I have two children who have a nut allergy. Which is fitting, since they are the more squirrel-y of my offspring… (Not nearly enough caffeine, folks.) Jensen is the kid that I worry most about, because he’ll dive headlong into a banquet table, not caring if nuts are among the fray or not.
Cailey, the more conservative of the two, will ask the hostess for all of the boxes so that she can peruse the ingredients list. She might even make a phone call to the manufacturer. This would be a result of her father’s DNA, btw.
I keep an Epi-Pen because Jensen’s allergic reactions are more severe than Cailey’s (and it’s rarely an issue for Cailey because of the above-mentioned paragraph). If Jensen is close to, touches, or ingests anything with a nut, his list of possible reactions include nausea, garden-variety vomitting, or LIPS ARE SWELLING AND HE’S HOLDING HIS THROAT!
As I mentioned, we keep an Epi-Pen with us wherever we go as well as chewable allergy tabs. We’ve never felt his life was in immediate danger, but there have been a few tense moments.
Since we homeschool, this isn’t a huge issue. We do keep peanut butter in the house, and are careful about opening and eating it in his vicinity, and are vigilant about cross-contamination. The allergy-related incidents occur when we are out of the house and he eats something at a party when I haven’t checked the ingredients. (He’s much better about checking with me now since he knows that an allergic reaction will shut down his fun.)
There is one day a week when my children are away from my watchful eye. Emme attends a co-op that offers those High School courses that SCARE ME (huge blessing, this co-op). And on that same day, I send Cailey and Jensen to a very small private school/enrichment learning center. They bring mostly their own curriculum and have the availability of other teachers. They are also learning how to work in a group setting. And the biggest bonus is that I have a few hours to keep up with business paperwork since I play the banker in our Dave Ramsey inspired financial situation. In other words, I am the nerd.
Fiddledaddy is the free-spirit. Which if you knew us would totally make NO SENSE AT ALL.
When I went to collect my younger two children from their day of enrichment learning this week, my young son bounded up to me announcing that another kid tried to kill him. He’s not at all dramatic. At the same time, I saw the director of the center having a pointed conversation with a young boy (the alleged culprit) and his mother. Jensen’s allergy are well known at the center and he comes armed with his Epi-Pen and fresh Benadryl. The director always reminds the children not to go near Jensen with peanut butter at lunch time. It seems that one of the other students thought it would be funny to shove his baggie of peanut butter in Jensen’s face to see what would REALLY happen. I don’t believe it was mean-spirited. Just dumb kid stuff.
The second hand information that I received was that Jensen felt nauseous afterwards and his sister deftly administered a Benadryl tab. Thankfully, he was fine.
The parent of the boy apologized profusely and made her son apologize. The director was very on top of the situation and made it clear that a day like that would never again be tolerated.
Once again my thoughts drifted to those precious parents who have children with severe and life-threatening allergies to peanuts and the like. Just recently I read of a child who died after exposure in a school setting.
Should peanuts be banned in a school setting? I don’t know the answer. I think if I were a parent of a child who might suffer a severe reaction, I would have to say YES.
It’s a difficult topic.
But one that requires open and honest dialogue.