Living with a child who has severe food allergies is always challenging. You try to prepare as best you can but I have learned that you have to be one step ahead and a master of anticipation. Recently, we took Mason to see Sesame Street Live at the Providence Performing Arts Center. My wife anticipated that there would be food there and that Mason would want a snack so she packed him a snack bag filled with safe foods and treats so that he could enjoy himself like every other kid at the performance. We left the comfort of our house, our safe zone, as we call it, and headed down town with our Epipen (never leave home without it!), Benadryl, and snack bag. On the way to the show we picked up my niece and my brother-in-law rushed out to say hello and see Mason. He reached in and kissed Mason on his forehead and off we went. Mason and Trinity chatted the whole way to the city, a very long 10 minute drive! Haha! We quickly parked and as my wife took Mason out of the car seat she noticed a huge red welted hive on his forehead. She immediately asked Mason if his head was itchy and if he was scratching it. He said no. My wife and I were going back and forth about why he could have possible had a hive on his forehead when all of a sudden our niece chimed in. She said, “Well my Dad did kiss Mason on the head Auntie.” My wife immediately called my sister and asked if her husband had eaten any nuts or nut products because Mason had a big hive on his head. I could hear my sister in the background yelling, “Oh my God, Yes!, Wayne was eating Reese peanut butter cups before he ran outside to see Mason!” We rushed Mason into the theatre and my wife quickly took him the bathroom and washed his face with soap and water to remove the allergen from the skin. We gave him a dose of Benadryl before the show just to take the itchiness away. In about 10 minutes the hive was gone! We were so lucky that he only kissed him on the forehead and not the lips! If that had been the case it probably would have resulted in us administering the Epipen and a trip to Hasbro children’s Hospital. I often wonder if we can get frequent flyer miles there. So when people call us helicopter parents and accuse of being hyper vigilant we just ignore them. We know that we are doing everything to keep our son safe and if we are helicopter parents then so be it! We always learn from every experience we have with his allergies and there was a take away from this experience also. I have listed some tips below for allergy parents and friends and family of allergy parents! Hope this helps!
1.Only washing with soap and water will remove and allergen from the skin. Hand sanitizer will not remove the allergen from the skin. So if you have eaten nuts or an allergen hand washing with soap is always best! This is the same for washing any cooking implements, pots, pans, utensils , to avoid cross contamination. Soap and water only!
2.Always ask someone, just to remind them, what they have eaten before kissing or touching a child with a food a allergy. Asking doesn’t hurt and it may avoid a trip to the ER!
3.Always travel with Benadryl and your Epipen!
For more information I have found a few very helpful sites.