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Allergies and intolerances

Eeek! - Nut allergic child coming to DSs party...

21 replies

SoupDragon · 07/03/2006 10:19

Thankfully a parent will be there, complete with Epipen, but I'm now worried I'm going to kill this child.

Obviously I can ensure his food is nut and nut trace free - this is not a problem. All the food at the party will be nut free anyway but do you think I need to make sure all the food is free of nut traces? My gut feeling is no since all the food at, say, school would not be free of nut traces.

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NikkiH · 07/03/2006 10:35

If I were you, and you feel able to, I'd talk to their parent as to how they'd like the 'food bit' of the party handled. I don't have any experience of nut allergy but my son is gluten intolerant (which isn't as frightening as he won't go into anaphylactic shock if he eats gluten) and when he goes to parties or even to a friend's house for tea, I like to discuss the food with the parent concerned, go through what he can and can't eat and supply suitable food to cover any gaps. Some parents make the effort to supply gluten-free food but there's always the issue of cross-contamination so my mind is at better ease if I've supplied it myself. Hope that helps.

HenniPenni · 07/03/2006 10:40

My DDs friend is very peanut allergic, when she used to come for her parties I use to say to mum we're having this,this and this. Is there anything there that is detyrimental to x?. If there was then I wouldn't use it.

I always go down the route of nothing with peanut traces anyway due to DD3 allergies so it is a bit easier for me.

Having said that our school is very good with peanut allergies and won't allow anything with traces, this was because another child had a reaction after somebody put a piece of battenburg cake on the table, the table was wiped but obviously not well enough, allergic child touched the table surface and had a nasty reaction.

Flip · 07/03/2006 10:41

There's a girl who comes to ds1's parties who is a diabetic and her mum always sends her with a lunch box so she knows she's having the right thing. You could perhaps ask the mum the prepare something for her child so that it puts your mind and her at ease.

SoupDragon · 07/03/2006 10:51

I have spoken to the father and we agreed that I should give him nothing with nuts or nut traces in (and have suggestions as to what he likes/can eat) but I didn't think to check about nut traces in other food. My house is free of peanuts but I'll definitely make sure everything is washed thoroughly before I cook/make/bake anything.

I guess I'll wait to see what the lables say when the food arrives from Tescos tomorrow and then decide - it may be that it's all nut/trace free anyway.

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drosophila · 07/03/2006 10:53

My DS had to avoid nuts and a host of other things. I would provide the food and the other kids would eat what they want. If the parent is staying with the child then they will ensure that their kid will eat only what they are allowed and probably watch them like a hawk to ensure that they don't pinch anyone else's food.

If they are extremely allergic then they may react if in the same room as the allergen but I suspect given that the parent is alowing the kid to go to a party this is probably not the case. Talk to the parent. It's really good to hear that you are being so thoughtful.

SoupDragon · 07/03/2006 10:58

The food will be in party boxes so his will, at least, be separate and clearly his. I've successfully dealt with dairy intolerance/allergy and ceoliac before but nothing anaphylactic!

He's one of DSs good friends so I can see this being an issue for some time to come :)

Thanks everyone.

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drosophila · 07/03/2006 11:20

As a matter of interest are you glad that the parent is staying for party? I always struggle with this and don't know if parents think I am oner protective.

SoupDragon · 07/03/2006 11:23

I'm delighted the parent is staying :) I would have been happy to have the child there without the parent but with instructions on how/when to use the epipen but I would have been a little nervous to say the least. The child is only in reception so probably not 100% reliable about this yet. I guess when he's older I would be more comfortable as he should be able to recognise a reaction easily.

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BettySpaghetti · 07/03/2006 11:34

There are a few children in DDs class (Yr 1)and friendship group with various allergies (including a nut allergy and a dairy allergy -both have epipens).
In most cases I think they tend to take their own food to parties (although, thinking about it, they've always been parties at other venues, not homes). Also a parent tends to stay unless the host parent is Epipen trained.
The parents of the children with the allergies seem to have to make constant decisions about what/where their child eats, whether to leave them places, weighing up risks etc so I guess they will let you know if you ask their advice.

SoupDragon · 08/03/2006 12:34

OK, I've had my party food delivered. Obviously stuff that says it is nut free is OK but some of the labels say "recipe: nut free, factory: nut free, ingredients: can not guarantee nut free" What help is that FFS??!!

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SoupDragon · 08/03/2006 12:35

Bearing in mind that one of the items that says this is a packet of sliced ham!

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kalex · 08/03/2006 12:40

DS is extremely Peanut allergic.

I try to be really relaxed, if the mum is staying and she has the epipen, I wouldn't be worried about the last line, really it is companies protecting themselves from litigation.

Also - If the little boy is Peanut allergic, he is possibly not nut allergic, they are two totally different allergys. So unless it says MAy contain Peanut traces you should be fine.


oliveoil · 08/03/2006 12:47

dd1 has a peanut allergy but does not have an epipen as our consultant said she didn't need one.

I am tbh a bit lax on ingredients. Obviously I don't give anything with nuts in, but imo most things say 'may contain traces' just to cover their backs.

She has had a reaction to some crips from Asda and also a choc brownie from Asda, so I now avoid all stuff from their (much to her disgust).

Once, at a friends party, they had a huge bowl of peanuts on the top! I said, erm PEANUT ALLERGY, hellooooooooooooooo, but they said 'we are keeping them on the top out of the way'.

10 mins later, dd1 is swollen and spotty with a reaction. Someone had eaten the nuts, then put their hand in something she had then eaten.

SoupDragon · 08/03/2006 12:52

I think I'm going to cut out the ingredients list for everything I prepare and give it to the parent before food is served (and be careful about wrapping stuff separately etc to avoid any contamination) - TBH the parent didn't seem at all worried about me doing the food the the child.

I am so glad I don't have to do this on a day to day basis - the labelling is pants!

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oliveoil · 08/03/2006 12:57

it is bobbins and I don't even have to worry about an epipen reaction

Hope all goes well. Don't worry too much!

brimfull · 09/03/2006 00:01

Hi soupdragon,It's really nice of you to go to all this trouble for this little boy.

My ds is allergic to nuts and has to carry an epipen.He's only 3.5yrs but the few parties he's been to I've given him a packed party lunch and he knows not to eat from anywhere else.I also stay at the party.

I do take notice of may contain traces labelling.My son has had a reaction from a biscuit before so I'm not taking any risks.NOt something for you to worry about but it will help the parent that you've kept the labels.

I'm sure everything will be fine.I'm always grateful and almost moved to tears when people take the time and show concern for ds,but then again it's still a bit new to me.

bobbybobbobbingalong · 09/03/2006 00:11

Save all the packets, instead of binning them when you put the food out. Nothing more annoying than having to ban ds from eating something that might be completely fine!

You are unlikely to kill him, especially going to all this trouble and with a parent there.

christie1 · 09/03/2006 01:53

My dd is very peanut allergic and parties are stressful for me. Your attitude, quite frankly, is amazing. I love parents like you. Having said that, I see it as my responsibility to ensure my dd eats safely as I don't expect a parent without an allergic child to know what I know. I go to the party, meet the parent and inspect what she is serving. I then inform dd what she can have and show her the food. I never say yes to birthday cake or any homebaked good unless I know the parent really well. If the parent is there with an epi-pen, you really need to just run by the parent what you are serving and let hte parent make the call. If you are unsure on anything you are serving, just tell the parent you can't guarantee peanut-free and let them read a label and make that call. We are used to dealing with this. ANd relax and enjoy your own child's party.

ghosty · 09/03/2006 06:41

Soupy ...
DS has two friends who are allergic to nuts (both needing epipens; one allergic to peanuts, the other allergic to treenuts, which is bad but not AS bad as peanuts ...)
Both friends came to DS' party in November without their parents .... and I was terrified!
This is what I did:

Totally homemade cake with NO NO NO chocolate in it (either in icing or in cake or in decorations) ... chocolate is notorious for having 'traces of nuts' and better safe than sorry.
I checked with both mums the night before to run through the ingredients of cake and decorations of cake AND the menu for the party tea.

I already knew (from past chats with one of the mums) that there is one brand of crisps that is safe and no traces of nuts ... but this won't help you as it is an NZ brand .... it would be a good idea to check with the mums which crisps are safely made in nut free premises ... they should know. Anyway, I bought all types of crisps of this brand and kept away from other brands.

I decided to keep the menu simple and I ordered in take away pizza (checking first with mums if this was ok ... it was ... but may not be in the UK ...) crisps, marmite sandwiches, some sweets (boiled individually wrapped type ones are best, again check with mums as they will know which brands are safe ... )

For prizes and treats (for pass the parcel etc) I did give out chocolates but made sure the only chocolates given out were the type that were individually wrapped ... For the boys with the allergies I gave them chuppa chup lollipops which they were more than happy with.

I found the best way was to ring the mums, find out what their sons could and couldn't eat and then work out the menu around that in order to stay safe.

They really really appreciated the care that I took because they have both had bad experiences at parties: reactions, people not thinking, not eating because they weren't sure etc. One mum was delighted because it was the first time her son had been able to eat birthday cake at a birthday party that wasn't his own.

HTH g xx

SoupDragon · 09/03/2006 07:35

Thanks everyone :)

I remember posting on one of BobbyBBA's threads saying of course I'd be happy to have an allergic child to one of my sons' parties. So here I am and I'm a little nervous :o I'm sure it will be fine, especially with the parent there, but it is only through Mumsnet that I have any idea what is involved. I've had allergic party guests before but not ones whose reaction requires an epipen.

Now all I need to do is to check that the child who (or is it whom?) DS2 claims is allergic to dairy is infact allergic and doesn't just not like milk. His mother hasn't said anything to me about it!

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SoupDragon · 14/03/2006 13:24

Never before have I been so delighted to see a child fit and healthy at school on a Monday morning :o

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