A big thank you to podcast listener Sandy from Scottsdale, Arizona who asked:
My son has a severe allergy to tree nuts. How do I keep him safe at birthday parties without tagging along or not letting him go?
Great question! Well into the start of the school year birthday party season is upon us.
Does your child understand his allergy and the potential risks associated with contact of the allergen (in this case tree nuts)? If so you are off to a perfect start. If not this is a MUST needed conversation. No matter how young, with life threatening allergies in question, it is important for the child to know they have to stay away and what to do in case of contact.
Talk to the hosting parents. Let them know about your sons allergy and find out what they will be serving. If almonds are the birthday boys favorite snack it might be a good idea to let this party slide. Have this conversation in private to avoid embarrassing your son. You may find that the parents already know, often kids are more aware than we give them credit for. When planning parties my kids have often said “mom don’t forget so-and-so has this allergy, so we CAN’T have it”. I have been lectured many times by children as young as 5!
Have cards made up for your son to carry. The size of a business card that can be given to the host. The card should contain your cell and home phone numbers along with instructions on what to do if contact is made with an allergen. In the case of anaphylaxis it’s also a good idea to have your doctor’s contact info on the card. Remind your son that he is allowed to call you any time, no matter what.
Now relax! You’ve got this. First parties without mom are harder on us than on them! Trust your son to call you if he needs you.
This question was answered in Episode 007: Halloween – How Much Candy is Too Much
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