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nut allergy / childrens partys wwyd?

(8 Posts)
pinkyp Sat 01-Oct-11 23:32:48

my ds is 4 and now has had 2 invites to partys, the only problem is he has a nut allergy. I spoke to one of the mothers about it who asked if i could bring all his own food and she said she's sit him away from everyone hmm. I explained as long as there were no nuts (actual nuts /peanut butter etc) then he would be fine sat next to everyone and yes i'd bring his own food. I havent spoken to the other mum yet. What does everyone else do? I should be pleased when he gets a invite but i just sigh. Dh thinks its important for him to go, i'd rather not send him and save the hassle but i know thats just me being selfish.

W6mum Sat 01-Oct-11 23:37:07

I think it's sad the mum can't just do a no nuts meal - not that hard really! and seating him away from everyone?! sorry but what a b***h - how to make a child feel isolated and left out?! and I say this as a mum with an allergy free child. Definitely send him but maybe you attend with the epipen?

pinkyp Sat 01-Oct-11 23:43:04

i'm going to attend definately. That reminds me theres a school trip next week and the head asked if we were ok sending ds, i said i was a bit worried about his allergy but wanted him to go. She then asked if i'd take ds on the trip in my own car, come along and then take him home as it'd make her risk assesment alot easier! I dont see how it would be a school trip if i took him, walked round with him and took him home hmm, ranting now! argh

Acekicker Sun 02-Oct-11 15:16:30

You'll probably find that at age 4 there are still a lot of mums hanging around at parties so you could still be there if you wanted to without looking out of place.

My DS is now 6 and has been going to parties on his own for the last year or so. I do think that it can be extremely daunting for a parent of a non-allergic child so I think it's a bit harsh saying people who do so are bitches w6mum, some mums stress horribly about parties and the thought of having to take on additional responsibility for a child who let's face it could go blue and die is too much for some. I had one mum insist she could do the food ring me in a tizz a couple of days before the party as she'd been going round the supermarket and got totally freaked out by 'may contain' labels - I didn't think her bitchy, I was delighted she felt able to ring me up and we agreed that to spare her the stress I'd send DS with his own food (she was happy to ensure he was supervised enough to check he wasn't swapping food etc and I was fine with that).

Basically I send DS with his own food unless it is a host who I know really and truly 'gets' the allergy (generally ones who have had DS for playdates, have allergic family members etc). I trust him not to swap food etc but I don't give a gnats crotchet who he sits next to if there are no nuts/peanut butter being served. I now tend to sit in the car reading a book (bliss) with the epi-pen to hand as again I don't generally want to impose that on the hosts.

DS has had it drummed into him repeatedly that the rules are:

- no swapping food
- no eating any food that we haven't sent him with EVEN IF SOMEONE SAYS IT IS OK

and he does now handle them really well.

Re the school trip, that is a different kettle of fish entirely - the HT should not be asking you to do that kind of stuff 'to make her risk assessment easier' - schools have to be inclusive and the HT needs to find a way to include your child on the trip safely - probably through guidance to parents about what they can/can't put in packed lunches and ensuring adequate supervision of your child. Contact the Anaphylaxis Campaign if you're having problems with this.

greenbananas Sun 02-Oct-11 17:41:58

I agree with Acekicker - it's okay to be hanging around when your DS is still only 4. You might even find that the other mum appreciates your extra pair of hands.

Dh thinks its important for him to go, i'd rather not send him and save the hassle but i know thats just me being selfish.

No no no, you're not being selfish!! It's completely natural to be worried. What kind of mothers would we be if we didn't ever worry?! When DS was still a baby, I vowed that I would never expose him to the social exclusion he might experience from this kind of party... but I have seen sense and mellowed over time - it's much more socially excluding not to send him.

My DS is now 3 and still allergic to dairy, eggs, nuts, pulses, seeds, garlic, bananas and a few other things. We have just got back from another 3 year old's birthday party. He was amazing! - coped really well with all the food issues and had such a lovely time playing. I'm so glad I took him.

His friend's mum had offered to try and make food that was safe for him, but she was obviously stressed about it (and I didn't fully trust her to do it properly), so I said we would bring special food in his special bag. This worked really well. He clearly understood that he was not to share food with anybody else. There was a wonderful array of child-friendly finger food on the table when we arrived (it was great and all the other children loved it) but DS was quite happy with the sugary junk safe treats we had taken with us.

Even at his young age, DS understands about his allergies, and is very good about being careful (this always impresses me because he is not generally a particularly obedient or tractable child, but if I say, "no, because that food has cow's milk/egg/nuts in it, he never, ever argues!!!)

The party-giving mum had alerted a few of the adults there to DS's allergies, so I felt that I had support and was not the only one watching him (obviously I did watch him like a hawk, but as unobtrusively as possible). At one point, she gave out ice-creams, and that bothered me a bit because they were dripping everywhere (DS reacts on skin contact) but he was so sensible - he stayed out of their way and didn't make a fuss at all (he had Haribo sweets from my handbag instead, and was quite happy with that because they were his 'special' sweets).

In short, go with him, have a great time, and let us know how you get on smile smile

pinkyp Sun 02-Oct-11 18:27:10

It's crap isn't it sad I don't know how you do it green bananas, what does your ds eat ? Dairys in nearly everything. The haribo made me smile - alot of parents have mentioned they don't give haribo only chocolate as it's kinder to their teeth so I often feel bad about that. Right so will take him some food (am thinking sandwich, crisps, kitkat and a bun/jelly and haribo) best take some pop too.

As for the school trip, going to see teachers tomorrow, I'd rather him go and me be close (not actually with him but just down road) and see how he goes, then I know for next time too as I might not be able to go next time.

greenbananas Sun 02-Oct-11 18:43:35

I've just read back what I wrote earlier, and am feeling really bad about saying that I didn't trust the party-giving mum to deal with my DS's allergies. She is a very lovely, clued-up, intelligent woman who has spent years working in a nursery! And she tried hard to include my DS; I really do appreciate that!!!

The thing is, it's probably a bad idea to trust anyone who doesn't have first-hand experience of allergies (or very specific training on how to deal with allergies). It's not really fair on them - how would they feel if they messed up?

In any case, it's not a bad idea to get DCs with allergies used to the idea of eating out of a 'special bag' in this kind of party situation. It's so much easier for all concerned.

greenbananas Sun 02-Oct-11 18:54:05

ooh, sorry pinkyp, I cross-posted.

About dairy - well, you get used to it smile Years ago, I worked in an after-school club where there was a 10 year old boy with a nut allergy, and I often wondered how on earth his mother coped with the stress. These days, I realise that we cope because we have to (and I often think about that 10 year old, and how sensible he was about the whole thing).

The school trip: Acekicker is right (again!) - the headteacher should be managing this - and contacting the Anaphylaxis Campaign is a good idea. I can understand you wanting to be close by in case of any emergency, but they should have a plan in place to deal with this sort of thing.

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