Saturday, April 21, 2007

What part of anaphylactic to peanuts don't you understand?

We were playing outside my mom's house today, and the 4-year-old girl from across the street came to join us. She really likes playing with Andrew when their schedules coincide — she's in daycare, and has a few classes scheduled too, so they only see each other once a month or so.

She went back inside at some point, and came out with dog cookies for her huge and friendly dog. Her dad assured us that the cookies were home-made, totally safe for dogs, adults and kids. He listed the ingredients, which included peanut butter.

My stomach churned, and my blood pressure went up, and then I reminded him that Andrew's allergic to peanuts — he'd been told before, but we don't see him very often. He let his daughter feed one cookie to her dog, and then took the tin away from her.

And then the dog proceeded to try to lick all of us. And the dad explained that "he's a licky dog, has been since he was a puppy."

So, what part of anaphylactic to peanuts do you not understand?

I should have just taken the kids inside, but instead, I just tried to keep Andrew away from the dog. He did most of it himself — he doesn't like overly-friendly big dogs anyways. Geoff is fascinated by dogs, so I wasn't so successful at keeping him away, but then again, we don't know if he's allergic to peanuts or not, though he's scratch-tested negative so far.

At the time, it didn't feel right to ask the dad to just put the dog in his back yard while the kids were playing, but that's probably what I should have done. We were only outside playing for half an hour, and then the kids got thirsty and wanted to go inside. (I'd also taken them to the park for an hour earlier, so they had plenty of outside play time.)


The Fairy Princess said...

Hi, I was searching for the subject of "anaphylactic to peanuts" and came across your blog post here. While no one in my family is allergic to peanuts, as a mother I would have requested the dog leave the yard to taken the kids inside until the dog left. Probably would have come off as a bitch that way, but if your kids are allergic to something like peanuts then the little girl's father should have understood.
I'm hoping you can help me with something here though. I was searching yahoo answers because I asked at what age is ok for a child to start eating peanuts (my daughter is 3) and I came across something that a mother was wanting to ban peanuts from parks and other public places because she and her children are anaphylactic to peanuts. She said that if she is at the park and sees a family with peanuts or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she has to take her family and leave. The question I found was a resolved question so I can't ask her. Can you help me understand her want of this "no peanuts" rule for parks? I just always assumed that if you were allergic to peanuts that as long as you didn't eat them that you would be fine.

wenat said...

If a child isn't allergic to peanuts, then he or she can start eating them at any age.

The park problem is because some kids have contact reactions to peanuts -- and peanut butter is notoriously hard to scrub off a kid's hands and face and shirt and anywhere else that they touch.

Andrew has had skin rashes from contact to peanut butter. My nightmare is that he touches peanut butter residue and then rubs his eyes.

I suspect that would lead to hives in his eyes -- something I don't want to think about!