No kissing please!

20 Nov

Kissing my boy is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  Luckily for him, I now only eat what is ‘safe’ for him.  It took us a long time to figure out, even after his diagnosis, that kissing him might not be that pleasurable for him all the time!  For example, if my husband had eaten a cheese sandwich hours previously at work, upon coming home and kissing Adam, we would soon see a series of hives on our boy’s face.  It seems crazy doesn’t it-its not like you’re feeding the kid the allergen or even rubbing it on their skin-you’ve simply eaten something yourself that he is allergic to and away his reactions go!  So now, my husband not only always washes his hands immediately upon coming home, he also often brushes his teeth too!

Now, for my hubbie and I this is all easy enough, particularly as I am still on my boy’s diet and intend to continue on it even after breastfeeding has finished.  It has however taken us a while to get used to this routine. The trickier part comes in asking relatives, friends and other kids to make sure they’ve washed their hands before touching Adam (particularly on the face).  Luckily, over time, family and close friends have gotten used to this! At the beginning when we were still just learning about just how sensitive Adam is to allergens, we were all learning by experience.  At my sister’s wedding, my mum had eaten a cheese puff in the morning and we were all shocked at the size of the welt that grew on Adam’s forehead almost immediately after she kissed him!  So now family members tend to brush their teeth or at least rinse their mouths thoroughly when they arrive at our place and friends just avoid kissing Adam on the face.  With smaller kids its trickier as its difficult to explain these things, so caring friends just take their kids and wash their hands when they arrive at our place and the kissing we just have to allow and hope for the best (Adam really loves kissing other toddlers!).

To an extent I think we have probably started hanging out with the same people even more than we might have been doing if Adam wasn’t allergic as its so much easier to spend time with people who already know and understand what can and can’t be done (more on this in a later post on socialising!).

What experiences have you had in limiting contact with your child due to allergens?

Tips/advice

If your little one’s eczema is still flared up despite you eliminating the foods in their diet that you know they’re allergic to, consider what is going ON their body/skin rather than just what is going IN it.  I first realised Adam was allergic to chickpeas when I kissed him after eating hummus and his skin flared up.

Don’t be worried about asking people to be careful about touching and kissing your little one.  There are ways of doing this politely and kindly and everyone I have come across has been really sweet and caring in response.  Wet wipes don’t really cut it in terms of removing allergens from skin but they are better than nothing if you’re out and about.  Dettol wipes seem to work better but then again they’re meant for kitchen surfaces not toddler’s hands!

This post overlaps with the one I’ll be writing about playgroups and nurseries where I will be discussing how we have dealt with them. There will be more in that post about contact allergies and interaction with other kids, so make sure you sign up to the emails for this blog!

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One Response to “No kissing please!”

  1. Madison May 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    What I worry about is 10 years from now when my son has his first REAL kiss. How do we approach that one? It’s not like you can ask the girl (or boy) to brush their teeth and wash their face first. Can you imagine the teenage angst?!

    I met a couple of teens recently who had allergies and I so wanted to ask them how they kiss without risk of having an allergic reaction. But I just couldn’t bring myself to ask them.

    It’s one of those concerns that niggle away at the back of my mind. Stored for future angst ridden nights when I lie awake with the weight of this responsibility on my shoulders.

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