Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dealing With a Peanut Allergy

Finding out that your child has a severe peanut allergy can be a very stressful concern.  From worries about what kids are bringing to school in their lunches to trade with your child to what is in the food you just ordered in.

Discovering that your child has a reaction to peanuts may happen intentionally or accidentally.  For my family, we learned my daughter was allergic when she got her hands on a delicious peanut butter cookie.  Her lips began to swell and she got spots.  Mom took her to the doctor immediately. 

However, a safer way and controlled way to find out if your child has a peanut allergy is to have them tested for allergy sensitivities. If your child’s reaction is severe enough your doctor who may recommend that you carry around an epipen.

Once you learn that your child has a peanut allergy, the stress begins as you learn what contains peanuts and what doesn’t.

Here are some tips (while tedious) to help get you started:
  • Carefully pay attention to labels on foods.  While most do have warnings indicating a contact, containing, or made on the same tray as peanuts, some may not.
  • Find out the type of nut allergy.  Is it just peanuts? Is it tree nuts? Or is it all nuts?  This may be something that is revealed during an allergy test.
  • Once you find a brand that is peanut free for a particular product, remember it. However, just because one brand’s product is peanut free doesn’t mean ALL of their products are peanut free.
  • Let schools, baby-sitters, day cares, nurseries and so on know of your child’s allergy.  Some locations understand and become peanut free zones.  Also supply these caring individuals with your contact information and (if prescribed) an epipen.  Show them how to use an epipen and what the signs are.
  • Try alternatives to peanut products.  Something like SunButter, made from sunflower seeds, is delicious! However, just be aware to not create a sense of security or confusion for your child. They may not understand that an item is being substituted for peanut products.

If your child ever comes in contact with peanuts, and has a reaction, be sure to seek medical attention.

As stressful as it may seem, you will make it and you will establish a new routine that is peanut free.

Written by:

Josh Lockhart Locking Hearts Together

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