Peanuts Can Be Deadly

What a tragedy.

AP – Teen With Peanut Allergy Dies After Kiss

A 15-year-old girl with a peanut allergy died after kissing her boyfriend, who had just eaten a peanut butter snack, hospital officials said Monday.

Christina Desforges died in a Quebec hospital Wednesday after doctors were unable to treat her allergic reaction to the kiss the previous weekend.

Desforges, who lived in Saguenay, about 155 miles north of Quebec City, was almost immediately given a shot of adrenaline, a standard tool for treating the anaphylactic shock brought on by a peanut allergy, officials said.

I have three sons and all of them are allergic to peanuts, so I know first hand just how severe a reaction can be. Our entire lives have been affected by the allergy, and we have to take extreme measures to ensure they never come into contact with them. Problem is, accidents do happen, and we’ve ended up in the hospital a couple of times with minutes to spare. It’s a very scary thing.

We guard our kids from eating foods that contain peanuts, but this story puts a much different twist on our preventative methods. We do everything we can to guard against contact in our home, but it’s harder when they are out in the real world. My boys are a bit young to have girlfriends, but it’s easy to forget about the risk involved in kissing a relative of theirs who might have come into contact with peanuts. To the average person, it sounds strange to think that we have to ask Grandma or Auntie if they have eaten anything with peanuts before our kids give them a friendly peck, but that is the reality of living with this affliction.

This story is a real wake-call for me, and it should be for anyone who knows someone who is allergic to peanuts.

UPDATE: Boyfriend was unaware of Desforges’ peanut allergy.

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