The kids are headed back to school and I know we all groan about the dreaded nut free lunches, but it’s so important! Meet Daniela, mom to Lucas, who starts Junior Kindergarten this year with a nut allergy. She’s counting on us to keep the nuts out our kids lunches so her boy can be safe!
Well, it’s a week before my first born starts kindergarten. its an exciting time for both him as well as us but stressful as well as we also have the worry of his peanut allergy that concerns me. I’m a stay at home Mom of 2 boys and they have always been in my care or of close family and friends. So you see, I’ve never had to worry about my son Lucas being exposed to peanuts/tree nuts. We are a peanut free household.
When Lucas was 17 months old I was eating a peanut butter sandwich when he seemed as if he wanted to try some. They said back then (really wasn’t that long ago) everything is fair game after a year. So I gave him a little piece and he immediately was sick and broke out in a few hives around his mouth. I thought that maybe it was the texture of the peanut butter that caused this but everyone I told about the incident suggested I take him to the doctors. So I made an appointment at the doctors which referred me to the allergist. I explained to her what had happened and she was pretty sure he was allergic. She tested him and infact he is allergic to peanuts/tree nuts and has 50-75% severity. So we have an epipen for our son. What that means is that he won’t have an issue or a reaction if he smells it, but we have to be careful with people who have recently consumed nuts who are around our son. Them simply kissing him on the cheek will result in Lucas breaking out in hives or worse.
Fast forward to this summer we were told to bring him back to get re-tested, before he starts school in hopes that he could have outgrown it. They say 20% of children may outgrow the allergy before they hit school. Sadly, he did not. There is still a chance he will grow out of it. The allergist suggested I bring him back at the age of 6. My husband was allergic to eggs & chocolate and he did grow out of it. So now school starts and Mommy is a little worried as I have to now trust and rely on the school to protect my son who has this peanut allergy.
We had a meeting with the principal back in April so it was then we discussed Lucas’ peanut allergy. I asked where the epipens were kept, figuring in the classroom or office. He said they need to be worn on the child. It’s called Sabrina’s law. I had no idea about this law. You can read more about it here.
So off I went online to do my research and I ordered a epipen case that Lucas will wear around his waist. It’s from Allermates. I’ve explained to my 3 year old that its not to be opened by him or any other children. It’s incase he has an allergic reaction to peanuts and if the teacher needs to give him a needle. Just typing this gives Mommy anxiety. I hope it’s never needed.
I do realize schools are peanut free and I hear how schools are wonderful in making sure that kids are not bringing anything peanut related to school. Schools are a peanut free zone. In saying that I worry, as I hear stories about kids who do bring a Nutella sandwich to school and get sent down to the office to eat it. What if my son touches something like that and has a reaction? I’ve been reinforcing daily how important that Lucas eat his lunch only and no swapping snacks with anyone. From what I understand they also enforce that at school as well. Lucas is very aware of his peanut allergy and understands when we say he can’t have something as it may contain peanuts/tree nuts. He realizes it will make him sick as he will ask us “Mommy, does this may contain?” We are very fortunate that he understands that and he always tells people he is allergic. At the age of 3, that impresses a lot of people.
My child isn’t the first going to school with an allergy and I realize that. I am human and I worry. I put my faith in the school and all you parents out there to watch what you pack for your kids lunches. I hope I’ve created some awareness for all kids with an allergy. Be aware of what snacks and food items your sending with your children to school. Look for the peanut free symbol on food for items you send with your kids. We want all our children to be safe at school including the kids with allergies.
I’m Daniela, very proud stay at home Mom of 2 boys, Lucas 3 (almost 4), and Joshua 17 months. I cook, I clean, and hold the fort down! Married for 14 years to my wonderful and hardworking husband Kevin. Took us awhile to have kids, so blessed we are to have our boys! Good things do happen to those who wait.