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Regarding this peanut allergy

(199 Posts)
murphys Mon 30-Jun-14 10:55:01

Both my dc do martial arts. There is a boy at their class (D) who imo is a pfb. I have known them for a while as he was at primary with my ds. When chatting with his mum, it would appear that she is still sitting with him doing homework, doing his projects for him, if you have a conversation with the boy, the mum will automatically answer his questions for him. The boy is 16.

I know that he has an allergy to peanuts as in a previous conversation, mum wouldn't allow him to go on school camp as she said that she couldn't take the risk that peanut butter wouldn't be served there in sandwiches.

They have done marital arts in the same class for 3 years now. Last week dc came home and said that before they were to start sparring, Shifu (instructor) asked everyone is anyone had eaten peanuts in the last two days. My dc are great fans of peanut butter, ds said he had a sarmie that day. Shifu then said that D's mother had requested that if anyone has eaten peanuts, then they are not allowed to spar with D. So, as ds is D's sparring partner usually, ds had to sit out until such a time as they rotated the class.

Last week I was a bit surprized by this, but now I just overheard the dc who are on holidays now. Ds offers to make dd sandwich. He just made her a peanut butter one. She gets it and I hear her gasp and say 'oh no I cant eat this as we are going to class tonight'.....

Do you think aibu in thinking that we shouldn't have to change our diets and fret about what we eat in case they do sparring this evening in class? This hasn't been an issue in all the years they have been going with D and the mum didn't mention that he had any allergic incidents recently.

Sirzy Mon 30-Jun-14 10:59:17

How severe is his allergy?

I think the camp thing in particular is OTT as is the sparring thing really

BUT I did manage to land my sister in hospital once after I had a sip of her drink after having eaten something with peanuts in so I cn understand her concerns but she needs to be much more realistic about ho wmuch she can control the enviroment

ArcheryAnnie Mon 30-Jun-14 11:02:27

YANBU. It is right that you don't bring severe allergens in to the class, but your DCs shouldn't be the ones to sit out a sparring session because what they have eaten elsewhere. That doesn't seem fair at all, plus it's hardly reliable for the kid with the allergy, as plenty of people won't have paid attention to if something they have eaten has peanut oil in it.

NoodleOodle Mon 30-Jun-14 11:02:33

YANBU to not want your family to feel like they have to change their diets but, if your DC actively want to spar with this boy then it won't do them any harm to change their sandwiches for a couple of days a week.

I am personally sometimes a bit disbelieving of just how allergic some people are to things, and whether it's just assumed or a fact (I once dated a man allergic to eggs, who ate plenty of egg in things he didn't realise it was in). But, this mother is taking it pretty seriously so I would do too, because even if I doubted such strict measures were necessary, to get it wrong could endanger someone's life.

manchestermummy Mon 30-Jun-14 11:06:03

I am lucky enough not to have any allergies, same for my DC, but I can't think that's right: an allergen consumed elsewhere sometime that day? Really?

My best friend at school had (and still has) a life-threatening allergy to fish. It was okay for me to eat a tuna sandwhich at lunch and go to her house straight after provided I washed my hands well and brushed my teeth.

murphys Mon 30-Jun-14 11:06:15

From the way she describes it, it seems to be a serious allergy as she does carry an epipen in her bag with her. I don't think that he has had any allergic reactions though as she did say that the epipen had now expired (last 4 years if I recall correctly).

I agree that precautions need to be taken, but I also am feeling that this is OTT. I am of the feeling that if the sport is a risk of him having a reaction from someone else, then he shouldn't take part in a close contact sport.

todayisnottheday Mon 30-Jun-14 11:08:41

I would suggest that it would be more sensible to simply ask the class to wash their hands before sparring. If the boy has an allergy that severe then he would also have a problem using pads after a peanut eating child and so on. It doesn't appear that the mother has raised that as an issue so why has she targeted sparring? Maybe speak to the owner and suggest they provide proper hand wash and insist on hand washing before the class as a more balanced approach. If they won't then insist ds gets a new sparring partner, you are paying for his time just like everyone else!

DoJo Mon 30-Jun-14 11:09:07

I knew someone whose peanut allergy was so severe that they would have a serious reaction just by being in a room where an empty packet of peanuts was in the bin under the sink, so I can understand why they don't want to take any chances if his reaction is that strong.

I don't understand why your son had to sit out rather than just sparring with someone else - presumably the rotation of the class could be arranged to avoid them sparring together.

WooWooOwl Mon 30-Jun-14 11:09:17


The instructor is handling it badly though, your dc shouldn't be expected to wait out. They just need to change the way they manage the class if it's a really serious issue.

If your children eating PB sandwiches was an issue, it would have raised itself at dome point over the last three years.

I assume this boy asks everyone who he sits next to at school what they have eaten at the beginning if every lesson, and checks before he gets changed near people for PE as well right?

TheTrashheapHasSpoken Mon 30-Jun-14 11:11:34

I agree with Annie - why should your children sit out if the other child is the one with the issue??

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Mon 30-Jun-14 11:13:17

ManchesterMummy - for a severe allergy that is not uncommon. a friend's daughter has a nut allergy. Her Dad went to work one morning, had something containing nuts for mi-morning snack. Ate and drank other things during the remainder of the day, returned home later that evening, when children were in bed. Popped in to kiss them goodnight, his daughter had a severe allergic reaction from the nut susbtance he had eaten hours earlier in the day. So yes, really!

My own daughter has a nut allergy and we have always had to be wary. I was called into school once because she had a mild reaction, but that was just because another child in the hall sitting elsewhere had been eating a peanut butter sandwich.

I agree, sometimes people can call food intolerances 'allergies', but a real food allergy such as one for nuts is very real and can be potentially fatal.

todayisnottheday Mon 30-Jun-14 11:13:26

Fwiw my brother has a severe allergy (his epi-pens are in date) and we can eat nuts then wash our hands. I try not to touch anything he might touch eg my handbag but that really isn't necessary.

If his epi-pen is out of date that suggests, to me, his dr doesn't think he needs one any longer or they would issue a prescription for a new one. Nut allergies can become less severe over time and it's possible that has happened here - not that I would ever test that theory of course!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 30-Jun-14 11:13:39

It won't kill your kids to have a different sandwich. Ask the teacher why they can't spar with someone else rather than sit out.
Not worth getting your knickers in a twist as to whether the boy is pfb or not. It's not up to you to decide how serious his allergy is. He has an epi pen, that should tell you it's a serious allergy, you don't just buy them over the counter at Boots. Take it up with the teacher.

neolara Mon 30-Jun-14 11:14:57

What does sparring involve? How up close and personal do they get?

My dd is serverly allergic to peanuts. Apparently one of the major things to watch out for in the teenage years is that she mustn't kiss anyone who has recently eaten peanut butter sandwiches or a snickers bar. No-one in our family eats peanut butter or peanuts because of the risk of contamination. My dd has reacted to traces in the past.

I wouldn't ask people to not peanuts for 48 hours before they had contact with my dd. That's bonkers, not only because it is unenforceable but also because it could lead to a sense of complacency. I recognise that my dd will have to adapt the way she lives her life so cope with her allergy. It's crappy but that's the way it is.

I think it might be reasonable to ask a potential sparring partner to make sure they wash their hands thoroughly and also brush their teeth to eliminate some of the risk.

BarbarianMum Mon 30-Jun-14 11:15:55

Your ds doesn't have to change his diet. This boy would clearly be a fool to spar with him if he's eaten peanuts.

You will find the mothers of highly allergic children tend to be very 'PFB' about their allergies as this helps keeps their children alive (I can think of several websites for peanut allergy that have 'In Memorium' sections sad). I saw a boy go into anaphalaxis on a school trip once. Bus driver had a peanut butter sandwich at lunch time (it turns out) and on the way home he reacted. So it can and does happen.

Your dislike of this boys mother may or may not be justified. And your son can bathe in peanut butter before class if he so wishes, that is his right. But your expectation that you need to be privy to this boy's private medical history is unreasonable - its none of your business.

gleegeek Mon 30-Jun-14 11:16:58

All sounds a bit strange I agree, but if this child has had a recent reaction then it is scary.

IMO he should be carrying around his own epipens, and at 16, I'd expect him to be taking responsibility for his allergy himself. She can not be with him every hour of every day, he has to be allowed to work out risk factors etc for himself...

I don't think you're BU actually, although if his allergy is that severe, then it would be considerate for your dc to avoid eating peanuts on martial arts day if they want to spar with him I guess?

I am allergic to lots of things (peanuts included) and it affects my whole life all the time, not just when it's convenient. I carry my epipens everywhere, always check ingredients and make sure my friends/family know what to do if anything happens BUT I try not to let it impact on everyone else... I just stay hyper aware and keep my epipens handy...

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 30-Jun-14 11:19:44

The only thing that seems wrong here is that it is your dc missing out on class time for somebody else's issue.

It can be your dc's choice if they want to modify their diet or not in the run up to the class, but there would be no way that I would want them to miss out on their activity.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Mon 30-Jun-14 11:21:35

(PS - could someone plse tell me what 'PFB' stands for) Thanks smile

BarbarianMum Mon 30-Jun-14 11:21:56

<< I am of the feeling that if the sport is a risk of him having a reaction from someone else, then he shouldn't take part in a close contact sport.>>

That's not your decision to make. And you don't have to get so outraged about being asked to not eat nuts, you can just ignore the request. Just get your son to approach his coach and make it clear he's not going to spar with this kid any more and doesn't want to sit out because of it. Sorted.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Mon 30-Jun-14 11:25:40

I also agree that your own children should not be made to sit out, and you need to speak to the coach about this, however, I do wonder how necessary it is that your children absolutely HAVE to have a peanut butter sandwich before the session. There are other sandwich fillings.

(I loved the typo in the OP though - "marital arts" - I may benefit from a course of that) grin

Justagirlintheworld Mon 30-Jun-14 11:33:11

What is the point of carrying an epipen around that is 4 years out of date? My 7 year old niece has a severe nut allergy so we have all had to read up on it. She has to carry an epipen wherever she goes as it could potentially save her life. It's a bind but it's better carrying something around than being dead. Nuts are in pretty much everything manufactured. I agree with the washing of hands before class but she really needs to get a new epipen.

Topaz25 Mon 30-Jun-14 11:36:21

At 16 years old, provided he has no special needs, why isn't he carrying his own epipen and managing his own allergy? He could legally move out and hasn't learned to live independently, his mother isn't doing him any favours by being overprotective. It wouldn't be a good idea to address it with her though so instead I would tell the instructor that it isn't fair for your DC to have to sit out a class you are paying for or panic about eating peanut butter before and a different sparring partner needs to be arranged if your DS cannot partner with the boy with the allergy. Peanut allergy is serious but saying he can't spar with someone who has eaten peanuts is pointless, as a PP pointed out, peanut oil is in a lot of products and someone without an allergy might not even look out for it or notice they had eaten it.

VSeth Mon 30-Jun-14 11:41:48

I have a friend with a peanut allergy and if I am seeing her I won't make peanut butter sandwiches for my toddler that day, I don't see this as a sacrifice we just have something else. Yes my friend carries an Epipen at all time but i dont want to make my friend ill, anaphylaxis is a life threatening condition. Peanut butter is very concentrate so is a very high risk product.

Either avoid the allergen as advised or accept that they wont be sparring with this boy of they have eaten peatnut products.

Do you want to see this child have a bad reaction to prove that the allergy exists?

murphys Mon 30-Jun-14 11:43:05

Evans - grin I didn't even notice that autocorrect....

Sparring is physical fighting using the techniques learned in class. One is using defensive techniques whilst the other using the attack techniques. So yes very close contact with one another.

I was annoyed to hear that ds sat out. Yes he could eat a marmite sandwich instead of peanut butter, but it just came out of the blue as an announcement that night so he didn't know not to eat it. And it isn't just before class, mum is saying within 2 days.

KirjavaTheCat Mon 30-Jun-14 11:45:19

Unless you know how worrying and stressful it is, having a child with life-threatening allergies, I don't think you're in position to judge if she's being 'ott'. You don't know the precise events that will have led up to this recent behaviour.

Do you think aibu in thinking that we shouldn't have to change our diets
You don't have to change your diets. Don't be so ridiculous.

Why did your son sit out rather than sparring with someone else?

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