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Nut Allergy DS’s first lads holiday. Help!!
26

Thistle72 · 21/06/2018 07:28

My 18yr old son is going to Zante at the end of July with a group of friends. He’s has a nut allergy, he does have an epi pen. I put this on Shorthaul and one MN told me about translation cards so I’ve got them.
He is 18 so has got by when I’ve not been there but there will alcohol involved on holiday and I’m not sure he will be as careful.
Anyone any experiences?
I’m already worried about it. I’ll be neurotic that week he’s away!!!

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GaraMedouar · 21/06/2018 07:33

I feel for you. My DS also has nut allergy(among others) and epipen, but is14. I worry when he is18 too and going out more. How are is friends? Are they sensible? Could they be brought on board to so they really know what to do, how to give epipen in emergency etc.

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ZenNudist · 21/06/2018 07:33

Hes 18. Surely he can look after himself?

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BarbarianMum · 21/06/2018 08:44

You just have to trust him to look after himself, alcohol or no. Scary I know but, unless he's recently diagnosed, he's had plenty of practise. It might be worth getting him to find out how to call an ambulance, just in case he does make a mistake. Mid-reaction is not a good time to realise 999 won't hack it.

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hambo · 21/06/2018 08:49

My son is 11but I am already thinking of this situation. Getting his friends on board is a good idea, show them how to use the pen etc. It is such a worry. I am certain he will be fine but I would be sleepless until he got home too.

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PamsterWheel · 21/06/2018 09:30

Right Zen you clearly have no experience of teenagers (sorry adult)and alcohol. A nut allergy on top of that is another new level of worry. If you can't be helpful why bother to comment?

I feel for you OP, I'm not there with my DD but it's a huge concern sitting just around the corner.

Second what previous poster said about ambulance, knowing which number to call, how to say he has a nut allergy in a different language. Would he wear a medical bracelet? Try and get him to pass on ambulance/language to his friends.

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Thistle72 · 21/06/2018 10:56

Thanks all. I have spoken to DS about his friends, they know he has a nut allergy but I assume they won’t know how to use the epi pen. I need to speak to a few of them. The translation cards are really good. My problem is whether they fry in nut oil, although I’ve had a brain wave I am a ward sister and currently have a Greek doctor working with us for a week so I’m going to ask her tonight. She could write down do you fry in nut oil. I also thought I would email the hotel and the tour company so the reps would know. I doubt he would tell them unless he needed to.
I know he is suppose to be an adult now but I have to do everything I can to make sure he will be safe.

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MrsEricBana · 21/06/2018 11:00

This was the situation for my friend and her ds. She got his two closest mates on board and gave them an epi pen tutorial and explained the very real risks. They were fab and took it very seriously. He did end up in A&E from doing something very, very daft that did not involve any nuts at all (opened something toxic with his teeth and well, you cn guess the rest). He was 100% fine btw. Sigh.

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loobylou10 · 21/06/2018 11:04

‘Hes 18. Surely he can look after himself?’

Oh god there’s always one isn’t there! OP I really feel for you - I think you have to sit him down and explain your worries. Ask how he is planning to manage it - then let him go knowing that you’ve done a good job with him.

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Thistle72 · 21/06/2018 11:20

Thanks. I’m going to do that and maybe get a fewof his close friends round as well.
He understands the implication of it all but frying in the nut oil has been the problem before. He’ll probably eat McDonald’s for a week if they don’t fry in nut oil. He’s not an adventurous eater probably because of the nuts.
I thought maybe I was over reacting thinking of all these things but I’m not and thanks for all your support Flowers Flowers

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PamsterWheel · 21/06/2018 11:33

Out of interest, which countries tend to fry in nut oil?

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KavvLar · 21/06/2018 11:44

My DH had the same issue when he was similar age. He basically lived on pasta and bacon sandwiches which he cooked himself in their apartment. Is that a possibility?

Translation cards are a really good idea and something in both English and the foreign language explaining his specific allergy and what needs to happen if he has a reaction.

And maybe catch one or two of the more sensible lads in the group to keep an eye out, and just make sure he understands that there will be lots of drinks and shots and local spirits floating about and to stay clear of cocktails in case of nut liqueurs etc.

I totally understand OP. DH's mum says she felt exactly the same as you did. But he was fine, and I am sure your ds will be too.

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KavvLar · 21/06/2018 11:46

And there are loads of online translation tools if you can't get the Greek doctor to assist. Best of luck OP.

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Thistle72 · 21/06/2018 12:06

Thanks Kavvlar. They are staying in a hotel so not likely. Also room only Ithink.
Frying in nut oil was in this country in Brighton, my DS had to go to hospital. That was when he was about 6 but it’s something I ask now just in case. We’ve been abroad but it’s simple things like using the same scoop for ice cream yes it’s dipped in water but it wouldn’t be enough to get rid of the nuts if it was nut ice cream. It’s little things like that he may not think about.
Good idea about the shots and cocktails I wouldn’t have thought of that.
I so appreciate all your advice, thank you so much.

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BarbarianMum · 21/06/2018 12:14



Common in SE Asia, China, West and Central Africa. Also the US ime. Very few nut allergy sufferers react to processed nut oils so OP's son is unlucky that he does and of course the more developing the country the more likely the oil is to be unprocessed.

Greek food is traditionally made with olive oil so should be fine but its worth checking cause cheaper oils (inc nut) may be substituted, esp for deep fat frying.
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Snowjive2 · 22/06/2018 07:51

Groundnut (peanut) oil is widely used for frying in France. Spent two weeks with DS unable to have frites as every restaurant said they used. Italy and Spain (cities) better - sunflower or canola oil tends to be the preference for frying in those countries.

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Fadingmemory · 22/06/2018 08:15

TripAdvisor (sorry can’t link) has posts with translations which might be useful. Your Greek colleague is your best bet. Aside from that, he has to take care of himself - there’s only so much you can do.

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Snowjive2 · 22/06/2018 09:13

Forgot to say - Allergy.co.uk (charity) do translation cards in Greek for £15 and next day delivery. They are credit card sized, Greek (or language of your choice) on one side, English on the other. For your £15 you get 3 cards: one lists allergies for general use, one to show to restaurant staff explaining allergies and asking if they can cater, and one saying you are suffering anaphylaxis and requesting emergency assistance. Knowing that DS has those has been reassuring on school trips, for holiday kids clubs etc

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Thistle72 · 22/06/2018 09:46

Many thanks.
I’ve seen my colleague and she has written down the saying do you use nut oil in Greek. She also told me how to contact the ambulance but reassured me that there are health centres in most villages and certainly a community Dr so medical help wouldn’t be too far away if needed. That made me feel better. I’m finding the more I think of things the more I’m getting stressed.
DS is getting annoyed at me for fussing so much, I suppose he’s lived with it since he was 3 and I’ve not always been there when he’s had a reaction although small. As long as I know I’ve done as much as I can then I suppose the rest is up to him.........Hmm

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megletthesecond · 22/06/2018 09:49

I worry about this and my DS is only 11.

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HangersOn · 22/06/2018 13:26

You need to tell him what foods to watch out for too.

I’m always wary of chocolate and ice cream - often have hidden nuts.
Even apparently fruit based ice creams in Greece can have traces of nuts. He needs to be on his guard. Foods that are safe in one country can be a ‘may contain nuts’ in another.

I’d also buy some of those dissolving anti-histamine tablets - he’ll be more likely to stick them in his pocket if he’s going out - than a bottle of anti-histamine (which could break). You get them in Boots.

Have you contacted the Anaphylaxis campaign? They may have good advice.

If an epipen needs to be used you need to tell his friends that he needs to go to Hospital - in case the reaction recurs.

For those that are so scathing - yes he’s 18 and needs to look after himself. But there are many traps for the nut allergic - and it’s better to avoid a reaction especially abroad.

Thanks for posting OP. My daughter’s going away with her boyfriend soon - it’s made me think.

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olivesnutsandcheese · 04/07/2018 18:03

We've got a dummy EpiPen for DS from the allergy clinic. When he's older I'm going to train his best friends on how to use it.

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Lollypop701 · 04/07/2018 20:42

Is there anyway to test if ds is allergic to groundnut oil? Anyone know

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FVFrog · 04/07/2018 20:50

Flowers for ypu, I’m another mother to a young male adult epipen carrier, you mever stop worrying. Main thing is to impress on them to always carry their epipen(s) and that all their friends know and understand how to use it. Allergy nurse told him that in a group of friends on any occasion when he was out he should have a designated epipen person (similar to a designated driver) who didn’t drink (too much) and looked out for him, although not sure how realistic this is! Medialert bracelet useful also as are all the above suggestions. Hope he has a great, uneventful holiday.

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FVFrog · 04/07/2018 20:52

Lolly latest testing my son had was v specific and could id which proteins (?) he was actually allergic to and to what extent. Worth checking with his consultant if he has one, or the GP?

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PineapplePatty · 04/07/2018 20:58

Not the same but my 18yo is currently on his first lads holiday in Greece, and was diagnosed with epilepsy a few months ago. His triggers are thought to be not enough sleep, disco lights and alcohol...

His friends are lovely but at the end of the day are 18yo boys on their first lads holiday too.

I can't tell you how much I was dreading him going but a few days in he's having the time of his life and says he's being sensible. I'll be so happy to get him home but am glad his illness isn't stopping him doing things.

Taking a Greek translation is a great idea. I've sorted really good insurance for my peace of mind, maybe do the same.

I hope he has a fab time Wine

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