To party or not to party?
This weekend, I was faced with a situation that I had not faced before. Bean was invited to a birthday party for one of her classmates. The party was at her classmates home, and I do not know the parents at all. Up until now, she has always been invited to parties at public places (I stayed in the facility just in case), or to houses of close friends who are very aware of her severe peanut allergy and know how to use her Epipen. I was leery of letting her go to the party, but she really wanted to go. Her friends from her class were going and she was excited to go too. I did text the mom that Bean was coming to the party, and also that she has a severe peanut allergy. I offered to bring something for her to eat, and also to bring her a dessert, in case the food would not be safe. The mom explained it was just pizza, ice cream, and cookie cake. I am pretty confident with pizza being safe for her, but the ice cream is questionable, and the cookie cake was really questionable to me. She said she would check the labels to make sure there is no peanuts. I kept wondering if she would consider “made on the same equipment” or “may contain” as containing peanuts? Has she ever been properly shown how to use an Epipen? I figured that when I dropped her off, I could double check the ingredients in the foods. However, I did not want the mom to think I was being rude by double checking her. Also, I didn’t know if she knew how to use an Epipen, so I figured I could always show her at drop off. Would she remember how to use it though, if I showed her how to use it while everyone was arriving? So many what-ifs? I even considered asking if I could stay during the party. I could double check the food, not have to worry about showing her how to use an Epipen, and help her out in any way I could. I didn’t know if any of the other parents were staying though, and I don’t want to be considered a helicopter mom. I just need to keep my daughter safe. I even asked another allergy group I am on what they thought. I got lots of advice from people who have a child the same age as Katrina, and how they handle it. 31 people responded and almost all of them said to stay there, and double check the labels. I had my speech for the mom all worked out about me staying. However, that morning my daughter woke up with a stuffy nose and complained that her ear hurt “really really bad”. I took her to the pediatrician and she has a sinus and ear infection. She was bummed to be missing the party, but she ended up staying home. It was almost a relief for me that she wasn’t going. It meant I didn’t have to have an awkward conversation with the mom about double checking the food or staying during the party.