Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend travel anyone

Weekend travel is so common and we are so blessed when we can enjoy a getaway from the day to day! So as we prepare for yet another travel adventure I cannot help but react to this event on an airplane.

This story just affected me to my core when I read it after it popped up on my personal Facebook page. Our family too, deals with anaphylactic food allergies and we travel and have traveled pretty much without any serious events especially any life threatening situations. That being said, I am so sad that there seems to be such a horrible lack of compassion for  adults and children, who have disabilities which to me can even be a food allergy as it does curtail one’s ability to enjoy certain activities due to environmental factors.

Empathy and compassion accompanied with knowledge and understanding from his fellow fliers would have perhaps not broken the spirit of 7 year-old little Giovanni, who was on a trip with his terminally ill father, a trip that was probably the last one they would ever take together. Can you even imagine how Giovanni felt when he heard a plane full of adults clapping as he left the flight that was supposed to take him home with his family and as he watched one of the attendants smirk at his mother as she told his mom, they should probably drive.

A seven year old little boy now has to remember that adults were happy to see him abandoned to the airport, stranded with his deathly ill dad and his mom at a time when he himself was covered in hives, scratching all over.

I cannot help but think how it could be that people are so inappropriately reactive and insensitive to another person’s problem. Maybe it was a ‘herd’ reaction but that really is not an excuse for being so out of touch with those in such proximity.

What if someone was having a heart attack. Would the ‘herd’ have responded in the same way?

What if it was you or a family member that needed medical attention just before take-off?

I hope that Giovanni’s physical recovery was uneventful and that emotionally he can put this ugly experience behind him as he enjoys his time with his Dad, who suffers from cancer. I also hope his Dad knows that his son probably will have other experiences during his life related to his allergies and that Giovanni will reflect back on this one as the event that helped him understand and have empathy for those that also have allergies and disabilities. Perhaps Giovanni was concerned even more about his sick Dad than himself as he departed his flight. Kids at seven can be very alarmed when adults around them are sick.



When 7-year-old Giovanni began to break out in hives shortly after boarding a plane in Bellingham, WA, with his parents, the family had no idea that their painful ordeal was just beginning. “He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over,” the boy’s mom, Christina Fabian, told THV11 News. “So we informed the flight attendant, who informed us that there’s dogs on every flight and just smirked . . . which minimized his experience for me.” The allergic reaction delayed takeoff, and eventually, the family was told that they’d have to deboard. “We understood,” Fabian said. “They helped us off the plane, but as we gathered our stuff the people toward the back of the plane clapped.”

Source: Passengers Applaud as Boy With Allergies Is Forced Off Plane | POPSUGAR Moms

So this weekend, I am going to try to be extra sensitive to those around me, even if they are strangers, even if they are delaying me or annoying me for whatever reason. I am as impatient as everyone else these days and I have my moments where I just don’t want to deal with life’s inconveniences.

Although I cannot change anyone, it is possible for me to at least improve my own efforts to express empathy and understanding one day, or even one weekend at a time.

Nut Allergies are NOT Funny!




8. Those a**holes whose nut allergies have ruined peanuts on planes for everybody

via Lost Luggage, Delays, and Other Problems with Air Travel.

Came across this tongue in cheek article in my FB feed along with a response from Scratch or Sniff.

It is difficult for me to understand, why people are offended by anyone, with a severe, potentially fatal nut allergy, requesting fellow passengers on a plane to please refrain from eating nuts.

Having a grandchild with an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts has made me fully aware of how children and adults live with these types of allergies. Monitoring what our grandchild eats is a constant worry for her mom and us as grandparents. Allergic kids pose a serious concern for families.

Ingestion of nuts, skin exposure or inhaling the dust from nuts can cause anaphylaxis and end a child’s life in a matter of minutes.


Using this potentially fatal allergy dilemma as humor and adding this to a list of annoyances during air travel is, in my opinion, thoughtless. We all have snarky comments about air travel these days but if someone was in danger of dying, I would never even think to eat a handful of nuts or complain about my child not being able to eat his PB&J sandwich inflight.

Seriously, just how selfish and unfeeling have we become when traveling?

It seems that there is no longer empathy for the human condition, no matter what it is. Just a few days ago, I read where an UBER driver told a cancer patient she deserved her cancer when she cancelled her booking a few seconds after placing a reservation because she left her head scarf at her chemo treatment. WTH? Have we become that callous?

It seems a bit like “compassion fatigue ” to me. We are bombarded on a daily basis with outrageous news about horrible events occurring around the world. Even the television father that many grew up with on the Cosby Show has recently fallen from grace after accusations of being a sexual predator of women. There is so much sad news that we have become somewhat numb to serious and sad events

Empathy is something we as parents and grandparents are trying to foster in our children and grandchildren. Finding small opportunities to grow empathy in our kids is not easy, especially when we make fun of  “nut allergies” which many kids and soon to be adults experience. Even if a child is not allergic, they will have friends that will be allergic. Will they avoid these kids or will they be inclusive of them and avoid nuts in their own lunches so they can sit with their friends, who are many times ostracized to a nut-free table at school.

I would hope in general, people become more aware of the seriousness of allergies and the risk of anaphylaxis thereby becoming more tolerant and empathic when they are asked to avoid nuts when traveling on a crowded airplane.

It is just a start!

Kids and Allergies-“Allergy friendly party: How to host a kids party – latimes.com”


Although only a small percentage of children in the U.S. have reported food allergies it can be deadly for that small number.

It is important for those of us who are not affected by this problem to remain empathic for those that do ….

…..it can mean life or death within minutes of exposure.

With that being said, if your child has friends with allergies or your child, herself, has allergies it means that childhood parties and holiday celebrations at school can be problematic.

There are many ways to host an allergy free event…it may not be all that easy but well worth the effort.

I would urge any parent or grandparent to become familiar with common food allergies and the signs of an allergic reaction so that they can respond appropriately if necessary.

When in doubt if it is an allergic reaction….call 911…better to be safe than sorry!

So…I came across this information in the LA Times which might be helpful.

The latest research shows that 8 percent of children in the United States have food allergies, which means that even if your kid can eat her weight in PB&J or egg salad, she’ll probably have a friend who can’t.

Here are some tips from Beasley on how to host an allergy-friendly kids party:

1. On party invitations, mention upfront if there will be a food-centric theme, such as decorating your own pizza or assembling gingerbread houses.

2. If the parent of a food-allergic child contacts you before the party, offer to put out a “safe” dish (prepared by the parent and dropped off with the child) amid buffet items.

3. Choose dishware that comes in a variety of colors instead of a uniform print. This will help an allergic child avoid accidentally using someone else’s tainted cup or fork.

4. If traditional cake is being served, don’t make a big production out of cutting and handing a slice to each guest. If ice cream is being served, have a nondairy fruit sorbet on hand that can be substituted without drawing attention to the milk-allergic child.

5. If crafts will be a focal point, beware of common allergens that might be ingredients in art supplies, such as glue (milk), modeling clay (wheat) and tempera paints (egg).

6. Giving out goody bags? Be sure any food you include is thoroughly wrapped. Crumbs from a cookie or chocolate’s oils can contaminate the toys bundled beside it. Or leave out food altogether.

Andrea Pyros writes for the coupon site RetailMeNot.com.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

via Allergy friendly party: How to host a kids party – latimes.com.

Peanut Allergy continued…


Peanut allergy is on the rise…it can cause a severe reaction which is life threatening.

Unexpected sources of peanuts:

  • sauces, chili sauce, hot sauce, pesto, gravy, mole sauce, and salad dressing
  • sweets like puddings, cookies, and hot chocolate
  • egg rolls
  • potato pancakes
  • pet foods (reactions may occur after being licked by a pet that has consumed peanut)
  • specialty pizzas
  • Asian and Mexican dishes
  • Some vegetarian food products, especially those advertised as mean substitutes
  • foods that contain extruded, cold pressed peanut oil, which may contain peanut protein
  • glazes and marinades
  • salads and salad dressings
  • barbecue sauce
  • breading for chicken
  • pancakes
  • meat-free burgers
  • pasta
  • honey
  • fish dishes
  • pie crust
  • mortadella (may contain pistachios)

Things to keep in mind:

  • Alternative nut butters may be processed on equipment shared with peanuts…contact manufacturer about these products.
  • Discuss with allergist whether to avoid tree nuts…cross contamination with peanuts is always a risk.
  • Ice cream served in ice cream parlors should be avoided due to cross contamination…always tell the manager that you have a nut allergy.
  • Sometimes foods that contain other nuts also contain peanuts.
  • Peanuts go by other names, such as beer nuts, ground nuts or monkey nuts.
  • Ask your doctor if you should avoid peanut oils.
  • Peanuts can be found in many foods and candies, especially chocolate. Check all labels carefully and contact the manufacturer with your questions.
  • Peanuts can cause severe allergic reactions. If prescribed, carry epinephrine at all times- lean more about anaphylaxis.

Some children actually can outgrow a peanut allergy…check with your doctor.

via: DuPage Medical Group- Asthma and Allergy Center, 1801 South Highland Avenue, Lombard, IL 60148 – 630 545 7833 

links: http://www.foodallergy.org/

Related posts:http://parentingintheloop.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/kids-and-allergies/

Kids and Allergies…



Allergies are serious and especially so in children.

The vast majority of allergic reactions to foods affect the skin in one way or another. The severity of symptoms can change quickly and there is always potential for a severe, possibly life-threatening reaction.

This week I had a crash course in allergies and children. The fact that ingesting a food such as a peanut could be life threatening is truly  a scary situation.

There are ways to minimize the potential risk and prevent accidental exposure to the foods that cause an allergic reaction.

Here are some of the family’s responsibilities when they have a child with a food allergy:

  • Notify the school of the child’s allergies
  • Work with the school team to develop a plan that accommodates the child’s needs throughout the school including in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in after-care programs during school sponsored activities and on the school bus as well as a Food Allergy Action Plan.
  • Provide written medical documentation, instructions, ad medications as directed by a physician using the Food Allergy Action Plan as a guide. Include a photo of the child on written form.
  • Provide properly labeled medications and replace medications after use or upon expiration.
  • Educate the child in the self-management of their food allergy including:
  1. safe and unsafe foods
  2. strategies for avoiding exposure to unsafe foods
  3. symptoms of allergic reaction
  4. how and when to tell an adult they may be having an allergy-related problem
  5. how to read food labels (age appropriate)

– Review policies/procedures with the school staff, the child’s physician, and the child (if age appropriate) after a reaction has occurred.

– Provide emergency contact information.

excerpts: from DuPage Medical Group – Asthma & Allergy Center

NEXT:  School’s responsibility

Related Posts: http://parentingintheloop.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/food-allergies-new-guidelines/