Life With A Peanut Allergy Kid

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peanut allergy

To the parents who don’t understand the severity of a peanut allergy (or any other life-threatening allergy), this is for you.

If you don’t know anyone with a severe allergic reaction to anything, it is something you don’t think about so here is some info that may help you understand why parents of kids with a food allergy can get so tensed up when you bring in treats to class that may contain a food allergen.

Our son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at 12 months old. He had really bad eczema as an infant and we couldn’t understand why. My husband is not allergic to any food and I am allergic to shrimp only. I know we have eaten at restaurants that cook with peanut oil or we may have touched peanuts before feeding him. But we never gave him peanuts/peanut butter as a baby food either.

So when he was old enough at 12 months, we had blood work done and it was confirmed that he was allergic to peanuts. It was so high on the rast scale that the pediatrician had to prescribe him an epi-pen (Epinephrine injector). An epi-pen is used to help open the body’s airwaves. You must call 911 after the epi-pen is injected into the body. Thank God we have not had to use it yet.

Peanuts are not related to tree nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc, but they are a legume (grown from the ground).

Many restaurants still cook with peanut oil even though it is “refined.” So we stay away from places like Five Guys and Chick-fil-A.  Also, reading labels is a must when buying groceries. A lot of Trader Joe’s packaged foods like crackers and sweets have warning labels like “processed on shared equipment with peanuts…”

So this is why some classrooms require parents to bring in store bought goodies instead of homemade ones but still, there is a risk with store bought goodies. I know this can be frustrating if your kids love their peanut and jelly sandwiches or peanut butter cups; I would be too, but if my son accidentally touches or eats peanut related treats, only God knows what his reaction would be.

There is a slight possibility that children with a peanut allergy can outgrow it, but unfortunately, not in my son’s case. We had him tested again last summer and he was off the charts. He is six years old now. We don’t know anyone personally who has had anaphylaxis to the point that they had to use an epi-pen.

Luckily, his noticeable reactions so far have been hives, bumps and itchiness on certain areas of his body or his entire body have been covered with hives. But there is always that possibility he’ll get an anaphylactic attack.

My husband and I love peanuts and peanut butter, but we have refrained from eating it in front of our son. We just can’t take that risk. We always carry an epi-pen on us and have one in the school nurse’s office. We are very fortunate that while his tests show a high risk of this allergy, so far, his reactions have not been life-threatening.

My message here is more like a plea to the parents who don’t have to deal with this type of caution on a day to day basis; I ask that you would be mindful of the kids with food allergies the next time you provide treats to a classroom or playdate.

life with a peanut allergy kid

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I grew up in Huntington Beach and moved out to go to Cal Poly Pomona where I got my undergraduate degree in Marketing. After working for a few years, I got my MBA at Pepperdine University. I have over 15 years of experience in marketing and sales. My husband and I live in Yorba Linda, and we have a 6 year old boy and a 19 month old baby girl. I enjoy spending time with my family, working out with my mommy friends and date nights with my hubby (whenever we can make it work). I'm excited to be a contributor to the Anaheim Moms Blog and share my thoughts and experiences with other moms. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6