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cheeranddancemom03

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We just found out that my dancer is severely allergic to even touch traces of peanuts and tree nuts. How would we go about handling her touching the mats, barres, and floor without having her go into anaphylaxis?
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #2 
To be totally honest that's something I would discuss with your doctor and studio. Not sure that's something you want to be getting advice on the Internet for.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #3 
So sorry your family is dealing with such a severe allergy! How did you find out? Has she had reactions? I was a food allergy kid in an era when there was no awareness at all. But, at least my allergens were easy to avoid (except with one lunch room aide who made me clean my plate which is how we learned that my allergy was worse than originally thought!)

There are several organizations and some forums similar to this for families dealing with these types of allergies. i imagine you will get the best advice there. I do recall a young dancer at dd's studio with a severe allergy. They simply had the children wash their hands before class. I do not know if they wiped down the barre beforehand, but that might be something to consider. There was a routine notice about bringing nut containing products to performances and the like but no outright rule against them. A sort of "please be aware that we have some children with severe allergies to nuts." The kids tend to be very supportive of their friends in these situations. I can remember my own daughter not wanting to eat peanut butter crackers in the car when she was in kindergarten because "what if we need to drive her friend home?" 
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #4 
At our first studio we had a child was was so allergic to nuts she couldn't go the grocery store if they had an open bulk food section without having a reaction.  The studio was entirely nut free but one day one of the kids in the class before hers had peanut butter for dinner and didn't wash their hands.  She used the barre before the allergic girl and the allergic girl had a touch reaction.  After that a letter went home to all parents, everything was wiped down after every class and we didn't have any more issues.

Second studio was also nut free due to allergic students and everyone was very good about not even consuming nut products on dance days.
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dancermom28

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Reply with quote  #5 
The only thing you can do is talk to the Studio Owner and let them be aware that your daughter is allergic to nuts. You may have to remind them a few times and also let other parents know of your daughter's allergies. However, it is up to other parents to follow the no nut policy, since you can't restrict other's diet also. 
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mcshells

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Reply with quote  #6 
I wouldn't rely on other parents' following the no-nut outside of the studio... for instance peanut butter for breakfast or dinner right before dance class. That would be a lot to ask strangers and then have faith they would follow (given the example up above).

I would talk to studio owner and perhaps all your daughter's teachers and equip your daughter with the knowledge and the teachers with the tools ... ie - wipes to wipe down the bar before she touches it... the mats etc that she will be using. Have an epi-pen at the ready etc.

I'm all for following the policy of no nuts in the studio/classrooms at school etc. and i'm usually pretty aware if we have our nut-allergy friends over (to ensure we have cleaned every surface and haven't had nuts that day etc.) but sometimes a peanut butter sandwich on the way to dance or a peanut butter protein bar... or a smoothie with peanut butter gets eaten before dance class (outside of the studio of course).

We are in a day where the responsibility falls on everyone to ensure the safety of the child with the nut allergy - - and I'm ok with that; however, if it were my child I would ensure that s/he was educated and if it was a severe touch allergy I would arm the teachers and my child with lysol wipes etc. if that helped.
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Psmom

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Reply with quote  #7 
Did your dd's doctor refer you to someone who teaches adaptive living? If not seek that out for yourself. This is something you'll have to be very proactive about Other people aren't going to always remember. It's not malicious, just human nature. Keep epi pens at the studio. From my understanding, it's the delay in using the epi pen that leads to severe outcomes. Bring in your own Lysol wipes for the bar. Teach your dd to never touch her face without washing her hands first. Make sure your studio sends out a notice to the entire studio about the severity of the allergy.

Edited to add-include a letter from your daughters doctor explaining the allergy with the studio email or many people won't take it seriously. Unfortunately a lot of people report allergies that are self diagnosed and incorrect. It leads many of us to be very skeptical.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #8 
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... We are in a day where the responsibility falls on everyone to ensure the safety of the child with the nut allergy...


RE: the bolded...  While I'd agree that many may believe the responsibility should fall on everyone, I've read/heard enough discussions on the subject that I know that not everyone is on board.   And given that, if it were my child, I'd always assume that there was always someone in the vicinity who didn't get the memo/didn't take the memo seriously.... & behave according.    

OP, can I ask what you do on buses/trains and planes, at hotels & restaurants, amusement parks & movie theatres and bowling alleys, in shopping malls, grocery stores & dressing rooms? Whatever it is, if it were my child, I'd be doing the same thing at the dance studio.  You can inform the world & request that everyone take your child's situation seriously but ultimately you have no control over anyone but yourself.  Better safe than sorry.
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dancemonkey

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Reply with quote  #9 
I have some questions. Did your child have a reaction to a trace amount of peanut that was airborne? It's very challenging to have a Tree Nut allergy. And expensive. Does your insurance cover your epi pens? Another question is how old is your dancer?
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JulieDB

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Reply with quote  #10 
The problem is that trace amounts of nuts can lurk anywhere.  Even if the studio did put a ban on nuts, all it would take would be someone to bring in some chocolate or something from a bakery.  People who don't have to avoid nuts might not know this.  I remember one year at our studio, we were told that the treat bags being sold for recital were nut free.  So imagine my surprise when I bit into what I thought was a Skittle and it was an M & M!  Those are not nut free and the packages even say, "May contain".  Peanuts are not an issue for me but dairy is so that didn't work so well for me.  My daughter did have a peanut issue.  Not a life threatening allergy but they did make her sick so thankfully she didn't eat any.

What I would probably do would be to talk to the parent or parents and see what they wanted to have done.  Everyone's comfort level is different when it comes to things like this.

We have had several nut allergic kids at our studio.  I can recall one incident where a girl was joking around but it turned out not to be funny.  She bit into a nut containing candy bar then announced that she had a peanut allergy.  She did not but...  Another girl in the room had a sister who did have a life threatening peanut allergy.  She became hysterical, asking the other girl what would happen to her and trying to get the candy away from her.

We also had a little girl who had a reaction and had to leave class.  Nobody had been eating nuts in the room that we know of but they might have eaten some prior to coming. For some people, even the breathe of a person who has eaten nuts is enough to cause a reaction.

When I worked at my daughter's school, I was put in charge of the allergic children for parties and such.  And that year they put all of the kids with allergies in her class.  But I also went weekly to help with reading.  One the days that I went to school, I made sure that I had no nuts 24 hours prior and that my clothing had been freshly washed.  I tried to be very careful because one girl was very terrified after nearly dying.  So any time I did bring in food, I showed her all of the labels so she wouldn't worry.


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KB

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Reply with quote  #11 
I have a child with a serious peanut allergy, diagnosed six years ago at age 2. We've been dealing with it for a while.

Start with your allergist and determine precisely what allergens you need to worry about and in what ways. (BTW, did she have an actual reaction, out of nowhere, to touching nut protein? That's pretty unusual. Generally allergies that strong are either dangerous from a very young age, or grow worse over time and additional reactions.) A blood test is the first step, but not as informative as the scratch test or a food challenge. Is the touch sensitivity to all nut proteins? Only the peanuts? Is there certainty about the touch sensitivity? What are her symptoms - anaphylaxis, or something else? My DD has had multiple reactions to peanut protein, but they have never been anaphylactic reactions. We have to explain to teachers, etc. that an allergic reaction in her looks very differently from what they may picture from TV!

Once you know what you are dealing with, go learn what you need to know first - YOU will probably have to educate the dance studio, and possibly the school. You do not want to depend on a dance message board!!!

Great resources include FARE and FAAN. Start with their websites and publications. There are also fantastic books out there. But the general public is not well educated yet, and you need to know what you're talking about in order to communicate your dancer's needs with the studio.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #12 
slight hijack:

FAAN! I was trying so hard to remember the name and couldn't find it via Google. Thank you! 
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cheeranddancemom03

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Reply with quote  #13 
She is 11. We found out when she had lunch at school on Friday. She bit into a PB&J sandwhich as usual and her throat started to swell. She was taken to the hospital and was immediately tested and we were given the news. She has had a few intolerances to cashews and pistachios, but never peanuts. We are still developing a plan for public places. We are thinking about having her carry wipes and all her emergency meds with her at all times. It is not an airborne thing, which is good, but it is most certainly a touch trace thing. She got a pack of EpiPens but I am worried about her needing to use them and be going to the hospital often. She has touch trace sensitivity to peanuts but an allergy to ingesting all other nuts. So far she has only had the one reaction and has gone into anaphylaxis, but hopefully it is not always this bad.
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KB

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Reply with quote  #14 
Make sure you have an allergist - I love our pediatrician, but we learned so much more from the allergist. 

Find allergy parent forums - SO many great ideas there. And support. "The Peanut Allergy Answer Book". 

FAAN has forms for "emergency care" that your doctor would fill out detailing what to do in case of an allergic reaction. Our pediatrician directed us to it, but the school liked it so much the school nurse started having all kids with food allergies fill it out. Get copies to the dance studio adults so that they know what to do. Hopefully your school has lots of experience with this. Our experience has varied - the last two years her teacher also had food allergies, so she completely understood. This year is different...we will see. 

Maybe investigate the Auvi-Q instead of the EpiPen. If your insurance covers it, we LOVE it. It talks you though everything you need to do, step by step. Literally, the device tells you what to do, and waits until you've done it to give you the next instruction! It's ideal for situations where you or a school nurse may not be there and a teacher, dance coach or your daughter needs to administer the injection. It's so easy, more conveniently shaped and sized for carrying in a pocket...seriously, it's amazing. Our pediatrician often has coupons for it so we can get it almost free. Way easier than training everyone and their brother on the EpiPen. 

The object, of course, is to avoid using the EpiPen or Auvi-Q in the first place. Pretty much every reaction they have means that the immune system is getting more revved up and could make the next reaction worse. It's hard for kids to understand sometimes that yes, there is medicine that can help you, but we really, really don't want you to have to use it.




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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #15 

True airborne is very rare, thankfully. There must be actual peanut protein in the air and it must be inhaled. A terrible sequence of actions would have to occur for that to happen even to the most sensitive. I'm sure many of us have been on planes when they've announced no peanuts will be served for that reason. A plane is an ideal setting for that sort of thing as it is an enclosed space. [frown]

I am not sure how they can know for sure that it is a touch/trace issue as your dd did actually ingest peanut butter when she had the reaction. I am curious how that is determined. Maybe by the severity and speed of the reaction?  Dd had a little girl in her pre-K class who had a reaction to touching a doorknob that had peanut butter residue. Fortunately, the child only had a local reaction (where she touched her own face by her eye) and it was very quickly recognized and treated. My understanding has been that touching the residue is not likely to actually cause a reaction alone. The issue is when they touch the residue and get it in the area of their eyes (as happened to the little girl in dd's class) or in their mouth. So helping train your dd not to touch her face in general would be helpful. 

My first anaphylactic reaction also occured in a school lunchroom. This was many years ago when people were not as informed as they are today. I bought my lunch for pizza day and they had peaches as part of the lunch. I was well aware that I could not eat peaches and left them on my tray. A lunch room aide (might have been a teacher) insisted I clean my plate. Must have been a scary time. No epi-pen then and no epinephrine in the school. After that incident, epinephrine was kept in the school. I also never bought a lunch at school again. 

Anyway, she MUST have her emergency medication with her anywhere she goes. There is no question. 

Do you have other children? There is an increased risk in siblings. When you visit the allergist, if they don't bring this up, you should. 

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cheeranddancemom03

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KB
Make sure you have an allergist - I love our pediatrician, but we learned so much more from the allergist. 

Find allergy parent forums - SO many great ideas there. And support. "The Peanut Allergy Answer Book". 

FAAN has forms for "emergency care" that your doctor would fill out detailing what to do in case of an allergic reaction. Our pediatrician directed us to it, but the school liked it so much the school nurse started having all kids with food allergies fill it out. Get copies to the dance studio adults so that they know what to do. Hopefully your school has lots of experience with this. Our experience has varied - the last two years her teacher also had food allergies, so she completely understood. This year is different...we will see. 

Maybe investigate the Auvi-Q instead of the EpiPen. If your insurance covers it, we LOVE it. It talks you though everything you need to do, step by step. Literally, the device tells you what to do, and waits until you've done it to give you the next instruction! It's ideal for situations where you or a school nurse may not be there and a teacher, dance coach or your daughter needs to administer the injection. It's so easy, more conveniently shaped and sized for carrying in a pocket...seriously, it's amazing. Our pediatrician often has coupons for it so we can get it almost free. Way easier than training everyone and their brother on the EpiPen. 

The object, of course, is to avoid using the EpiPen or Auvi-Q in the first place. Pretty much every reaction they have means that the immune system is getting more revved up and could make the next reaction worse. It's hard for kids to understand sometimes that yes, there is medicine that can help you, but we really, really don't want you to have to use it.




The doctor prescribed EpiPen and we have already picked it up. I will look into Auvi-Q for thr next round.
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #17 
She's 11? Huh. Last I heard you had 12 year old twins and a 14 year old. Is this another child?
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Psmom

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancermom128
She's 11? Huh. Last I heard you had 12 year old twins and a 14 year old. Is this another child?


cheeranddancemom03

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Posted Aug 19 ยท Edited         #1
I found this lovely website and I wanted to say hi. I have two twin daughters who are twelve and a fourteen year old daughter who unfortunately passed a year ago due to an ED. One of my twins is an all star cheerleader but she takes rec classes at my other DD's studio. My girls love to dance and I was excited to find a forum for moms like us.
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Psmom

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Reply with quote  #19 
Don't play this game here.
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #20 
I guess with all the sick kids it could be tough to remember how old your kids are.
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My2DanceLoves

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Reply with quote  #21 
Lmao ....
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cheeranddancemom03

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancermom128
She's 11? Huh. Last I heard you had 12 year old twins and a 14 year old. Is this another child?

I'm sorry. I have had a very eventful weekend and am exhausted beyond belief. They also turned twelve right before I joined the boards.
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #23 
Convenient. I hope to God you really don't have kids and that you've just made it your mission to mess with us. Because the alternative is just too scary to think about. You've outstayed your welcome. Again.
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emmymom

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Reply with quote  #24 
Wasn't the other mother with the 15 Christmas trees, the grand staircase, the grand foyer and grand life with all the kids who were either broken boned or suffering some other way, wasn't she tumbledancecheermama or something as her user name?  Seems kind of coincidental...
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmymom
Wasn't the other mother with the 15 Christmas trees, the grand staircase, the grand foyer and grand life with all the kids who were either broken boned or suffering some other way, wasn't she tumbledancecheermama or something as her user name?  Seems kind of coincidental...


Of course. It's a reoccurring theme and she always manages to trip herself up at some point. Usually forgets someone's age or name. And there's always twins. Who of course dance and tumble.
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