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January 14, 2006

Teens with Food Allergies and Peer Pressure

You can picture the situation... When a boy knocks on your front door to take your daughter out on her first date, he had better brushed his teeth and flossed, used mouthwash and scrubbed his face and hands.

(Quick note, just the thought of him need to wash his hands makes me cringe as a father! OK, I'm ready to continue....)

Just a small trace of peanut on her date’s lips or hands could cause her to go into anaphylactic shock. And if the boy doesn't know/care enough about the allergy, what are the odds he'll know what to do with the epinephrine shot if she cannot adminster it herself?

First dates for food allergic teenagers means not only having to worry about what to wear, what to order but also but what his/her date has eaten or touched hours before they showed up. Asking about it is a little embarrassing. Not asking could be deadly. The death in November of a 15 year old with a peanut allergy after she kissed her boyfriend, who had eaten peanut butter, has given parents of food-allergic teenagers cause for concern.

In those early dating years, parents should plan to have a frank discussions with all of their son or daughter's dates. Working with their child on how to approach the topic may help to alleviate some of the stress and embarrasment. This LAST thing you want to happen is your teen to be so embarrassed that they simply go out with their friends and meet their "date" at the mall or restaurant in order to avoid the embarrasment of mom/dad asking questions.

Posted by David at January 14, 2006 12:49 PM