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Do you keep your child's allergen in the home?
YES 42%  42%  [ 8 ]
NO 47%  47%  [ 9 ]
We only have foods that 'may contain' allergens 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 19
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 Post subject: Allergens in the home?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:03 pm
Posts: 180
Location: Montreal, QC
My husband and I have made the decision to still have and eat our daughter's allergens (dairy, egg, wheat and barley) in the home. We are extremely careful about it, and she's never ever alone in the kitchen. We always eat at the dining table and never share foods or utensils, and she has her own cooking dishes... We feel, and this is a very personal choice, that her allergens being so common, we better teach her at home that she sometimes has to eat different things than others, that she can't open cabinets or the refrigerator and teach her 'allergy' rules...

I'm curious to see how other parents deal with this...

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Ontario, Canada
My son has dairy and egg allergies too. The rest of us drink milk, eat ice cream, etc. We do not have eggs but plenty of egg containing food items. My husband will not give up having peanuts or peanut butter in the house although I would readily move those out to be safe (and my son is only avoiding nuts as a precaution - no known allergy).

So far it has worked very well. I am careful when we have cheese or milk and my son is very well aware of which items in the cupboard or fridge are safe for him (i.e. his cookies and his rice milk).

_________________
Jan, mom to 3 boys
DS#3 - eggs, cats, dust, eczema, avoiding nuts as a precaution
DS#2 - seasonal allergies
DS#1 - no allergies
Me & DH - seasonal allergies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:52 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Rockland, Ontario
Because our son is only allergic to peanuts and tree nuts we have cleared our home of them..we did this originally (5 years ago) because grandparents would come visit or even babysit for us, and we didn't want them to have to worry about checking for ingredients..and then after that we learned to live without the peanut butter (found a yummy SoyButter finally!). :)

_________________
11 yr old son: ana to peanuts/tree nuts, well controlled asthma, well controlled eczema


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 58
Our son is contact reactive. When he was a baby it was ok to keep allergens around but as soon as he started crawling it was a challenge. I didn't think I could possibly eliminate all his allergens so I spent a LOT of time cleaning and living in fear (and sadly he spent more time than he had to feeling uncomfortable until I figured out his body's cues).

One day we decided we were living with too much anxiety and decided to eliminate all allergens. We wanted to find a balance so we made the basement our adult zone, where we could safely order in and eat a pizza or take-out sandwhiches or whatever else without having to be hyper vigilant about cleaning everything. DS doesn't go down there; we wash up and change our clothes so we don't track crumbs upstairs. We eat allergens in the home after DS is in bed. Because of all the allergens we're dealing with, we only 'cook' in a toaster oven down there. That way the main kitchen upstairs doesn't get contaminated. During the day we eat his diet, which is remarkably healthy. It might sound absurd, but this 'allergy protocol' it works for us and has taken off a huge layer of stress.

Having said that ... we're on a learning curve. If his body shows us that he can start tolerating being around allergens we would adjust accordingly, taking one baby step at a time.

:D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:59 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6465
Location: Ottawa
We are lucky in that we only have one person with a food allergy so it is easy for us to live without the allergens present.

If we had more people with differing allergens it might be difficult to provide proper nutrition while keeping the home free from all allergens.

_________________
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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 Post subject: allergy items in home?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:40 am
Posts: 423
Location: Alberta, Canada
If it were my children that were allergic I may not have any allergy items in the house, but since it is me with the allergy I feel fine if we have may contain items. I always know what is off limits for me. I tried to have peanut butter in the house but I found it made me feel sick to my stomach. (Peabutter is sold here in Alberta) Certain Items I have found smell too much so they do not get purchased again to be in my home. My children mostly eat as if they were allergic as they have not had that much exposure to my allergic items. (my 10 yr. old has never had a peanut butter sandwich)....

I just judge each item one at a time but only "may contain" Items are in my home.
If I go out of town and my husband stays home it is his chance to have shell fish and he will have nuts at work. All is cleared before my return.
:)

_________________
Me-Allergic to Peanut, Tree Nut, Coconut, Shellfish, ASA and Asthma
My Husband and Children No Allergies


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 Post subject: another View
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:55 pm
Posts: 21
Hi,
I kind of look at it as if this is the only really "easy" place for my daugter Lauren (8). She knows that she can eat anythign at home and not worry about it. At school and at friends and at restaurants she has to worry but home is a safe harbour.
Just our view.
Kim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
We have no eggs or products containing eggs (or may contains) in the house at all. Too stressful!

Since one son passed his peanut challenge, we must feed him regular doses of peanuts, so we keep a double bagged container of peanut M&Ms in a non food cupboard. Every once in awhile I pop a few into his mouth, and then he washes up well.

We also don't have lentils, green peas or chick peas in the house (what I wouldn't give for a little hummus some days!!!) because one of my sons is just soooo sensitive to them. But we do carefully allow tomatoes, salsa and pizza with tomato sauce in the house, because he has only ever reacted very mildly to tomatoes and we feel relatively calm about having them near him (we are still scrupulously careful with them).

My DH and I do occasionally order take out containing our sons allergens. We eat it in a different part of the house than we usually eat in and clean up really well after.

We did have eggs and peanuts in the house when my boys were younger. It simply became too difficult and stressful to keep things safe as they got older.

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:25 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Orleans, Ontario
Hello kdufour!

We don't have nuts or peanuts (other than peanut M&M's that we keep up high in a cupboard and give to our older son so that he doesn't develop a peanut allergy!). We don't typically have fish or shellfish, though I will have some for lunch when my oldest is at school, Otherwise we do have the other allergens in the house.

I feel like you that this has allowed our son to be very aware of his environment at all times. We talk openly about all of the things we do to keep him safe, i.e. always grabbing a clean utensil, washing and rewashing our hands before serving him, always reading labels, never putting his hands inside a garbage can or grabbing something from the dishwasher etc... It's difficult to anticipate the type of situation that he will face outside the home without living them for real. I feel that that by simulating his reality outside the home we are empowering him with the knowledge, experience and ability to look out for himself.

The other morning I was making sandwiches for lunches and he noticed that I had used the same knife for his and his brother's sandwich. As it turned out I was spreading mustard and ketchup and he is allergic to neither so I didn't need to change knives. I was really impressed however that he picked up on it and told me.

Because he is always surrounded by his allergens outside the house, I actually feel safer knowing that he can look out for himself because he practices all the time at home. I'm not so sure he would be as good to self protect if he didn't get to practice it on a daily basis. Being so young he wouldn't necessarily pick up on others oversights. As it is he'll tell someone that they forgot to wash their hands before handling his food or ask if we cleaned the BBQ grill before cooking his food, whether it needed it or not!

_________________
Oldest son 9: allergic to fish and shellfish, pollens, pets, mould and dustmites
Youngest son, 5: allergic to peanuts, nuts, dairy, eggs, sesame, kiwi, asthma, pollens, pets, mould and dustmites


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:23 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6465
Location: Ottawa
Triliam said,
Quote:
We talk openly about all of the things we do to keep him safe, i.e. always grabbing a clean utensil, washing and rewashing our hands before serving him, always reading labels, never putting his hands inside a garbage can or grabbing something from the dishwasher etc...


I think this is very important and something that we should all try to do.
I remember reading an article a few years back that spoke about child who had allergies and who had never seen the foods they were allergic to. How can you avoid it if you don't know what it even looks like?

We talk about what we do to stay safe and what we are worried about. After watching a movie and several TV shows which had a food fight scenes, my daughter told me that she sometimes worried that a food fight might break out at her school. We talked about how she could duck under a table and how she would have her Epi-Pen on her if she needed it but that she probably would only get a contact reaction (although a contact reaction over the entire body would be very bad) and could wash it off and be OK.

I worry about the teen years and hope that she can learn at a young age how to deal with some of the issues so that it is easier when she gets there.

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
My answer is yes and no. My son is allergic to eggs and potatoes, among other things. We still have eggs in the house and we still eat potatoes. We take precautions to keep him safe, but we don't keep those items out of the house. We do, however, keep oranges out of the house. All he has to do is be in the same environment with oranges and he starts to get extremely rashy and itchy. Oranges make him break out quite badly.

_________________
Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:22 am
Posts: 51
Location: Toronto, ON
We do not keep the allergens that my son has had the worst reactions to (egg, fish, peanuts or treenuts) in the house - because it is way too stressful for me to manage. I used to cook egg for my daughter to take to school, but then I would spend an hour scrubbing the kitchen and searching for any crumbs or remains on the spatula etc.. so I decided that it is just easier to keep them out of the house. We do however keep milk and cheese in the house for my daughter and occaisonally serve tomatoes - so my son is aware that he needs to be cautious about all foods as some may make him react.

However, my son seems to think that I magically have a replacement food for everything he is allergic to - ie. rice milk instead of cow's milk, sunbutter instead of peanut butter etc... So when I can't get something like rice cheese for him, I won't serve my daughter regular cheese in front of him. I want him to feel like home is a place where he knows that he will have a 'similar' safe food that he can eat whenever his sister gets something she wants.

I had a reminder of how stressful it is to have an egg in the house just yesterday when guests came over and brought their very picky 3-year old son a hard boiled egg to eat because they knew he wouldn't eat the dinner we were making. It was just an unintentional oversight on their part, so we let the boy eat it and then cleaned him really well before the kids played together. But I found two crumbs in the kitchen after she had cleared his bowl away and I had the urge to just start scrubbing for the rest of the night!

_________________
Son 7 yrs: Anaphylactic to eggs, milk, fish, peanuts, tree nuts and allergic to soy, animals & environmental + Asthma.
Daughter 9 yrs: No allergies!
Me: Allergic to animals & environmental.
Hubby: Allergic to deer, horse flies & bees.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
Whenever I serve my non allergic kids eggs I go into super hyper panic mode. I go around wiping everything and everyone down.

_________________
Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
We keep my son's allergens out of the house as well as any "may contains". We're *only* avoiding nuts and peanuts and so I think this is a lot easier than if he had a really long list of allergens. Also, nuts and peanuts aren't really staples like milk or eggs or others are so I think they're easier to eliminate without too much of an impact on the home. There are also good substitutes like Sunbutter and soy nut butter to replace peanut butter cravings. For us, it's just less stressful and not worth the possibility of any accidental exposures. He knows that home is "safe" for him and I think this gives him one place where he doesn't have to follow all of the "food allergy rules" that we ask him to when he's out in public.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
When they were younger (infant to 6-7):
- peanuts (both allergic): no
- tree nuts (one confirmed allergic, one assumed allergic): no
- eggs (both allergic): yes - really only in the forum of eggs and mayo. We did not really have any packaged food that contained eggs.
- dairy (one allergic): yes
- potatoes (one allergic): yes
- chicken (one allergic): yes
- legumes (one allergic): no at first (oldest had very bad reaction to green beans at 2, so we just didn't want legumes around), and then yes after awhile (very limited quantities)
- cucumber (one allergic): yes
- wheat (one allergic): yes
- barley (one allergic): yes
- fish (one allergic): yes
- pumpkin seeds: yes (but really only because they were leftover - I pretty much stopped baking with them)

You can see how limited it would be if I answered No to all of those.... My kids each have such a range of different allergies that it just would not be fair to insist that they avoid each others' allergens. It does add to the stress (in particular with dairy), but I could not in good conscience keep dairy out of my oldest son's diet.

We were very strict with rules about food consumption - only at the table, wash hands before and after eating, etc. No eating cheesies while watching tv!!!

We did keep certain allergens out of the way, and kept a lock on the food cupboard for a number of years, just to be safe. And we limited what other people (including visitors) could eat in the house, to avoid having too much residue flying around. It almost gave me heart failure to watch my brother's 4-year-old stepson eat a cheese string a few summers ago. It was everywhere - in his hair, on the chair, smushed into the table. Gah.

Now (kids are 7 and 9):
- peanuts (one allergic): yes - only in shells, kept safe in a bag - the oldest eats them outside, when youngest is not around; also keep peanut M&Ms and Oh Henry bites that oldest eats to ensure he is consuming peanuts regularly (we cannot find shelled peanuts that do not have "may contain tree nut" warnings on them)
- almonds and hazelnuts in shell: yes (both can have)
- almonds - Blue Diamond: yes - for youngest (may contain other tree nuts so oldest cannot have)
- eggs (one allergic): yes - still really only in the forum of eggs and mayo. We still do not really have any packaged food that contains eggs.
- dairy (one allergic): yes
- potatoes (one allergic): yes
- chicken (one allergic): yes
- legumes (one allergic): yes (hummous, cans, sometimes fresh for parents)
- fish (one allergic): yes
- pumpkin seeds: just don't have them around

We will never have peanut butter in the house as long as the youngest is allergic. I see how sticky SunButter is, and I cannot imagine having to deal with PB residue!

My kids are reminded to wash their hands and mouths all the time after they have eaten their sibling's allergen - especially dairy products.

For things like crackers and cookies, I do buy a few things that one child can have that the other cannot (e.g. Goldfish crackers for the oldest), but they both know what is what. If there is any accidental cross-contamination (e.g. braindead Mommy put a chip with sour cream on it in the salsa jar one day), the container is labelled profusely with warnings and the youngest told not to touch it. The youngest can now read so we are more relaxed because he can read what is safe and what is not. We use a lot of labels.

I am lucky in that my kids are very self-protective, and very aware of their allergies, and just do not take chances. And they've been that way from a very young age. I realize that not all young children have that much self-control, and some kids are contact reactive, very sensitive, etc., and that non-allergic siblings (or friends) may be younger, messier, etc. so I think it is a very personal family decision on what to keep in the house, based on a lot of factors.

I do think that it has helped my youngest to be around dairy (his scariest allergy). When he started kindergarten it was not as bad as it might have been -- to be surrounded by kids consuming dairy products. Because he was used to his brother and dad (and sometimes me) consuming dairy products at home, it was not a foreign experience. We just talked about what to do if there was an accident at school, i.e. wash off any dairy with soap and water, move away from the spill, get help, etc.

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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