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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Food Allergies Article on CNN...

I saw this article and thought I'd post a link to it. About a 4 year old boy with severe food allergies and how his family copes...sounds very familiar.

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Chicken nuggets. Sandwiches. Pizza. Baseball games. Play-Doh. These are some of the basics of childhood that could prove deadly to my 4-year-old son, Teddy.

Teddy has food allergies that can cause anaphylaxis, a deadly condition that can cut off his breathing.

He has to steer clear of milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts -- even places like baseball stadiums where peanut exposure can't be avoided.

We found out about Teddy's allergies partially through trial and error and then through allergy testing when he was 18 months old, and we didn't want any more missteps.

Now our job is to try to prevent contact with those foods until he either outgrows them or he becomes old enough to police himself.

JMonster was also 18 months when we had him first allergy tested, but much younger when we started to notice reactions similar to Teddy's.

Very scary. Very scary, indeed.

UPDATE: Leave your own suggestions for ways to make life safer and more fun for kiddos with food allergies!


Me said...

I don't think people realize how debilating a 'simple' allergy can be. They are anything but simple! Doctors feared and milk and peanut allergies with my youngest, and I have some food allergies of my own. It can make every day life that much more challenging.

Anonymous said...

Reading the article, there is an alternative for papier mache flour glue: dissolve 6 tablespoons of corn starch in a cup of water, meanwhile boil 3 more cups of water with 6 tablespoons of sugar, when boiling, slowly add stirring constantly the dissolved cornstarch, lower the flame, and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes. Let it cool completely before using. Leftover can be stored in airtight container in the fridge for about 1-2 weeks.
Hope this gives some kid the opportunity to make papier mache without allergy fear.

Swizz said...

Thank you for the wonderful tip! I think I'll update the post asking people for their own tips on making life safer and more fun for kids with food allergies.

Alyssa: said...

I wish I had some tips for food allergies, my kiddos are allergy free, but I have a nephew who has major food allergies, so I'll get some tips from my SIL and pass them on.

Love your blog! I'm glad you visited me and that I found you, too--YAY--bloggie/virtual friends! I guess we should thank the super-popular Baloney! :)

Kim said...

We have 3 little girls at our school with severe peanut allergies. One of the moms of 2 of the little girls is in charge of fast food day just so she can have control over the food. I can't say that I blame her. She also knows all the owners of the restaurants around town because she has to find out about peanut issues before they eat at a particular restaurant.

Baloney said...

Thank goodness - this is one my boys don't have to mess with.
Our church posts allergy alerts outside of the classroom if they are having a snack or working with anything that potentially triggers allergies.
There is one boy in Michael's class who has always had severe food allergies. As volunteers, his mom always told us at "drop-off" which snacks were okay for him. He also learned at a very young age what was safe for him and he stuck to it.
Allergies can truly be scary. Sorry to hear that Swizz. Poor little JMonster.

Food Allergy Assistant said...

Aaahhh... a topic near and dear to my heart as we deal with my son's multiple food allergies. I post a "Monday Review" each week on my blog of allergy-friendly foods and products.

Come visit!

Thanks for your post, Swizz.

Anonymous said...

What impresses me the most about this article is that the parents are proactive. They dont expect the rest of the world to cater to their son's needs. I was very impressed. I have taught my son that he needs to be proactive as well, but it doesn't always work.
My son has a pretty rare food allergy. One day the cafeteria switched their peanut butter to Sunbutter, considered a 'safe' alternative to peanut butter (made from sunflower seeds) and did not tell anyone. Eating what he thought was a peanut-chocolate muffin, my 16 yo went into anphylaxis almost immediately. He has always been careful with his allergy, and knew the consequences. The cafeteria people felt terrible, thinking they had done something good.
Apparently this product is being hailed as the great alternative to peanut butter. That is great for peanut sensitive people, but it just goes to show that nothing is ever completely safe.

Swizz said...

WE use sunbutter. A lot! It is a wonderful alternative for those of us that are peanut/tree nut allergic.

What is your son allergic to in the sunbutter? It is just sunflower seeds and salt.

I'm sorry to hear that a "good" change arrived with "bad" consequences.

Anonymous said...

It's the sunflower seeds themselves he is allergic to. It is considered a rare allergy - he had to have a blood test as there was no skin test for it.
I felt so sorry for the cafeteria crew. They really felt they were making a safe change and had no idea they had the one child in the region with a severe sunflower allergy. Fortunately my son and I saw the ironic humor in the situation and he was ok.
That is the thing though, Sunbutter is touted as a great alternative to peanut butter and I am glad it exists for those with peanut allergies. We just found out about it the hard way. ; p