Peanut Allergies and Children

by Scott on August 14, 2008

The right amount of peanut butter
photo credit: Dano

I have some wonderful memories when I was a child, especially starting Kindergarten when I turned 5. Unfortunately, I also remember at 5 suffering from anaphylaxis shock after eating a cashew nut. I still recall the emergency room episode and the panic from my parents.

Today, many children suffer from food allergies, including nuts, peanut butter, soy, gluten, wheat, strawberries, milk, and dairy. My children have yet to be tested for food allergies as they are still young, but our pediatrician has agreed that we should keep nuts out of the family diet. Since I still suffer from peanut allergies, we just don’t have the need to buy peanut butter or other nuts. I have also experienced anaphylaxis shock as an adult twice, and it reminds me of the caution we need to take with our children and friends children who suffer from food allergies. After consuming a product containing nuts, anaphylaxis shock for me, starts with an itching of my eyes, hives, and throat closure. If not treated quickly, the airway can swell shut.

Food allergies, and especially for me, peanut allergies are a real hazard and can be life threatening. We have taken the steps to notify our daughter’s preschool and friends and family about her allergies, but what else can we do? Our church has been using stickers on the back of children as notification of any allergies, but I thought about creating a permanent reminder. Cafepress has a wonderful solution for parents that are wondering how to better protect children from accidental exposure. I have created several buttons, stickers, and even t-shirts to bring awareness and safety for my children and others, that are concerned about allergies. In many settings the person that you notified about your child’s food allergy, may not be the same person interacting with them.

These buttons, stickers, and shirts can be perfect for parents who want to take the extra precautions with:

Teachers
Babysitters
Preschool
Playdates
Grandparents
Camping trips
Boy Scouts
Girl Scouts
Brownies
Camp
Sleep overs

If you have an idea for a food allergy that I may have missed, please let me know, and I’ll add it to my cafepress store called Daddy Time. Creating buttons, stickers and t-shirts can be a fun way to make some passive income or alternative income. If you already have a Cafepress business, I would love to hear how you are doing.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Writer Dad August 14, 2008 at 2:41 pm

That’s a really smart, simple idea. Thanks.

2 jj-momscashblog August 15, 2008 at 6:49 am

Hey Scott,
Great post… it seems like there are more children that are allergic to peanuts lately as oppose to 10 years back. Or maybe we were not as aware of peanuts being an allergen?!? Just last week a friend here in town that mows lawns was stung by a bee on my property, and his eyes closed into slits. He had ended up in the E.R. for 4-6 hours. He now carrys an epi-pen with him at all times. Very scary.
Are these shirts,buttons ect. your design Scott? You should think about marketing them!! I think you’re on to something.

3 passivefamilyincome August 15, 2008 at 8:55 am

Thanks for the info Scott. My 4 1/2 year old son is allergic to milk, eggs, and mildly to peanuts. I can’t remember the last time we had any peanuts. His worst allergy is milk. We have made several trip to the ER from accidental exposure to milk. He is also extremely allergic to dogs and cats and has asthma. It is a lot of work raising him and not knowing what other people will do or how they will react. Fortunately, we have had our 1 year old son tested already and everything has come back with positive results. I really like the button idea!

4 Penelope @ Our Fourpence Worth August 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Growing up, I had no known food allergies, but starting in my early-mid 20′s I developed an sensitivity to shrimp. It could have started earlier and just become more serious over the years. I lived in Hawaii from age 9-23 and had no major problems eating shrimp raised there because I think a lot of of shrimp raised there are fresh-water raised. When we moved to California, I started having severe reactions which worsened with each exposure to shrimp.

Since my teens, I had frequent stomachaches so when I began having negative reactions to shrimp, I didn’t think much of it. I have a cousin who lived in San Francisco for a time and he used to take my sister and me out to various restaurants – Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc. – almost every weekend during a short period.

Every weekend, I would feel worse after each meal until one day my throat constricted after eating a large shrimp at Outback Steakhouse. We then thought back to all the times I had felt ill after eating – dizziness, nausea, stomachache – and the last time, throat constriction followed by vomiting (after which I felt much better) – we figured out that every time I felt sick, we’d had shrimp.

I’ve looked up shellfish allergies online and learned that it is common for it to develop during adulthood. Now that I know what to avoid, I rarely get stomachaches. The only problem is convincing my relatives that I really can’t eat the darn thigns (one of my aunts insists it’s all in my head and tried to pressure me to eat some last time I visited her.)

5 Ruthie August 16, 2008 at 6:47 am

Great idea! Also, not sure if you have ever heard of these. But, there are temporary tattoos you can get for your child. Most of these are for in case your child is lost, but they also make some that notify of a nut allergy too. Check this site out:

http://www.safetytat.com/

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