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Helpful family members and friends

Birthday Parties:

My son's best friend's parents made a special cup cake treat for him and made sure the party was peanut safe.


My anaphylactic son's peer group/classmates play watch dog over snacks at recess or snacks brought into the classroom and alert my son of children to avoid in case those children consumed a food that contained peanut/nut products. Along the same line, those children who ask my son or myself if a particular snack is safe to consume before they consume it.

Lesson Learned: Children are more tolerant of other children's differences and are more willing to cooperate in a safe food policy. The education of anaphylaxis begins with the children who, in turn, educate their parents.


Sebastian's older brother (6) is very protective, and does his best to make sure Sebastian does not touch anything with peanuts.


At my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, my brother, who was the MC, made an announcement that there were three young children in the group with life-threatening allergies. He asked the guests to check with the parents first before offering them any food. I had not asked him to do this, but was very touched that he would think of it�something very simple. In a large crowd, things get overlooked.

At this same party, it was my aunt who alerted me to the fact that large bowls of a snack mix with peanuts had been put around the room. We quickly gathered up the bowls and put them away. Tactfully, we told the person who brought them that they would be unsafe to have around, as there were three children, under the age of 6, with a life-threatening allergy to peanuts.

Lesson Learned: Educate your friends and relatives. They will often alert you to things that may get overlooked. The announcement was a good idea. Adults are always trying to give snacks to young children, not realizing that they could be harmful. And you can easily become distracted when there is a large crowd.


Family and friends go out of their way to accommodate my son's food allergies at events where food is served. The desserts are usually home-baked. My family members do not have any nut products in their homes so it is safe for my son to visit. Friends give up peanut products for the day and do extensive cleaning before my son visits for a play date. Our next-door neighbour every year prepares a special Halloween loot bag containing safe treats and items for my children.

Lesson Learned: Most people are understanding and will try to cooperate. Those who don't are usually a small minority.


My neighbour, Chris, goes out of her way to ensure that my son is kept safe and can be included in many activities. Her kids are reminded about Julian's allergy and make sure that they don't consume peanut butter before he comes over. (And they often remind her, too.) If lunch is going to be served, she confirms the menu with me. (I have gone over ways to reduce cross-contact during food preparation - e.g. new butter for Kraft Dinner, clean cooking utensils/cutting board). For birthday parties, she sticks to treats/foods which have been approved by us, uses a cake mix and icing which is okay, and saves the packaging from all foods to be served so that I can double check them when I drop him off. For Hallowe'en, she prepares a special loot bag with non-food items, plus a large size treat, which is safe for him. She has been a great sounding board as well. I often ask her opinion about anaphylaxis issues at the school, as she can provide the point of view of the non-allergic community. On her own, Chris, wrote Nestl�, asking them to reverse their decision, on behalf of my son and others like him. We feel truly blessed to have such a good friend nearby.

Lesson Learned: There are many people who will go out of their way to help your child. It's important to thank them and for your child to recognize what others do for him. Also, use these people as a sounding board to get the perspective of a parent of a non-allergic child. They can give you a more objective idea of what is reasonable to ask of others.


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