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My young adult son was accidentally exposed to peanut butter in the college dining hall that was added to a dish by a new chef who was uninformed about peanut allergy. (This happened even though we met with the dining managers before our son started school to insure his safety. Although ingredient labels were implemented, the new cook staff was uneducated about peanut allergy and added peanut butter without checking.)

Thankfully my son's roommates were with him at the time and had been trained on how to administer the epinephrine injection and they called an ambulance. The college contacted me the same night to explain what happened and more importantly to confirm that peanut butter was added to a dish that John had eaten before and thought was safe.

A few things for parents to take from our experience.

1) Meet with college dining services before your child starts school. Make them aware that peanut allergy can be life -threatening to your child and confirm that food handles are also educated about peanut allergy. 2) Meet with your child's roommates to educate them on how to administer epinephrine in an emergency and the importance of calling an ambulance after giving the injection.

Hugs and thank you for taking such great care of your grandson! Kids are amazingly resilient. We can teach them to take precautions to be safe without living in constant fear. It's like teaching kids how to cross the street in traffic - it becomes second nature to look both ways, listen for sounds of oncoming traffic, and proceed with caution. It's the same with food allergies - read labels, ask questions, carry epinephrine, and know how to use it.

My Grandson is now 11 years old and was diagnosed with a level 6 peanut allergy when he was very little....they caught it (thank God) when doing some other testing for a skin rash he had. He seems to have a very good understanding of when he needs to do when eating with people who may not know about this. I on the other hand....the Grandma....have nightmares at times. Not often, but every once in a while....I get gripped with fear. I always remind myself that he is a smart boy and is being educated by his parents as well as me....to let people know...ask questions...and such. He said to me the other day when I told him that his Mom's stuffing was quite safe, but stuffing is sometimes made with nuts....and that he should keep this in mind. He said....Grammy, I know...I'm aware, but I'm not scared. I must say, this made me very happy.

Judie

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Kids With Food Allergies
A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
1235 South Clark Street Suite 305, Arlington, VA 22202
Phone: 1-800-7-ASTHMA (1.800.727.8462)
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