It’s been a few months now since we discovered our daughter has a serious allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and my little girl since then as well. That fateful Saturday when she nibbled on the corner of my peanut butter on toast will haunt me for while, it’s frightening seeing your loved one swelling up in front of you, and even harder to convey a calming manor when inside you’re panicking. A start of an attack can be your child complaining that their mouth feels funny or itchy. L goes blotchy and her lips start to swell. At this point call for an ambulance. Be aware children can also have a second reaction after a couple of hours.
What amazes me with children is how resilient they are. L took everything in her stride, although we are having a few confidence issues with her around tall,loud men as she thinks they are after more bloods. Like all things with kids- it’s a phase and it will pass. I should add this is getting better, her new trick is to do a slow motion bottom lip quiver to make whoever it is trying to carry any test feel terrible -it works.
Like all children L has her fav toys – Dog Dog (a foul smelling, now very ratty looking toy collie) and her medical kit came for a ride in the ambulance. It kept her calmer and helped with the hospital stay. Holding your child while they take bloods is no walk in the park either, but frozen ( or what ever your child is into) on an iPad really helped. Within a couple of days she was home and the fun really started. Between you and me I think she was wearing people out just looking at her, when normal service resumes she has endless energy. I personally find that a G&T works wonders ( for me, not her)
- I have quickly learnt that nut warnings on food labels are everywhere, you need to read everything and some brands are better than others Marks and Spencer are very clear, as to are Ocado. The” May contain nuts” are the most annoying, but some factories clean machines with peanut oil, or nuts are on the same production line so the are best adhered to. With a toddler you have to develop a knack of reading labels whilst preventing them from tripping up old ladies, or calling random men “Daddy” but it gets easier, and online shopping is a god send.
- You will eventually get annoyed when people tell you “she will grow out of it” often not the case with peanut allergies. The doctors said to expect it to be life long.
- I have already started teaching my little one not to accept food from others, this will get easier as she gets older, and schools etc are all well informed, but this can be a cause of a reaction if people don’t realise.
- You feel guilty a lot, I mean this is normal as a parent but I’ve since spent many an hour wondering if I could have prevented her allergies, I’m good with this now, now I’m just back to usual parent guilt such as letting her play on the CBeebies app ( it helps in doctors).
- You just have to do a bit more homework such as cooking from scratch, there’s no need for suffers to go without, that’s partly why I started this blog, to share ideas and recipes and hope it makes someone’s life that tiny bit easier.
- A word of advice NEVER say to a parent or allergy sufferer ” I couldn’t live without…. Poor thing” erm you could if said item could kill you.
- Teach your child the restriction is to their diet, but not their life. My daughter is a happy healthy little girl, she throws diva strops in the supermarket, she loves frozen and Peppa pig ( I can’t stand the mouthy ham but that’s another story). Nothing is different from any other two year old apart from her diet
- Twitter is great, there is a brilliant allergy community for advice, help, research and just about anything else really.
I hope my ramblings help, either by letting other parents know they aren’t alone or for friends/ family or strangers as an insight into dealing with allergic reactions.
If you have any more tips, hints or want to say hello then leave a comment below. TTFN.