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How careful are you with nuts if your child doesn't have allergies (ie residue and potential harm...

post #1 of 112
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure exactly how to put this question. My kids do not have any allergies. My kids eat a lot of nuts - tree nuts and peanuts both. They eat peanut butter and other nut butters. Nuts are a big part of our diet here.

I worry about them being covered with nut dust and having potential peanut butter smears on them and then taking them out. Like I take them to the park, they get peanut butter on them, etc. I know one little girl who will get a big welt on her arm if you have touched something containing nuts and then touch her arm. I know how sensitive this allergy can be. How careful should I be? How careful are you?

I'm hoping both moms with kids WITH and WITHOUT allergies will reply. What do moms with nut-allergic kids want us to know/do? I want to be considerate, but I don't know how much I need to do.
post #2 of 112

It's in the back of my mind. I try to avoid buying the kids any snacks with peanuts in them and we only have almond butter at home. A lot of places around here are peanut-free (i.e. kids lessons and activities). If, for some reason, I have a peanut snack for the kids I have them eat it away from other kids and wash their hands and face afterwards. I wouldn't say I'm overly vigilant  though. My little daycare girl brings peanut butter from home and I don't make her brush her teeth and have a shower before we go out or anything. 

post #3 of 112

honestly it doesn't effect what/how i feed my kids nuts at all unless there's a child with nut allergies in class and i'm bringing in something for the whole class. then of course i'm super careful. 

post #4 of 112

We avoid bringing nut-laced things to school or other places with nut bans but that's about it. We consume many nut products and I'm not overly vigilant unless I know we'll be coming into contact with someone that has an allergy. Otherwise I just make sure we wash our hands and go on our way. 

post #5 of 112

My son is a very neat eater, getting smears of peanut butter on him would be rare and it would bother him. But I don't offer him peanut butter snacks before we go out if we are going to be with kids with nut allergies. I'll wash my hands, around my mouth, and brush my teeth before going out (I like peanut butter on toast for breakfast). But I don't worry as much about it if we aren't meeting people that I know have allergies. Still, we aren't walking around with PB smears on us. I just figure I'm not going to be kissing anyone when I run errands so I might not wash my face.   

post #6 of 112
Thread Starter 
Well, hmm. One likes peanuts in the shell and has bits of peanut shell over her pretty often, and the other likes peanut butter and gets her food in her hair every time she eats somehow, plus on her clothes.
post #7 of 112

Wow.  I seriously never thought twice about giving my little one peanut butter and then going to the playground or somewhere where he might smear fingerprints on the equipment or other kids.  I'll have to be more conscious of that in the future.  I doubt I'd do an extra tooth-brushing or shower or something, but I will try to wipe him down with a wet cloth.  As far as I know we've never known a child with a serious nut allergy.  I actually can't think of anyone that's had any sort of nut allergy.  My older one goes to a tiny school though.


Both of my children have decided recently decided that they don't like peanut butter any more, so this might not be much of an issue for us.  

post #8 of 112

My sons daycare, and the school he will go to in the fall, do not allow anything with nuts at all. So he doesn't eat nuts at school. But he eats a granola bar with peanut butter everyday after school - it prevents pretty major meltdowns.

post #9 of 112

I do not send my kids to school with nut products, nor do we eat overtly nut products during breakfast on school days.  There are two highly allergic children in my boys' class and while they're older now and very knowledgeable about how to protect themselves...when I was a preschool teacher I had to use an epi-pen on one of my students because another student's parent sent them to class with a handful of peanuts in their pocket (despite the fact that we had repeatedly asked for them not to do stupid things like that).  I have never forgotten the terror I felt seeing a child go into anaphylaxis and having to stab them with a needle and call 911.  So I just screw around with that stuff, even if it's inconvenient for me.  I'll never forget that incident as long as I live.

post #10 of 112

I am not particularly careful about nuts unless I know we are around a nut allergic child.We don't know anyone with a severe nut allergy.  Our preschool is not nut-free. Our public K next year is not nut-free. There are one or two children with mild nut reactions and they eat lunch at a separate table with kids that don't have nuts in their lunch that day. The school doesn't use peanuts in snacks it serves but it does often have almond butter with an alternative. There are one or two kids with a lot of allergies of various degrees and they just bring their own snack. We don't send it but pb&j is a super popular lunch at the school.


Peanut-free is really annoying but that doesn't mean I would complain or send anything that didn't comply. And it doesn't mean I am not sympathetic. It just doesn't really effect our lives.

post #11 of 112

Dd has always been homeschooled and we didn't frequent public playgrounds a lot when she was younger so it wasn't much of an issue. No one we were hanging out with had a nut allergy.

I don't go out and about in public carrying around nuts or nut products but I suppose we may have some residue from eating these things at home.

post #12 of 112
Originally Posted by SimonMom View Post

honestly it doesn't effect what/how i feed my kids nuts at all unless there's a child with nut allergies in class and i'm bringing in something for the whole class. then of course i'm super careful. 

This.  Unless I know my child will be in contact with a child with nut allergies, I wouldn't even give it a thought.  


I'd never send treats to school that contained nuts...but, I wouldn't withold it from her lunch  box. 


We still eat at Texas Road house, and I shop after eating a whole bucket of peanuts... I've never thought much about the nut dust on my hands after eating there.

post #13 of 112

I did not give it much thought, until recently.  But then I learned that one of my DD's friends has a peanut allergy and an epi-pen.  I just started babysitting her little brother and her occasionally, and I decided that I just wouldn't even have any nut products in the house because I just feel safer doing that.  We are not big consumers of nuts, but I will grab sunbutter instead of peanut butter from now on.

post #14 of 112

Right now we don't take any type of precautions at all. Obviously if they had peanut butter smeared all over their hands their hands would be washed before we went out. The school the older kids attend is private and does not admit children with any type of severe allergy so we don't worry about it there.


We live next door to a playground and I've never thought about the kids going out to play with nut dust or residue on them. Again if their hands/face/clothes are dirty they need to be washed or changed. We live on a military base so I guess I just assume if a child in our neighborhood of 70 houses had a severe allergy they would let everyone know or post signs at the playground.


When our oldest attended a ballet class with a child who had a peanut allergy we didn't serve anything with peanuts that day, didn't bring peanut containing snacks for the younger kids to eat while we waited during the class, and changed clothes/washed hands and faces the one time one of the kids got into some peanut butter crackers the same day as the class. 

post #15 of 112
We are allowed to send peanut butter/nuts to school for lunch but not to be eaten in the classroom. However, I will not send my child to school with nuts. She prefers sunbutter, so that's easy. 2 of her friends are allergic to nuts, and my own dd was diagnosed with an almond allergy. We had to strictly avoid nuts for a year until she had a food challenge, which she thankfully passed. If she has almonds, I have her wash her hands. She doesn't eat peanut butter at all, but if she did, I'd have her wash her face as well. It's' not worth the risk of hurting someone else.
post #16 of 112

My kids go to a small school, and currently there aren't any kids at the school with peanut/nut allergies. We are allowed to send in peanut butter sandwiches and all that, but they have made it clear that the minute a kid enrolls with with allergies, the policy could change over night.


I think that in your park example, there's no point in being over careful. Playground equipment is constantly touched by kids who pick their noses and don't wash their hand well after pottying. It's pretty gross if you think about it. But between the occasional rainstorm and the sun doing it's best to bake things off, we all consider it "clean enough."  I wouldn't let my kids run around with food, mostly because after touching the equipment I thought they should WASH their hands before they eat. 

post #17 of 112

We eat nuts normally unless specifically told not to bring them and follow regular hygiene practices (like washing off smears of PB). We do have nut-allergic kids both at school and at a Saturday activity, but neither place is entirely nut-free. If told about a situation where we will be in contact with an allergic child, we comply with whatever restrictions are required. We have very good friends and family members with celiac and have seen a child have to advocate for her own health at a very young age, so we do try to be mindful and helpful where possible.


That said, I wonder about the effectiveness of the total nut-free practice. For example, the other day my DD brought leftover pad thai to school for lunch - an allergic person could have potentially had an anaphylactic reaction to either the peanuts, the shrimp or the egg in it, but only the peanuts would be banned from school? Flowers are still planted outside school even though some people have anaphylactic reactions to bee stings. Since no location can be guaranteed 100% free of anything, perhaps more effort should go into education, preventive procedures (I can definitely see the need for peanut-free tables at lunch, and we know kids with health IEPs with certain other precautionary measures like the whole class having to wash hands at certain times), emergency measures? I do not have an allergic child, though, and those who do may feel completely differently.

post #18 of 112

Browsed the thread.


My little one isn't eating peanut butter yet, but husband and I actually discussed (because it had come up on the television) the possibility that one of her classmates and possibly one of her dear friends in the future may have a severe nut allergy.

We discussed it while I was happily working on a spoon of peanut butter.

I've never been careful with my nut residues.  If the she-tyrant brings home a friend that needs an epi-pen if nut dust blows on them, I'm going to be in for one heck of a learning experience.

It's not the same, but I imagine that when we're exposed to multiple children and the possibility exists that someone might have an allergy, I'll treat the situation the same way I behave when I'm feeding something I prepared to a group of people; I either know who abstains from what, or I announce the potentially taboo ingredients.  For example, when I make meatballs and I say, to the group:  "I made meatballs.  They have pork in them." and this allows anyone in the group who keeps halal, kosher or eats vegetarian to skip the meatballs without a whole big to-do. 

But I clearly need to educate myself on which foods are most commonly highly allergenic.  My family has no food allergies so I have no idea what kinds of things people are allergic to.  Except nuts, of course I'm aware of that.

post #19 of 112

We eat a lot of nuts and peanut butter. We have moved around a fair bit, and not once have my children been allowed to bring any kind of peanut product into any school that they've attended. I don't think about it regularly, but I suppose that I am so used to being nut free with lunches and school snacks that I think about it if I am packing anything to take to the park. Also, as others have posted, my kids will wash their faces and hands after eating and before going out. I assume that cuts down on most of the contact issues.

post #20 of 112
We don't take any precautions. At my dd's school they have a separate table for kids who eat pb&j but even there that is enough of a precaution. We have rarely encountered a place that asked for parents to send in nut free lunches and it really never occurred to me to worry about peanut residue just as I don't expect people to worry about their cat dander when I am out and about.
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