Today I went to Blake's Parent-Teacher conference with his preschool teacher.  We went over the normal stuff, like how he writes his name and holds his pencil, and we discussed not-so-normal stuff like food allergies.

I brought up that I would love it if maybe parents could not send in candy with valentines, and if any did that maybe Blake's teachers could just hold the candy ones out of Blake's bag.  They thought this was a reasonable request and told me that his preschool was thinking of going completely nut free.  

I'm obviously all for this.

Blake's teacher has a daughter that avoided all nuts for a while and is still highly allergic to cashews and mangos.  She explained that after seeing the severity of her daughter's reactions that she completely understands why food allergy parents have to be so mindful.

Blake's allergies are severe and sensitive.  He can't have anything that has even touched a nut, so anything that is made or packaged in shared facilites or on shared equipment is a no-go for us.  

Many people don't understand why we can't be more relaxed about it, and my answer is this: I have seen my son have allergic reactions so bad that I never want to see another allergic reaction again.  

I tried to look up on youtube for some videos of anaphylactic reactions.  I don't know why or how anyone would be able to video an emergency situation like that, but I was curious and I wanted to see if maybe someone had caught it on tape accidentally.  

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I couldn't find anything, but I am going to tell you what an anaphylactic reaction to a food can include.  

Anaphylaxis is a LIFE THREATENING allergic reaction.  
It can occur at any time to any one, but those with history of allergic reaction are obviously more at risk.
Symptoms can develop quickly, within seconds or minutes.  My son's reactions to peanuts are instant.

The symptoms of allergic reactions may include any of the following:
Nausea/Discomfort
Hives and Itching
Itchy or Swollen Mouth
Itchy/Runny Nose or Sneezing
Shortness of Breath/Coughing Repetitively/Wheezing
Becoming Pale, Blue, Faint, or Dizzy
Weak Pulse
Throat Becomes Tight/Hoarse
Difficulty Swallowing or Breathing
Repetitive Vomiting
Severe Diarrhea
Anxiety/Confusion

Allergic reactions are scary.  We have to keep Benadryl and Epi-Pens/Auvi-Qs on hand at all times.  

Please learn how to use Epi-Pens and Auvi-Qs by clicking their names.  The videos are short and will help in an emergency situation and could save a life.  

You may not know of anyone with severe allergies yet, but that doesn't mean you never will.  My husband had his first reaction to shrimp when he was 25, after we had been married for 2 years.  His throat swelled up after having crab at a nice steak house and we had no idea what was going on.  Now I know the signs to look for and I have educated myself on how to use life-saving epinephrine, and I hope you will, too.  You never know when you may need to use it.

To learn more about food allergies, please visit the FARE website.   You will find many valuable resources there.


The Baseball Wife


4 Comments

  1. As a former baseball wife (my husband retired after 10 years) and having 2 boys with peanut AND tree nut allergies, I am completely on the same page with you! Luckily, at the Christian school where they attended, the Pre-school teacher was also an RN. My oldest, who is now 21, is allergic to peanuts and all tree nuts, and as a warning - he has also developed full blown tree allergies within the past 3 years....he now cannot eat raw apples, peaches, cherries, etc. It stinks. My youngest -who is 15, also a Blake, is allergic to peanuts, pecans and walnuts. Both of my boys react differently to peanuts...Barrick's throat will swell, while Blake will vomit. Be vigilant and do NOT be afraid to cross the line when it comes to their safety! Unfortunately, you will constantly have to remind teachers that they need to keep the EPI pen on their person on field trips and give them the practice pen at the beginning of the year and tell them they WILL need to know how to use it. In high school, Barrick - who had the more severe allergic reactions, kept Benadryl in his wallet - even though that was a big school no-no. My boys have been lucky, they have never had to use the EPI Pen - their allergist told them since they did not have asthma they should be able to control it with the Benadryl, and so far he has been right. But, we still purchase the EPI Pens. When they were in elementary school I volunteered ALOT to provide the school snacks and always announced at Parent's night about the allergy...but parents forget! If other parents don't live with it, they aren't too concerned about it so you will need to put down strict rules with your Blake that he cannot have any candy/goodies that has not been checked out by his teacher and if she doesn't know what is in that cookie, he can't have it!! I always gave a bag of "safe" candy to the teacher for her to put in her desk, so that she could give Barrick or Blake candy if a parent brought in something for a birthday, etc. that they could not have. I made sure it was really good candy, too - stuff they didn't get at home! That way they could still join in the fun AND be safe! God bless and good luck to you! ~Susan

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  2. so glad you included the link to watch the videos, I've never done that before and probably would have administered one incorrectly if I ever had to. Although i know it would be terrifying to ever have to administer one, I at least feel better prepared now.

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  4. Thank you for all the helpful information Susan! It's true that people forget, they don't mean to, it just slips their mind. We have been spending a lot of time this year teaching Blake about his responsibilities for his own allergies and we will continue to do that. I like the idea of sending in goodies for the teacher to have on hand.

    Jenn- I think the fact that you would willingly administer one in the first place was a great start to begin with. They are surprisingly simple to use, but still scary! Thanks for watching the videos!

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