Taking Your Kid With Peanut Allergies to a Baseball Game

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There are few things in this allergy mama’s life that can put me on my toes like flying with my nut-allergic son, sending him to someone else’s house to “hang” for a while (“Playdates are soooo first grade, Mom”), or…well, I guess I can actually list a lot of things. Although these situations often stress me out, I feel strongly that we cannot let his food allergies keep Z from experiencing life. So, with much trepidation I step out of my comfort zone (like from Chicago to Mars) to teach my son how to enjoy “normal life” carefully.

Enter the All-American pastime, baseball.

And all the allergy mamas said, “AMEN.” Right? The first time we took my son to a baseball game, my insides were twisted up tighter than a slinky. You couldn’t have pried the Epipen® out of my hand if you tried. I’m pretty sure I saw one of the players hit the ball. Once. The entire game.

As sure as I was that I would end up in years of therapy from that one experience, it all went well. And you know what? We’ve gone back–more than once. During our multiple trips to the local minor league ballpark, I’ve learned a few things that have made it a bit easier to swallow the idea of taking my son with peanut allergies to a baseball game.

Take wipes, or a blanket to sit on, or both. Whatever makes YOU feel comfy cozy, Mama. Because really, if you can’t stop staring at your child long enough to watch even one pitch, what’s the point?

peanut allergies baseball game

Create a buffer zone. The last game we attended was with my son’s Cub Scout pack. Fortunately, I knew all of the people around us, so I was able to remind them of Z’s allergy, and everyone quickly agreed they would not purchase peanuts. Those that brought some in to the park with them offered to keep them tucked away to keep my guy safe. Now, I know this doesn’t happen often ever, but if you get to the game early enough to stake your seats, you can often befriend those directly around you and share your concerns. For the most part, people are receptive to a kind request.

Find a peanut-free game. Many baseball teams are now offering peanut-free or peanut-controlled games. This means either they won’t sell peanuts at the park that night, or they have created a section just for families like ours. Check your local team’s website for the low-down, or you can use peanutfreebaseball.com for a quick reference.

While I still wince a tiny bit at the 7th inning stretch when the whole ballpark is singing about buying peanuts, I now feel like we can survive a baseball game anytime. With my auto-injector nearby, of course.

I know there are other peanut-allergic families that go to baseball games, and my list for surviving (and enjoying) the games is not exhaustive. What tips do you have for enjoying a game together?

Tiffany Self

Tiffany Self is a wife, mom to "Z", and a lover of words. In an ironic twist, she is an English class dropout who now writes for a living. Tiffany is a freelancer in the Chicago suburbs by way of Seattle and Southern Oregon. She writes about her journey of parenting a child with multiple severe food allergies, asthma, and environmental allergies. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

11 Comments to Taking Your Kid With Peanut Allergies to a Baseball Game

  1. Wow, I’d never thought about how difficult it must be to take a peanut-allergic child to such a nut-crazy place! Baseball isn’t such a big deal in Canada :)

    Great tips, Tiffany! Wonderful to hear that there are peanut-free nights/sections to accommodate families.

    • Tiffany Self

      Thanks, Heather! It can be a chore, but we do our best so he can enjoy it. You should come enjoy a game with us sometime :-)

  2. Great idea on the blanket, Tiffany! I cover movie theater seats with them, too. I’m sure I look like a weirdo walking in with a pile of blankets, but whatever works. ;)

    • Tiffany Self

      Thanks Roo! I hadn’t thought of covering movie theater seats, but it totally makes sense!

  3. Kate

    I love the baby wipes idea! They are more useful to me now than when my boys were in diapers.

    • Tiffany Self

      Yes, Kate! Honestly? I swear I’ll be buying baby wipes for the rest of my life–I use them for everything!

  4. Verlin

    Baseball games are STRESSFUL. My son never really enjoyed them. Even with a buffer zone around us, there were so many shells everywhere and people walking around with them, and …. and …. and, that after a couple of games we just decided it wasn’t worth it, as he wasn’t enjoying himself. Luckily most sports aren’t as peanut-heavy as baseball and avoidance is easier.

    • Tiffany Self

      Hi Verlin, thanks for the response. You’re so right! And the shells issue you mention was what we experienced our first time out. I gave it “one more try” using a couple of the tips I mentioned here. It was a lot easier. I, too, am thankful we don’t have to consider peanuts nearly as much with other events.

  5. Emily

    Great ideas, Tiffany! We’ve only done this once, also in our local minor league park, and I found it very family-friendly and controllable. Do you suppose the same goes for the major leagues? Given the price difference in tickets, it would likely be a father-son major league outing (versus a whole family minor league outing) and I think I’d had a conniption fit at home waiting for them to return safely. Has anyone had luck with allergy-friendly viewing in the majors?

    • Dayna

      I’ve had peanut allergies all my life. my allergist says that my level of how allergic I am is off the chart and she’s never seen an allergy as severe as mine. With that being said, I have gone to many major and minor league baseball games. Although they do come with some added stress there have been a couple things that I have just always done to make things a little better.
      1. make a “buffer zone” bring a few people with you and sit in the middle that way the shells aren’t being eaten directly next to you. The chances of every single person in every direction eating peanuts around you is slim so if I see someone wip out the peanut bag, I simply move. On rare occasions have I had to ask someone to put them away and if I have to do so, then I usually offer to pay for another snack of their choice that won’t kill me.
      2. Wipe down the seats like it has already been said, baby wipes are great
      3. Wear long pants, this was the hardest part because most of the time during baseball season it gets really warm but i’d rather be a little hot than dying
      4. don’t go touching every little thing. this is going to be the hardest part for parents with little kids who like to put their hands on everything and anything and then put their hands in their mouth. It just decreases the risk if I’m not holding onto the side rail to go down stairs or leaning on the counter as I buy myself a hotdog.

      There is a lot of controversy over this topic between people who have severe peanut allergies and people that don’t and just don’t get it, and I could go on a rant for forever but we just have to accept that not everyone understands fearing for your life during something as innocent as a baseball game. We have to be able to find a balance between the “freedom” people have to eat what they want and spend their money the way they want and keeping ourselves safe. Personally I think “the risk” of going to a baseball game is worth it, as long as I am using these precautions and have my epi-pen and Benadryl on hand, I’ll always stress but I’ll never let my peanut allergies completely rule my life.

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