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How to holiday abroad with a multiply allergic 5 year old.

(39 Posts)
mumat39 Mon 25-Feb-13 16:59:47

Hello everyone.

As Easter is approaching I'm starting to think about what we might do during the school holidays. I'm thinking about maybe oing abroad, but can feel my heart beat starting to quicken just at the thought.

My DD is 5 and is allergic to lots of different foods? They are
Wheat
Eggs
Tree Nuts
Legumes incl. peanuts, beans, lentils, mung beans, peas, soya, chick peas kidney beans etc, so we avoid ALL legumes
Ginger
Sesame - advised to avoid all seeds
Rapeseed oil
Celery

Up until now I have been very scared at the prospect of flying, but have done some searching here on MN, it does seem that people do manage. It would be lovely to get away and get some sun and some quality fun time together. Last year I braved holidaying in a self catering place. This worked out ok, but the weather was miserable. I took lots of home made frozen food with me which made it seem a bit like a holiday for me too. The year before we drove o the south of France. Ut DP is saying he won't do that again unless we have a stop over. I can't see how a stop over where you have to find somewhere to cook would work. I also took all the meals for the DC so all I had to make on the individual days were things like rice, sausages and gf/wf pasta. I even took pots and pans and cutlery, as DD is very prone to reactions caused by cross contamination. sad

I feel like my fears have held us all back and I need to try and take control and not let this stop us from enjoying out lives a bit more.

So, what do I need to do to plan for this? I need to know what the plan of action would be before I could even contemplate actually booking somewhere. If that makes sense.

Is there anywhere in particular, in Europe, that you would recommend? Or avoid? How did you deal with meals for the family incl. our allergic DC? We don't even go to restaurants together as there's usually nothing DD can eat and on the couple of occasions I've tried o I've her food that I thought would be safe, she's reacted.

Am I mad to be even considering this? Can I trust an airline to be completely reliable in terms of ensuring things like nuts are not on the flight or is that unreasonable?

I know about translation cards but that is about it. I know we have to carry DD's meds and that we would need a letter about that. And I k ow I have o check travel insurance to make sure this is covered.

Sorry for the long post. Many thanks in advance for any help. smile

freefrommum Thu 14-Mar-13 09:23:25

My pleasure maybe, hope you enjoy Table Table.

mumat39 Thu 14-Mar-13 12:46:40

Hello again everyone.

I've found a hotel that has a kitchenette with kettle, fridge and microwave. I don't really use a microwave other than for heating up food, so was wondering if this would be enough to prepare the odd meal? I'm going to write o the hotel to see if they would be able to provide safe foods for my DD but just wondered whether it's doable if they can't with just a microwave?

Thanks again so much for all your help and advice.

mumat39 Thu 14-Mar-13 12:59:31

Ilisten, do you make your own dehydrated chicken and rice or do you buy it? Would you mind linking to the relevant recipe or site you buy from please?

mumat39 Thu 14-Mar-13 12:59:48

Oops, posted without saying thanks so much.

Ilisten2theradio Sat 16-Mar-13 12:37:21

Ohh I bought it in Sainsburys. Not sure if i can remember what brand it was thin it was something like www.waitrose.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductView-10317-10001-11405-Uncle+Ben's+savoury+chicken+express+rice+(250g).html?storeId=10317 and you can do it in a microwave.

Also for cooking in a microwave, buy some micowave steam bags. they seal up and you can cook things like small chicken pieces in them easily - I'm experimenting at work with the microwave for lunches at the mo and have had some Ok results.- best with marninated chicken though.

mumat39 Sun 17-Mar-13 08:58:44

Thanks Ilisten.

I've never even thought of those uncle Ben options. The chicken flavoured rice has celery in which is a shame but I'll have a look and see what others they have. Thank you. Hope you're having a good weekend.

harverina Sun 17-Mar-13 09:25:02

I hadn't thought of them either, they would be handy in lots of situations. Mumat39 know that there is a plain option which you could add to.

Ilisten2theradio Sun 17-Mar-13 16:54:20

Oh ,I didn't know about the celery.
I think that there were other flavours too, so maybe you can find something suitable. Note airlines don't have microwaves - you will have to heat it in boiling water - but may be a good standby when away.
And i know it is no good for your DS but for others - we bought some dehydrated pasta ones too. apparently they were ok - just needed boiling water added to them.

ScillyCow Sun 17-Mar-13 16:58:41

I don't want to hijack the thread.

But can I ask a genuine question? Is there a theory about why some people have so many allergies? Looking at the list I was absolutely shock that one child can be so allergic to so many things.

freefrommum Sun 17-Mar-13 18:19:50

Loads of theories Scilly but no definitive answers sadly. I think the only thing that the researchers agree on is that a family history of asthma, eczema, hayfever and/or other allergies tends to make it more likely that a child will have allergies - it's called atopy. In our case, DH has asthma, eczema and allergic to nuts, I don't have any of these but have 1 brother with asthma plus 1 with eczema so I guess I carry atopic genes too. Poor DS has the lot, bless him, asthma, eczema and multiple food allergies while DD has hayfever and allergy to animals (plus coeliac disease but that's unrelated to atopy). I do feel for mumat39 as I know how hard it is coping with DS's allergies and his list is no where near as long as her DD's!

ValentineWiggins Sun 17-Mar-13 18:29:38

Just for reference I know that Disney in Florida are REALLY careful with allergies - if you tell the waiter you have an allergy the chef (at least at the table service restaurants) has to come out to talk to you about what is safe and what isn't.

At least that's what we saw when we were there...

babybarrister Sun 17-Mar-13 21:39:43

Unfortunately I get the impression that once a dc has one life threatening allergy they are likely to have others. Sadly most of us on here have DC with a long list ... They may seem weird to others but most are versions on a theme ie nuts,
Seeds- mustard, sesame etc dairy, eggs and legumes - including peanuts and various beans etc Celery seems weird but in fact is quite 'normal' once you inhabit the allergy world ...

trixymalixy Sun 17-Mar-13 23:51:43

I wish we knew Scilly. I did everything "right" that was supposed to protect my DC from allergies. EBF to 6 months, avoided xyz in pregnancy, pets in the house, filthy house wink. But sadly two atopic individuals created a multiply allergic child.

I've had people on here not believe my DS's list of allergies. It's not quite as bad as mumat39s but not far off sad.

mumat39 Wed 27-Mar-13 22:51:08

Hi again everyone.

Thanks again for all your replies.

I haven't got anywhere with finding somewhere I feel comfortable booking yet. Last day at school tomorrow so not looking like we'll be going anywhere at the moment.

Scilly, that's a really really good question and I've asked DD's allergist at every appointment she's had and his answer is always, 'that's the million dollar question!' According to him, my DD's list isn't as bad as some of the kids he sees. shock

I have also heard that 2 atopic parents are more likely to produce an allergic child, but that doesn't mean they will. It's funny as throughout the whole of my pregnancy with DD I was seriously worried that my baby would be allergic to something. I sometimes wonder if I've somehow psychosomatically caused my dd to have so many.

I also really struggle to deal with the reality of this. I am on AD's for anxiety as a result of this and am soon to start counselling to help me deal with it. My DD is amazing and just accepts it, but I worry everyday that she'll have a bad reaction. sad Sounds dramatic, but when she's at school, I don't go anywhere too far away at all just in case.

I so admire Eragon and FreeFromMum and others who seem to deal so well with this.

I'm an awful cook too and am paralysed by fear. I was feeling really brave that we sould go on holiday, for the reasons Eragon listed but I'm driving myself mad with over researching things and tripadvisor isn't helping. It very confusing when the one place can get rave reviews as well as also being really poor confused

If I'm honest I don't want o have to cook if we're away, so keep looking at hotels but then realise that 'm still too scared to hand over the prep of food for my Dc over to someone else. Like I said I'm driving myself mad, or at least more mad than I already am hmm

Thanks again everyone, and hope you all have a lovely easter holiday!

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