Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday Stumper

I was out with kids at an event and there were snacks on a table. It was just a small affair and we were just dropping by. The snacks included a box of cheez-its, a bag of trail mix laden with nuts, including peanuts, and a bag of miniature chocolate candy bars.

A man says, "Help yourself to the snacks. The kids can have any of it."

I said, "Oh, no, that's okay. My son's allergic to peanuts so I'm gonna keep them away from the food."

Man: "Oh, well, there are candy bars. They can have those. Chocolate and... Snickers!"

He smiled proudly like he was offerring my kids a wonderful treat.

Maybe he doesn't eat Snickers and he doesn't realize they are made with peanuts. Or, maybe they are his favorite candy bar and he just wasn't thinking. He didn't catch the confused look I gave him.

It was a reminder that some people hear peanut allergy and think "no peanuts" but don't clue in to the fact that it also meants "no products that contain peanuts". Honestly, it is hard for me to understand how someone can't get that. I try to remind myself that while I have been aware of food allergies for 5 years, other people have zero experience with food allergies.

Luckily my kids didn't get upset about not getting any food.

21 comments:

McCrakensx4 said...

Gosh...that must be so hard! Your kids are so lucky to have you!!! I think you are right about people not realizing the severity and that it is a lifestyle. I don't think I gave it much thought, until Mimi's kids were diagnosed and I had a student who had an allery. You are a good woman for making it known though!!

Thanks so much for all of your kind words and prayers for Colin! As soon as he left me to get weighed I started crying and praying! I was pitiful, but he came out with all smiles so I knew it went well!!! Hope you are having a great weekend!
♥Stacey

Beth E. said...

I know what you mean! Even people in the food industry seem to be ignorant of that fact. When we took our youngest son to college orientation, I asked the cook if there were any nuts in the desserts, explaining that he is deathly allergic to tree nuts. She went to check the ingredients, came back and said, "No nuts. Only pecan meal." ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Somehow, I kept my composure and informed her that pecan meal is ground up pecans! I told our son to stick with eating ice cream or Oreos for dessert, and that I'll send him regular care packages. Sheesh.

Nicole said...

Seems pretty straightforward doesn't it? That Snickers contain peanuts? When I talk about my son's peanut allergy sometimes people will refer to it as a peanut butter allergy. Like maybe whole peanuts don't pose a problem but peanut butter does. I'm not sure, but it definitely gives a good indication of who you can trust with your allergic child.

RLR said...

Wow. Just wow. I tried not to be shocked when a server at a local restaurant told me that their salad dressing didn't have eggs in it, just mayonnaise. But not clueing in that Snickers have peanuts?!? Perhaps he didn't think of 'candy' as also being 'food'?
I really should not be shocked - similar situations happen to us frequently enough that I am often not surprised anymore and just offer a cheerful reminder that, yes, mayonnaise is made with eggs (or whatever the appropriate reminder is for the situation).
It's really great that your kids didn't get upset about needing to pass on the treats. My guy is getting better at it now that he's older. It's so nice to see siblings caring about each other that way!

Anonymous said...

I find that unless you have food allergies in your life, people really don't get it.

Linda

He & Me + 3 said...

I know...It blows my mind that some people can be so oblivious when it comes to food allergies. Hello? A nut could kill my kid...what doesn't sound important about that? Thank God our kids are now old enough to ask and be careful for themselves. It can be so scary at times.

everydayMOM said...

and they have no clue that once the kids stick their hands in the trail mix with the peanuts, and then the crackers that everything is contaminated.

Alicia said...

Wow! I just don't think people realize how severe a peanut allergy can be. Honestly, I'm one of those people..until now. You really made me aware of how dangerous that could be! I know to take it serous!

Carrie said...

So scary that other people may not get it...but you have raised awesome kids who look out for themselves and each other! I taught Sunday School today and we gave milk with their snack...and all the kids were happy to have it. One of the kid's dad came in, just as they were about to drink and said..."Oh, by the way, my son is allergic to milk!" Yikes! I didn't even think to ask the kids if they had any allergies, but the little boy who was 4, didn't say a word! I'm so glad you are an awesome parent always on gaurd!

MiMi said...

I fall into the category in between. I get it, but I sometimes can forget...it's amazing how many things are made in the same place as something made with peanuts. It's hard to know sometimes.
I bet that guy had NO.CLUE. what he did. What a dork.

Kimberly said...

I have to be honest and say my hubby has made almost that exact same mistake. I think guys brains work differently than a woman's. My girls on the other hand are still so cautious and I LOVE that. Rather cautious and careful then clueless and careless!!!

Mimi said...

That's gotta be hard. It's so odd, because I'm 42 and I don't remember kids having these bad allergies when I was growing up.

Sneaky Momma said...

Bless your heart, Jane Anne. If I had to deal with that kind of stupidity on a daily basis, I think I'd go insane.
I understand people not understanding why kids with peanut allergies cannot have crackers without peanuts (that might have been made on the same line, etc.), but it still drives me batty when they push the issue.

samantha said...

What great kids you have!!!

Jessica said...

We had that issue when we took Jackson off all milk products. We told and told my mother in law all the foods he couldn't have. When we got back from our outing (she was watching him) she told us all the food he ate. She mentioned that she tried to give him cheese but he wouldn't eat it. We were like--cheese is a milk product. She was like--ooohhh, hmm....

John and Carrie said...

It is crazy the stories that parents of children w/special medical needs (like food) have! At Sarah's 2 yr well child visit, I had just finished explaining to her new pediatrician about her aspiration and thickening all her liquids. A few minutes later, she asked about what Sarah ate/drink and I told her she loves to drink milk. She said, oh well you should water it down when she asks for the refill at the meal. I was speechless and stumped like you were in your situation. "umm...NO I can't and won't, remember we have to thicken all her liquids. Watering her drinks down is the worst thing for her." And that was her pediatrician! Yeah...we switched health plans/doctors a few months later!

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

First off, those offerings are a pathetic attempt at snacks. Secondly, I wish there were a national awareness campaign regarding food allergies. This is a harsh comparison, but that man innocently offering snacks to kids that may be life-threatening to them is like saying, "here kids...would you like a handgun to play with?" Obviously, he'd never say that but he just doesn't 'get it.' I wish there were public service ads (or some other way to spread the word) to adults who have never thought about food allergies.

Whew...where did that mini-rant come from?

Foursons said...

I think that man was an idiot.

Jane Anne said...

I feel compelled to say that I know the man. I was not trying to say that he wasn't smart or nice, even. I guess my point was and is that I am constantly surprised by the reactions I get to my son's peanut allergy and to the lack of understanding as to what it means. The candy suggestion was mind boggling to me. And, again, it was a good reminder that I cannot assume anything when it comes to someone else's understanding of a food allergy.

Sarah said...

Oh I cringe at these situations. My son is allergic to dairy eggs and peanuts. The worst for me is when someone tries to accomidate Hudson's allergies but doesn't quite get it. (I used margarine in this dish is a common one). I have taken to packing food for him when ever we go to other's houses.
Well anyway all that to say I feel your pain. :)

SnoWhite said...

Just peaking around your blog a bit and noticed the "allergy" category. I have tree nut allergies and avoid peanuts due to cross-contamination. It has been an eye opening experience to teach even my hubby, about allergies!