14 month old DS with suspected PA?

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My 14 month old son has had 3 reactions in the past month to peanuts - first from a minute amount of PB in a home baked cookie given to him by my friend, second time after I ate peanuts and then breastfed him within the same hour (I rarely eat peauts so this is why it hadn't previously happened I guess) and the third time when my DH gave him a piece of bread with jam, using the same knife he had used to put PB on his own bread. The reactions were immediate hives on his face, back and chest, increasingly worse with each exposure. He has also had a previous reaction to egg whites - large red splotchy facial rash (although eggs baked in products and through my breastmilk don't cause a reaction in him), as well as a milder reaction to almond butter. When I brought this up to his Dr. and asked for allergy testing, I was told it was useless at this age and to just avoid eggs and nuts. Well, obviously with peanuts in particular, "just avoid" is more invloved than what my doctor suggested. He didn't mention benadryl, epinepherine (sp?), or careful avoidance, which everything I have read so far on the internet suggests. I am terrified that he will be exposed at his babysitters' (I work 4 days/week) because my babysitter's children eat all sorts of foods that we don't which may contain nuts, not to mention PB itself. I have always been a label reader, and our family follows an extremely healthy diet. But I am so worried about my son when he is not in my care....and I would like to know what I need to do now to keep him safe. Thanks for reading. Kathryn

On Jul 6, 2004

I'm sorry to say that I think you are absolutely correct to be as concerned as you are. My personal opinion is that there isn't much point to allergy testing at this point: you already know that he has reacted to peanuts, almonds, and egg whites.

My best advice to you is to get an epipen jr. - [b]insist[/b] on one from your doctor! - and always carry it and benadryl with you everywhere.

As for your child care situation: I wouldn't feel safe if I were you, either. If it is not possible for you or your husband to stay home with your son, then I would try to find someone who could come into your home to care for him who really understands the severity of pa. Or, there may be a day care center or home day care in your area that is already peanut free.

Good luck!

Miriam

On Jul 6, 2004

I'm sorry to tell you this, I agree with California Mom.

I really believe the "real" test of an allergy is a reaction. If he reacts, he's allergic, no tests needed. For example, my ds has very low test results to milk, but reacts to very small quantities of it, so we completely avoid milk.

And, a peanut reaction could potentially be very serious, so if he's reacted to peanuts, you're absolutely right to question your doctor and think you should do more. Your instincts are right on target!

If I were you, I'd ask for a referral to a pediatric allergist, get the epi-pen jr and benadryl, and take another look at your child care situation.

I also found The Parents' Guide to Food Allergies by Marianne Barber very helpful if you have multiple food allergies to deal with.

Hang in, you're probably going to start feeling very overwhelmed...but I found the best medicine for that was to learn as much as I could, put as many precautions in place as possible, and a plan in place for a serious reaction.

I hope you get some helpful information here too!

------------------ Meg, mom to: Matt 2 yrs. PA,MA,EA Sean 2 yrs. NKA

On Jul 6, 2004

Thank you for your posts. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed and scared about this but I appreciate the infomration here and I'm sure that will help to ease some of these feelings. Kathryn

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