that he can't be completely free in his own yard either. Oh well ... could be worse. We'll do our due diligence and watch what he touches etc. He smiles so freely out there and I'll just do my best to keep him smiling.

I'm glad to meet someone who understands that the world outside our home is like an invisible minefield! This forum has been great for that.

I guess I was hoping for a magic answer on preventing those pesky squirrels from making our home their home. :shock:

Thanks everyone!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Quote:
I guess I was hoping for a magic answer on preventing those pesky squirrels from making our home their home.


You could always get a dog. Even a little terrier (ratter) would keep the squirrels at bay. But then you would have a small dog who demands a lot of exercise...

Keeping children with food allergies safe is particularly tough when they are small and tend to put their hands in their mouths. In a few years time this will stop and they can go to the park and play in relative safety.

In order for a reaction to be anaphylaxis the allergen needs to enter the blood stream. This means that touching a peanut shell might give a hive but unless the skin is broken, it wouldn't cause an anaphylaxis reaction.

Personally, I have always looked at our daughters contact reactions as an early warning system that she has been in contact with an allergen and needs to wash her hands.

Keep open sores covered, teach them as much as possible to keep their hands out of their mouth and eyes...good luck keeping their hands out of their noses! :roll:

Carry wipes, your auto-injector and if possible a cell phone.

We can't take away every risk but we can minimize them.

_________________
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: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:03 pm
Posts: 180
Location: Montreal, QC
_Susan_ wrote:
[

Keeping children with food allergies safe is particularly tough when they are small and tend to put their hands in their mouths. In a few years time this will stop and they can go to the park and play in relative safety.

We can't take away every risk but we can minimize them.


Thanks Susan for the point of view from a few years down the road!!! It helps to know from people who have been there that it gets easier with time!

_________________
Me - Kim - No allergies
DH Ben - 31 - Allergic to nuts and peanuts, lots of environmental allergies.
DD Anne - 4 - Asthma. Allergic to dairy, eggs, mustard, kiwi, peanuts, wheat and barley... for now...
DS Francois - 1 - No allergies so far...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 58
Hi Susan,

Thanks for your kind words of encouragement (DH loved the doggie idea, but we can't get one due to allergies :? )

You're right, my main concern right now will be to keep his little hands away from his mouth etc. Maybe I'll keep a play water table out there with clean soapy water for the boys to visit when they are playing outside. If anything, this will make me feel better about not having to wipe his hands every 2 seconds (which he's used to doing the odd time we do go out of the house).

Is it possible that he could pick up a peanut shell without any negative effect? I.e., have any of you experienced that your kids have 'outgrown' contact reactivity?

Thanks!



:)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Thornhill
Our dd has not outgrown her contact reactivity and while I understand that there has to be allergen into the blood stream for anaphlyaxis, we used to have a much more difficult time (eg once a minor milk splash hit her jeans at day care - she was changed immediately but they didn't get the "contact" issue and within an hour was projectile vomiting and wheezy)... the encouragement I want to give is that now that she is 4 it is much easier to try to control.

We still opt to go to places like wonderland and bday parties and as a result have times when she gets reactive but she knows about hygiene now and participates in it (we established routines early and in a non-allergy specific way)

At the time I couldn't see past the oral-infant-tddler challenges, but we've turned that corner (with our daughter)

_________________
renie
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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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
It's not just potential peanut shells you are protecting your child from...do you know what cats do in those public sand pits called play structures? Eww!

You are keeping your child safe from a potential reaction, yes, but you are also protecting from a whole host of problems.

_________________
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: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:14 am
Posts: 1
How close are you to your neighbors? Although I don't know what it's like where you live, I've never seen a peanut plant growing in the wild around here. So your squirrels are probably getting their nuts from a well meaning neighbor. Talk to your neighbors and even present them alternatives to nuts.
I had a similar issue with my toddler (who puts everything that fits into his mouth) the other day. Not from the squirrels but the neighbors themselves. We live in a town house complex without any fences on the backyards, and as we were wandering around we came accross one neighbor who's yard was litterred with nut shells and another with birdfeed scatterred everywhere. For the time being he wont be wanderring around unsupervised anyway but I can't follow him around forever.


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