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Confessions of a Peanut Allergy Parent

 

My middle child has a severe peanut allergy.

We discovered he had food allergies at about 6 months old when we decided to start baby led weaning.  He woke up from a nap and eyes were swollen around the edges.  He looked like he had slept really hard, but I wasn’t extremely concerned.  I decided to keep an eye on him and didn’t think much of it.  This instance occurred a few more times.  I decided to take a few pictures of him and send them to my cousin who is in the medical field.  She strongly advised me to give him Benedryl and get him into a doctor ASAP.  His pediatrician decided to run a comprehensive 20 food allergy test by taking a blood test.  There were other food allergies that showed up, peanuts being one of them, so we changed his diet and were very conscientious when giving him anything.

When he was a little over two years old, we took him to an allergist again.  We were hopeful that his allergies, including his peanut allergy was something that he grew out of like some kids do.  The doctor preformed an allergy scratch test.    After about 15 minutes the doctor told me that his peanut allergy was a 4.  4 out of 4. Needless to say, I carry an Epi pen around EVERYWHERE.

I confess that I was “that” person who was annoyed of peanut allergies.  I was a classroom teacher and felt like everyone had one.  I confess that I was annoyed with the parents who reminded me of their child’s allergy frequently.   I was annoyed with the parents who were annoyed of the no peanut rule.  I actually had a parent email me at the beginning of the year complaining that we had a peanut-free classroom.  She said that she thought peanut allergies were made up and that I needed to make accommodations for her son who only ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…yup.  Peanut allergies are annoying, not ideal for anyone involved.

Now that I am a peanut allergy parent, I understand the fears.  I will admit that I HATE being “that” parent.  Just the other day I had to ask the manager at the dance studio where he dances to make sure that during the dance recital, peanuts are not allowed in the rooms where the kids wait in the back.  I have had to be “that” parent who awkwardly has to ask a parent to have their child wash their hands before they touch the public play equipment because I notice they are eating something that contains peanuts and I don’t want to risk cross contamination.  I am “that” parent who is screaming inside as I walk into a kid-friendly public establishment that allows and even serves peanuts.  I am “that” parent who has checked on my kid countless times during the night to make sure he is still breathing because there is that small chance that he ate something that was cross-contaminated.  I HATE being “that” parent.

With or without a child who has a peanut allergy, you need to be educated about this deadly food allergy.  Here are a few tips coming from a mom with a child with a severe allergy:

  1. Have your kid wash their hands after eating.
  2. Don’t allow your child to walk around a public place eating peanut products, keep them in one area while they are eating.
  3. Always ask every parent about ANY food allergies before bringing food into their home.
  4. Learn how to use an Epi pen.
  5. Don’t get upset with parents. 

I do not allow myself to get down about my child’s food allergy.  I try my hardest to not make a big deal out of it, I don’t want him to feel “different”.    He didn’t choose to have an allergy, but it our job to keep him safe.  Don’t get angry with kids or their parents for having a food allergy, instead ask them to educate you and give you ideas of snacks.  Like I said, I hate being “that” mom, but I will be to protect my kid.

Thank you for stopping by!

~Kelsey~

  1.  

    Now that I am a parent myself, I understand the gravity of the fear of not being able to control something (like your child’s environment) that can have a detrimental impact on them. I feel for you, momma. That is a heavy concern to carry. I hope he eventually outgrows it and thank you for the tips on what I can do to ease the minds of fellow parents whose children have these types of allergies around me & my family.

  2.  

    This is so important. Food allergies are serious. When I was a nanny one of the kids had a peanut allergy and I finally understood. It can be scary. Thanks for helping to spread this information. We all need to be more aware.

  3.  

    I was the same way until my kids developed allergies! They are ALL lactose intolerant, and I recently found out that I am as well! 🙁 I am so ashamed of the thoughts and feelings I had towards others and their children simply because their bodies couldn’t process everything the way I thought it should!

  4.  

    Oh no! I am so sorry your are all dealing with being lactose intolerant. Do you have groups that you have connected with to help you along this journey? Have you found a store that you love because of the safe foods for your family? Thank you for reading 🙂

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