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(*see bottom of this page for info on outgrown allergy)

You Are Not Alone!

Being informed that your child has a severe food allergy brings an enormous amount of anxiety and stress. Many children have an initial reaction that is considered to be "mild", but we all know anaphylaxis could be around the corner. The stress level is great from here on in, and the allergy forces an incredible change in lifestyle.

You may find that the involvement of this allergy in your life brings with it isolation. If you do not isolate your family, you are not safe... or at least that is how you feel. Everyday with this allergy causes a new challenge whether it is daycare, school, going to a friends, or on a holiday.

There is no end to the worry this allergy causes. You have likely heard or will hear a thousand times, "It's okay, we can take care of him. You don't need to be so worried, it can't be that bad."

Actually, it can, and that is how we as parents lose our freedom as individuals. We have a level of fear about leaving our allergic child with anyone but us. We are afraid that if we leave him this time, it could be the last time. You feel you are only in control when you are present, but it is not possible to never leave your child. Nor is it healthy, for you or your child.

You must find a balance between the two. Dealing with the stress alone is enough to break the back of a strong person. Let alone dealing with the stress it is causing your child and family members. Make sure you reach out to friends and family and allow them to support you. There are likely local support groups - as you know millions of people live with a peanut allergy in their family.

If you cannot find a local support group, start one. You are not alone - there are others like you. If you can't find someone locally, start one through the Peanut Aware Forum - that is why it is here.

Be sure that this allergy does not consume you - you can keep your child safe. Through knowledge, vigilance and being prepared you will persevere.

If You Are One of The Lucky Ones!!

Much of todays research is showing that should your child be lucky enough to outgrow their peanut allergy - you will need to make sure they consume it
regularily in their new diet. This has to do with keeping the body desensitized.

If you were to continue to keep it out of their diet - there is an extremely good chance, as current data shows, that their body will resensitize to nuts. Obviously, speak to your allergist if your child outgrows it - but I would suggest keeping the medication onhand for quite a while just in case.

There is a child in my eldest son's class who has outgrown her allergy in the last few months and her mother has reincorporated it into their home and has been successful. Let's hope we all have this opportunity.

News Link:

Outgrown Peanut Allergy (Jan 07/05)

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