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Should I quit my job to stay home with my PA son

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Here are my thoughts. My son had his first reaction at home with me. He was bout 18 months I guess. I gave him a taste of my english muffin with PB. At the time I was working and he stayed with my god mother during the day with other children and she also did not have a peanut free home. I was worried. But she did not let others eat PB when he was there. She made all the kids wash hands after they ate. ( which they should be doing anyway). We never had a problem. It is scary when they are little. I used to send food with him. It was just easier. He stayed with her until he was old enough for preschool. He then went to a peanut free school.... He still goes to my god mothers on school vacation weeks and sleeps over sometimes ( he is 12 now) and we have never had a reaction at her house. ( he did BTW have a reaction at a peanut free school! ) That isnt always the answer. Unfortunately we dont live in a peanut free world. Honestly if I had it to do over again I would still send him to my god mothers but I wouldnt be so worried about getting him to a peanut free school but rather getting in the habit of managing himself. My son has had only one anaphylactic reaction, and a lot of small mild ones where he came into contact but didnt ingest. You can manage it and keep him safe. In the beginning it feels like your life will never be normal... But it will.... You can travel and go out to eat just like other people. I didnt have a choice to stay home.... It wasnt an option for me. If I could have stayed home I would have.. but not because of the allergy.... good luck

To address your question, ""Should I be worried?"" My answer is yes. At 18 months old, your child is still picking up everything off the floor and putting it into his mouth. You said her home is not peanut-free. Simply not serving peanut butter on the days hes there isnt going to keep him safe. Because of cross-contamination and trace amounts, so many foods you wouldnt think of are unsafe. Is she going to research this allergy to the fullest extent like you will? No. Can you successfully function at work each day hoping she did a good job wiping down her entire house and cleaning every crumb off the floor the night before? Will she even think of that?

Hes too young right now to teach him how to cope with his allergy. At this young age, you have to be uber-careful. When hes old enough to speak and old enough to tell others alllllllll of the foods he cant have, then he will be ""safer"" at her house. Personally, I feel that a child with a severe peanut allergy should not be in a home, daycare or otherwise, that is not peanut-free.

My daughter didnt end up bad she started out high level anaphylactic at 18 months and 2 weeks to peanuts which she was around all the time. Something switched in her system at this time. I cant imagine if she was in someone elses care. It took me years to train her age approp. to her stages in life. No one ""got it"" not even family. Constant vigilance and training. You cant even train someone if you dont know the obstacles yourself. Every time I saw Nannys and day care situations I knew I was going to have to do this to keep her alive. We had 6 near misses until she turned 7. And that was with me training her. At 18 months she can not take care of herself and learn to navigate in the real world. You as her mother are going to have to learn how to navigate too. THere is no perfect book, senerio, every child is unique for her anaphylactic allergies. YOu will not even know how strong her immune system is for years when it comes to dodging bullets or peanuts as we say in the advocacy world. My daughter is now 13 and can go to the beach or a movie with her friends without me. She is secure, vigilant, not risky when it comes to eating or being anywhere near peanuts which are literally everywhere! Be involved and stay involved or create a great day care, nanny situation. It will take you years to learn how to manage this and meanwhile you train her. At 18 months there is no living in the real world when anything she touches can kill her. But with your guidance and support she will be navigating every day in preschool, school and the real world. You dont want to make her allergy worse with near misses you will be dodging with her or especially without her without people ""getting it"" . Some peanut allergies are OAS some are even airborne like mine. SOme parents can relax. Mine is extreme so I have had to relax being in control and making her an ACTIVE participant in her own life-giving her control, strength and courage to do anything as long as she has her life-sustaining meds, can get to a phone to call 911 and enlists her friends cause it takes a village. My daughter is an advocate herself and helps other teens have fun be safe and be diplomatic in the real world. If you can try to work from home or see if your boss can allow you pt time. This is really hard financially. I have been an advocate and spokesperson helping families for over 10 years for free.

That was good advice from the person who said to ""breathe..."". Its been almost a year since our 22 month old was diagnosed & I still have lots of questions about how to handle this allergy. And I am even a Registered Dietitian. No nutrition training in the world can prepare you for all the concerns you have with this.

But I can give you some advice here. My allergist is very well respected in Ann Arbor. He told me that the day care had to be peanut-free or move her. We go to a small in-home day care & the kids are in her finished basement (which has its own kitchen that she uses for the day care). At first my provider offered to just not let the other kids eat it when my daughter was there. I told her what my allergist said that I would need to move her. Luckily,she was great & quickly said she would not have it downstairs. I do not expect her to remove it from her upstairs kitchen since the kids are not there. However, if her home kitchen & the day care kitchen were the same - I would have expected it to be removed. The risk of cross contamination is just too great. What if one of the other kids smeared some on the seat & she missed it only to have my daughter stick her hand in it later. I also was pro-active & donated some Wow butter & Sun Butter for them to try & the kids like that just fine. I do not know if you need to stay home for this reason but you need to have a real heart-to-heart with your current provider & decide if you are comfortable with your child in her care. If not - look around.

Good luck! I know its not easy;)


You cannot be overly concerned with a child that young and anyone can make mistakes. I would give serious thought to either A)Finding another mom who cares for a PA child who can watch your child or B)Quitting your job and taking in another child to care for to make some money for yourself.

As someone who has now dealt with the peanut allergy for five years, it is so easy to make a mistake. My son did go to preschool three weeks before he turned four. But I started drilling it into him at 2.5 to always ask if something is safe no matter how many times hes seen it and he may not eat ANYTHING without Mom or Dads permission. His preschool was very small and I was there to check snacks each day. I always had safe snacks in the classroom. The following year the same preschool changed its policy and allergic children could only eat snacks packed by their parents (a safer decision). Now my first grader is headed to a large school and I am very nervous. Fortunately, hes never needed an EPI pen and has only been exposed one other time to peanuts. HOWEVER, that reaction was scary - huge hives everywhere, vomiting hours later in the middle of the night. He required round-the-clock Benadryl AND Zyrtec AND an Aveeno bath to get rid of the hives, which took 48 hours to clear up. All that from his touching a Chinese food container and then eating a banana. You cannot be too careful. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Wow! He touched a food container & had a reaction from that?? Holy cow. My childs allergist told us to give epi for vomiting... I am scared that every time she gets the flu I am going to be wondering if I need to get the pen out:(

Thank you for sharing - you reminded me that I need to reinforce the importance of hand washing before eating!

Take care.

In our experience, the vomiting associated with a reaction is violent and non-stop, and he always felt great beforehand, and pretty good afterward. Hope that helps distinguish a reaction from the flu. 🙂

I completely understand. This is a very hard decision and it will be different for everyone.

My daughter was 2.5 when she had her first reaction. When the tests came back she was off the charts she was so allergic to peanuts. This was 10 yrs ago and back then the food labeling law had not been passed and so many people did not understand. I quit my job. To me all I could see was my daughters life and did not consider anything else. I am writing this because I had a wonderful career, excellent job and money was not an issue. I thought I would be able to return to work whenever I chose to do so. That however was not the case. When I decided to return to the work force I was considered ""obsolete"". It took me 3 yrs and 2000 resumes before I found something. My job is at a much lower level and 1/2 the pay it was when I left in 2003.

Having said all this I would not do anything differently. I did not see other options at the time. People are much more aware now, but you need to decide your specific circumstances. I just wanted you to know that if you leave your career you may not get it back. I never thought that would happen and I did not take that into consideration when leaving.

I wish you luck in trying to reach your decision and with the health of your little boy. I realize right now things are overwhelming. It will get better, I promise. Your life is forever changed but you will be able to find out what works for you and your family. Good luck.

It was worth it to be Mom first and teach my daughter to be responsible, grow and mature. Fortunately when she started kindergarten it was Peanut Free (never a 100% guarentee- because some households may send some to school by mistake). If a child cant articulate then when they are having trouble who is going to notice first? Who is teaching them for their future management and awareness? Who does your child matter to most? Our girl is going off to college now and has other medical stuff that became came up in her life. She is responsible and is her best advocate and I think it is because of us being proactive, thinking, being prepared & NEVER winging it!

""a child with a severe peanut allergy should not be in a home, daycare or otherwise, that is not peanut-free."" Really so what planet would you have them sent to? This world is not peanut free. Based on you input then you must have quit teaching to stay at home with your child? A peanut allergy is not a prison sentence.

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