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? on PA reactions and air travel

4 replies [Last post]
By Akpegasus on Mon, 10-27-08, 22:40

I'm still puzzling over if this is related or not... moreso now that we have another airplane trip coming up.

Last April, we flew from Alaska (yes, it's cold here) to Arizona with a stopover in Seattle. My DS is PA and we carried his epi-pens with us; he was 16mo at the time. We ate no products provided by the airline. He threw up the ENTIRE time we were on the plane, stopped when we were on the layover, and went back to throwing up for the Seattle-Arizona leg. In Seattle we'd given him some Dramamine in case it was air-sickness. The entire next 24 hours at our destination was horrible (TMI, sorry) diarrhea. Now, we were all slightly sick with GI issues over the next 24 hours... so I chalked it up to stomach flu.

The return flight... I gave him Dramamine before we got on the plane and he was fine for both legs. The Arizona-Seattle portion he slept and the Seattle-Alaska portion he was bouncing off the walls, but happy. The little girl next to us was eating trail mix, but we were very cautious that she didn't share or touch him. Got home, put him to bed... then next morning (more TMI, sorry) more horrible GI issues... vomiting and 24 hours of diarrhea.

His two former PA reactions were facial hives and swelling, sneezing and running nose, then 24 hours of foul-smelling diarrhea. He didn't get anything but the diarrhea... so might it still have been related to peanut exposure either by the airplane's re-cycled air or contact exposure from another passenger?

Could we just have been so unlucky to have stomach flu there AND back? (Flights were separated by two weeks.) Or maybe I'm looking at an air-sickness issue here?

These are also all questions I'll be asking his ped at our next visit in two weeks, and calling the allergist about... but does anyone have any ideas or similar circumstances they can share?

I'll admit I'm a little terrified to have him on a plane again, with him being so much more mobile and so horribly sick the last time. We'll be armed, as always, with Benadryl and the epi-pens. I'm also going to request the airline annouce a "voluntary" peanut-free zone... they did that on the last flight I was on for another little kid, and it would have never occurred to me. Anything else I can do?


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By MommyOfTwo on Tue, 10-28-08, 14:53

So sorry that happened!!! I've flown a few times with both kids < 5 and I can't imagine flying with a sick kiddo. Did you wipe the seats and everything down when you boarded? When I fly with pa DS I talk to them at the boarding gate and ask to board first so that I can get all the seats in our isle wiped down (you never know who was sitting there before eating packets of pn) and let us get situated.

If it is a reaction to any pn in the air perhaps you could try some benedryl before boarding instead of Dramamine? Poor little guy. I hope you find some info at the pedi's and hopefully your next trip will go much smoother.

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By Akpegasus on Tue, 10-28-08, 18:17

Yeah, flying with a puking kid ranks up there as one of the worst things I've yet to experience.

I didn't wipe the seats down that time, but I will this time. He'll have his own seat, too, and we're bringing his carseat on board for him to sit in so maybe that will help with regard to any contact-related issues. I just emailed the airline, and they will do a peanut-free buffer but it's Alaska Airlines and it's only the rows in front and in back.

With the last experience, it didn't even occur to me until much later that it could have been airborne peanut exposure. I assumed it was tummy flu or airsickness. It almost makes me wish we could just drive everywhere (he loves the car!) but I'm in Alaska... we have to be able to fly.

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By williamsmummy on Fri, 11-07-08, 11:03

could still be the tummy bug as it can linger and strike again in young children. it love sitting in the bowel and waiting to give more pain!!

however being the parent of a child with a long list of allergies, I still give antihistamine first, and wait for ten mins. if he looks better, its allergy , if he doesnt its a virus, and dig out other pain relief, or inthis case more paper bags...............

I wouldnt rule out future air travel on this experience alone.

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By EthelV on Fri, 11-07-08, 17:37

I don't personally have food allergies that affect me when I fly. However, for many years, when I flew I would become very nauseated and have terrible diarrhea...talk about being anxious about flying! I worried more about not making it to the little bathroom than crashing. I think, for me, it has something to do with the pressure changes. Maybe for your baby, too?

Then, I don't know why I didn't think of it much sooner, I decided to be pro-active and now when I fly I use Afrin nasal spray, take Zantac, Tums and Immodium before I board and am comfortable the whole flight. For the baby, I would add Benedryl to help stave off any allergy reactions.


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