Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Peanut Allergies

. Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My son's preschool class just got a new classmate. The new classmate has a severe peanut allergy. Because of this, the school sent out a notice that all foods containing peanuts can not be brought to class. Normally, class gets out at 12:30 (before lunch) so this isn't much of an issue for my son. The preschool offers the option of staying an extra hour and a half where the kids can each lunch and particiapte in some extra activities. My son hadn't participated in the program up to this point mostly for financial reasons. But because he enjoys preschool so much and has been asking to stay for "Lunch Bunch" we decided to send him for the remainder of the year. With this new student, my son can't have a peanut butter sandwich that he normally has for lunch. Certainly, I understand the serious nature of food allergies, but I think overall it really sucks for everyone else.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm the mom of a child with a severe peanut allergy who googled her way to your site. Believe me, I know how hard it is to find peanut-free foods that kids like, but there are a lot of yummy alternatives to peanut butter. You could check if your school allows soy butter or sun butter (from sunflower seeds). They taste just like peanut butter, and are actually more healthful (lower fat and sugar, but still high in protein).

I've personally seen my son experience a reaction from eating a safe snack at a table where a pastry with peanut butter had been eaten the day before, so I believe the precautions your preschool has placed could really be life-saving. It could also be a great way to help teach your child compassion and understanding for those who need it.

Greeneyezz said...

I know it sounds like an inconvenience, particularly knowing that peanutbutter is a major staple for a child.
Hell, I actually keep a jar of it in my office 'stash drawer' for those times when I'm unable to make it to lunch.

Considering it is Pre-school, the kids are wayyyyy to young to fully understand the possible impact.

Holy, I remember reading last year where a college age girl had died because she was allergic to peanuts too, and had kissed her boyfriend, who had eaten something with peanut oil in it......

Several Hours earlier!!

My heart went out for this poor gentleman, as I'm sure he's feeling responsible for it! :(

Children, especially THAT young, are very often touching things, poking, prodding, putting things in their mouths, not washing hands, picking up things from the floor, etc, etc.

The likelihood that some of that peanut butter.....even a smidgen of the oil, gets where it most definitely should NOT, is probably high.



A realistic and necessary Precaution?



Anonymous said...

OMG, imagine if you were the parent of an allergic child as anonymous is. How scary. You have to depend on other people to care enough, and the teacher's ability to catch anything that could potentially kill your child.

As far as Sunflower seed butter, I have a jar of that I just bought. It's great, looks just like peanut butter and tastes great. My only concern is that it says on the jar it is made in a facility that also processes peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. It's very cute, has a raccoon on top of the jar. It's called Organic "Once Again" Sunflower Seed Nut Butter. I paid 2.99 on sale for a 16 oz. glass jar of it. If you try that, be sure to ask the teacher first about bringing it to school.


Boo said...

How crazy is THAT that a product presumably designed to be a substitute for peanut butter is made in a facility that processes peanuts and nuts.

As I mentioned in the Yada Forum, my wife's friend's kid has a severe nut allergy and has to carry around an epi pen and all that. I've heard stories about his close calls too.

I kknow at first glance my post may seem insensitive, but it's my blog and this is my place to vent.

Anonymous said...

Suck it up. It's five meals a week out of twenty one meals that your kiddo has to avoid peanuts. Imagine the kid who has to avoid peanuts EVERY momement of his life for fear of DEATH.
Puts a little perspective on things doesn't it?!

Clo said...

Is that a too much big problem for you, Boo, to give to Boo Junior some other butter on his bread ? Here we dont eat peanut butter and all of our children are in good health. Butter coming from cow is very tatsy, or you can put some chocolat on his bread, or marmelade. When Boo Jr is not going to school you can give him peanut butter.

Allergy is a big problem but not for the one who is not allergic! We dont live alone and we must take good care of the others. I suppose if your son'll be allergic to something you'll apreciate that the others take good care of him to dont be sick.

I'm sure if you'll explain to Boo Jr the problem, even if he is a little baby, he'll understand very good and accept to dont eat peanut butter at school.


Anonymous said...

1st anonymous here again.

boo - you certainly have a right to vent on your blog, but when you do it in public on a forum with a comment function, don't be surprised to get a response! :-)

Peanut allergies are a learning experience for everyone, including us parents. I should have mentioned that the person who had eaten that pastry with peanuts the day before was me. I've since learned to be much more careful (and have gone totally peanut-free myself), and if my experience can help other families understand just what is at stake here, I'm going to share it.

Boo said...

I have no problem wih the responses I've been getting. You're 100% in the right in the seriousness of the issue and how people need to change their behaviors to accommodate the allergy person.

I just wanted to vent my frustration that Boo Jr will be deprived of having his traditional peanut butter sandwich for lunch. Nothing more, nothing less.

Greeneyezz said...

Boo said: "Boo Jr will be deprived of having his traditional peanut butter sandwich for lunch...."

And if you take that perspective, of it being a deprivation, you are passing up on a wonderful learning experience for your son. Instead of taking that view, why not take the perspective of 'we care about not doing anything to harm someone else, even if it was not intentional' when explaining to boo jr. the reason why you are making a switch to something different for lunch.

This helps him to have empathy for others.

Anonymous said...

Wow zz, that was a really great response. (that last one) And so true. :)


NoPeanuts said...

This is an interesting series of posts. I am the author of a blog at www.nopeanutsplease.com. I have a young daughter who has a peanut allergy that results in anaphylaxis and the blog chronicles our journey as parents. One series on the blog is called 'It Takes A Village' and it discusses the role of others in the community in helping our daughter stay safe.

We appreciate the inconvenience to your child of not getting to enjoy a peanut butter sandwich. The challenge for us is that at 22 months of age our daughter has no way to protect herself - she would likely eat a piece of a PB sandwich if your child offered it to her; and your child would also not understand why offering the sandwich would be wrong.

Our daughter has gone into anaphylaxis after eating a cookie that was on a plate with a peanut cookie - she did not even eat a peanut.

To make sure everybody is safe your preschool's approach is quite reasonable and peanut parents like us truly appreciate your support!


It Takes A Village To Avoid A Peanut

Greeneyezz said...

Gwen - Thank you. I just think that we sometimes forget how we shape our children, purely by example.

Boo Jr. will absorb what attitude that Boo Sr. takes on. He will take on the same attitude that he is being 'deprived', rather than the attitude of empathy for a playmate who's life can be at risk.

NoPeanuts -

I've quickly looked over your site. You really help to enlighten others to this problem. Thank you!