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 Post subject: Newly diagnosed allergy
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:35 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Vermont
We've been very fortunate and never had to deal with any food allergies until now. My ten year old daughter was recently diagnosed with a severe tree nut allergy. She's avoided nuts her whole life (and foods like Pesto), because she never liked the texture of chunky peanut butter. She recently tried a nut butter and had an anaphylactic reaction, and now carries an epi-pen and can't eat many foods she's always eaten (processed in a factory with tree nuts). She had a reaction to a pistachio dessert a few years ago but for some reason we didn't think it was an allergic reaction. Go figure!

For those of you with this allergy or children with this allergy, how do you handle eating out, bakeries, going out for ice cream? It seems like everyday we come across some new challenge. She's very consciencious and a great sport about it, but with school starting next week, it raises even more questions for me. We can't let her eat any birthday treats or any unwrapped foods anyone brings to school. Sorry for the long post, but this is all new to us. I appreciate any advice anyone has to offer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
I don't eat in restaurants. I think if I was dealing only with the peanut/nut allergy I might -- but I don't trust anyone to be able to deal with the sesame allergy.

If you don't get responses here about restaurants, check the Dining Out forum. Just be sure to check that the information is specific to your country. I think a lot of people trust McDonald's. (Not exactly a fancy night out, but something kids like.) There are or were some pizza places too.

You need to find some companies that make nut-free products - again making sure the information is specific to your country.. There is one ice-cream company in the US (I'll add the name here when I remember it).

Have you contacted the school about birthday treats etc? They might be willing to insist foods be safe or not distributed.


ETA: Philly Swirl is peanut and nut free.
Sorry I'm not much help.

_________________
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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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Vermont
Thanks so much for your response. It's always helpful to hear from others, especially since it's new for our family. We're going to take it one situation at a time and check these message boards. We're getting used to carrying snacks and acceptable "treats," especially since she can't eat at a lot of the places she used to. Thanks again for your advice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Check out the shopping boards for suitable ice creams etc.

Peanuts allergies are being taken much more seriously these days and people tend to lump tree nuts with them but they are different so be sure that the foods are safe for your child.

Contact your school about the appropriate forms which will need to be filled out. If you go to the website of either Epi-Pen or Twinject you will see how to get a trainer. Last time I checked they were free.

This will be a big adjustment for your daughter. It can be a scary time. Remind her that she hadn't noticed her allergy until now because she naturally avoided most of the foods which she can't now eat. Perhaps she will find that it isn't as difficult to manage as it first appears.

She can maybe teach a few good (responsibly) friends how to administer the auto-injector-you might want to talk with their parents first. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network have a program called PAL (Protect A Life). You might want to look at this http://www.foodallergy.org/pal.html

Feel free to post you concenrs, I'm sure that many here have been through the same issues and can offer suggestions.

_________________
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: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Vermont
Thank you! We live in the US and my daughter's epipens came with a trainer, and she has practiced a bunch of times. She says she feels comfortable using it if she has to (she never wants to feel as terrible as she did when she ate the nuts) but we hope she never has to. I think it's a great idea to teach a few of her friends how to use it, too. I just e-mailed the school nurse to set up an appointment to talk about the allergy and will plan to send extra snacks for class celebrations. I appreciate the advice about the peanut vs. tree nut allergy. We're currently on vacation and we have come across plenty of restaurant staff who have been very confused by the "tree nut" allergy. I've reminded my daughter that she may need to actually list the nuts she's allergic to. So, thanks again. I really appreciate the support. I think it amazes her how many foods she just can't eat anymore (we're on vacation on Prince Edward Island right now and she hasn't been able to have any ice cream). Luckily, we live in Vermont and Ben & Jerry's has a food allergy plan for its customers so she can eat their ice cream. They let us go through their book of ice creams and ingredients, sterilized the scooper while we watched and took off the top layer of ice cream before dishing hers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:40 am
Posts: 423
Location: Alberta, Canada
Hi RZS
Things will get easier as you find products that are safe and places to eat that are safe.
I only avoid certain Restaurants that I know will have a lot of seafood or peanut, tree nut..
I did grow up with this allergy and really could only have hoped for this much awareness, and food companies that are aware and make nutfree/peanutfree products
Though I do understand it is still very difficult as so many people do not understand what it is like to live with allergies. ( my niece has this same allergies she is 12) Her mother always kept a small bin in the class room that had treats (chocolate bars...) If snacks were ever passed out and she could not have it she would take a treat out of her bin (I am not speaking of a nutty snack that is passed to all the other children). I also know that when she was going to a birthday party my sister would speak to the other parent, If the cake was going to be chocolate... that would be what my sister would send with her daughter. If it was hot dogs my sister would send an appropriate bun....
I know some times this was difficult but I also know her daughter usually never had to miss out!

P.S. I noticed you are from Vermont I love to order Boxed chocolates from
www.vermontnutfree.com they mail to Canada


:D

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
RZS wrote:
(we're on vacation on Prince Edward Island right now and she hasn't been able to have any ice cream).


First, I'm soooooo jealous. I love that island and haven't been able to get there in ages.

Second, and definitely more important -- before you leave Canada stock up on safe treats.

DARE -- cookies
Quaker -- chewy bars (similar to granola bars, but not so healthy)

The two symbols to look for are a picture of a peanut in a red circle with a line through it or the letters CAC (Certified Allergen Control).

While she cannot eat Cows icecream, she can eat Chapman's which is available in grocery stores -- bricks, or ice-cream cones, bars, etc. Check the labels because i think Chapman's does have some products with a warning -- but a lot are safe.

Even though I can't eat Cows, I still love their t-shirts. :lol:

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
[ Luckily, we live in Vermont and Ben & Jerry's has a food allergy plan for its customers so she can eat their ice cream. They let us go through their book of ice creams and ingredients, sterilized the scooper while we watched and took off the top layer of ice cream before dishing hers.[/quote]

Yeah for Ben and Jerry! :D I wish they were here in Ontario!

_________________
daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:26 pm
Posts: 89
Location: Toronto
Welcome RZS!
As for restaurants, you will learn after researching via internet, calling and speaking with managers, etc, which ones you feel comfortable with frequenting (we have our few!) When you go shopping now remember to read labels all the time and call the companies if you are unsure (I grocery shop with cell phone in hand always calling the 1-800 numbers on the box!) Ice cream out is a no-no as well as any bakeries unless they are specifically nut free (which we do have in Ontario).
With school quickly approaching, I suggest you not only set up a meeting with the school nurse, but her classroom teacher and the principal of the school. She will be spending her time in the classroom with the teacher and when an anaphylactic reaction happens, time is of the essence so it is imperative that her teacher know not only how to use an auto-injector, but also all the signs and symptoms associated with an anaphylactic reaction. Trying to find the school nurse and get her to your daughter's classroom is not the ideal scenario. Also if she has a gym teacher, lunchroom staff, librarian, etc. all of the people your daughter may be spending time with at some point during her day to day school schedule need to be trained as well.
Speaking with the principal is important so that you can gain an understanding of where the school stands with any allergy policies, or to try to encourage any changes or compromises. Have a few suggestions or "requests" that are most important to you to bring to his/her attention.
Lastly, it is wonderful that your daughter feels comfortable using her auto-injector, but NO child should be expected (by the school) to self administer their auto-injector as they may not necessarily be able to at the moment they need it, so it is important that the staff at school be trained (and some friends as you suggested if you/they/their parents are comfortable with it). Remind your daughter to constantly hand wash, and never to share any foods with her friends...if in doubt, do without!

Ang

_________________
6 1/2 year old son - anaphylactic to tree nuts, allergic to dust and moulds
5 1/2 year old son - no allergies
15 month old son...allergies unknown


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Vermont
Thanks so much to all of you for your support. I appreciate the advice; it's all been very helpful. We've been travelling back from PEI (it's absolutely beautiful as is Nova Scotia) and I'm just getting back to my computer.

I've been in touch with the school nurse and they have a good policy in place for peanut and nut allergies. I'm going to keep an EpiPen at the nurse's office, but I'm going to get a doctor's note so that my daughter can also keep one in her backpack. And my understanding is that there are other staff (including my daughter's teacjers) who will be trained in how to administer the EpiPen. I'm also going to keep a stash of safe snacks at school for her. I really appreciate your thoughts and ideas.

I'm bummed that she can no longer eat at a lot of places we always have, but Vermont Nut Free Chocolates is about 20 minutes from our house, and we can get the chocolates in the grocery store.

Roz


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