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child with nut allergy and going on french exchange trip

(6 Posts)
debbiedoughnut42 Tue 07-Oct-08 13:21:27

Has anyone any advice for a slightly worried mum. My son is 13 with a serious nut allergy and going on a french exchange in December. His school is happy to take him, and of course will pass on all the information. I need some practical advice so I can ensure the event runs smoothly and I worry a little less.

JuneBugJen Tue 07-Oct-08 13:22:44

Have you been to the allergy UK website. I think they sell things like cards with the translations of 'I am allergic to nuts' in all sorts of languages and other useful things.

tatt Tue 07-Oct-08 14:22:42

we were too cowardly to risk this. When we went to France we found "traces of coques" on lots of food but some said noix or cacahuètes. If he's also allergic to tree nuts make sure he knows the words for various tree nuts, especially almond and walnut.

Personally we found out the French emergency services number and how to ask for an ambulance - I would teach your son that. He should also have a mobile number for a French speaking teacher.

If he will be attending lessons at a French school they can be funny over epipens. You may need to check if you need to sign a special "protocol" called the PAI which makes it possible to leave emergency medication at the school. I think this is only for people who want to leave epipens there, not carry them in - but wouldn't hurt to check.

Some useful phrases

I am allergic to nuts and peanuts.
Je suis allergique à toutes les noix (fruits à coque) et aux cacahuètes.

My son is allergic to nuts and peanuts.
Mon fils est allergique à toutes les noix (fruits à coque) et aux cacahuètes.

Can you check the ingredients carefully and tell me if this food has nuts and peanuts in it?
Pouvez-vous vérifier soigneusement les ingrédients et me dire si ce plat contient des noix (fruits à coque) et des cacahuètes?

Please call an ambulance now.
Appelez tout de suite une ambulance.

debbiedoughnut42 Tue 07-Oct-08 14:37:17

Thanks for that information. We have had lots of self catering holidays in france but its just the fact he will be living with a family and like you say traces can be found in lots of food stuffs. His major allergies are peanuts and bazil nuts with milder re-actions to some other tree nuts. He will be going into school for a day and half but will carry his medication with his own teacher carring spares - so i should check if they are aware of protocol. Hopefully once he has made contact with his exchange partner we might be able to contact the parents ourselves.

Smithagain Thu 09-Oct-08 20:29:19

Make sure you arm him with the vocabulary to list exactly what nuts he must avoid. DH has had issues with french people thinking that certain nuts (I think it was hazelnuts and almonds) are not nuts.

KathG Fri 10-Oct-08 16:39:51

Is he staying with a family? If so you need to have a chat (via the school French teacher?) with them

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