Can a peanut exposure cause an asthma attack?

Posted on: Sun, 12/09/2001 - 11:02am
LaurensMom's picture
Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

Just wondering. I thought I remembered someone telling me that their PA daughter was having a very hard time with her asthma. Come to find out, someone in her peanut free classroom was bringing in Little Debbie snack cakes. Once these were removed, the asthma stopped. (As a side note, this child is 'off the charts' allergic) Anyone ever experience what they thought was asthma but turned out to be caused by a reaction? I mean, typically Lauren's asthma has been induced by a virus of some sort. Her last one was infections noted. Just curious if there is maybe some exposure in her peanut free classroom going on here.

Posted on: Sun, 12/09/2001 - 11:31am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Yes, yes, yes! My son's RAST score was "off the chart." He had several asthma attacks from 18 mos. to 3 years of age, when we found out about his peanut allergy. I suspect cross contamination as the source. Peanut free equals asthma free for us at the present time. His past two years have been incredibly healthy.

Posted on: Sun, 12/09/2001 - 11:46am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

two of our daughters are PA. one of them in particular is extremely sensitive to peanuts - just breathing the air near them causes her to react. she has never had asthma until recently and now experiences several serious attacks a week. it seems to be related to the cold weather and exercise for us. as far as i know there have been no peanut exposure incidents which could be triggering it for us. our first pediatric allergist in memphis told us to watch our daughter closely as she grew and to be alert for signs of asthma. he said her particular allergies (peanuts, wheat, soy and eggs that we know of) along with her horrible excema would cause him to believe she would develop asthma at some point. it took five years but he was right. when it happened it really happened. but...back to your question...her attacks have never been associated with exposure to peanuts (as far as we know anyhow). seems to me though that some of the symptoms are so similar (the quick wheezy breathing, swollen airway, etc..). We have no hives or facial swelling with the asthma though. Our daugther did start kindergarten this year though which has increased her risk of exposure to peanuts. It is strange that her asthma surfaced at about the same time she started venturing out into the world outside of home. Joey

Posted on: Sun, 12/09/2001 - 9:06pm
LaurensMom's picture
Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

Yes, Joey, that is my concern. Previously, Lauren's asthma has been 'active' ONLY when she had an infection of some sort. Whether it was a stomach bug, ear infection or sore throat, it always happened that this bug would make its way to her lungs and her asthma would kick in. Five times she has been hospitialized from this scenario. Now, because of the way it happens, they have never said she HAD asthma but rather she had asthmatic tendencies. But, now that she is in school and asthma has appeared without infections, I am beginning to wonder if it is some exposure that is causing this. Like your daughter, this too is quite coincidental. Hmmm...guess the school is going to get a phone call today.
Thanks for your input.

Posted on: Wed, 12/26/2001 - 5:56am
LaurensMom's picture
Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

The school got their phone call and went immediately into a defensive mode even though I tried to be just providing them with info. Basically, they said, "Let's see what happens".
Friday was a holiday sing-along with parents invited. My DH and I both went. DH looked at my daughter and saw her left eye was swollen...which has always been the first thing to swell in a reaction. She said, "It's OK Daddy. I jsut scratched my eye." We watched her carefully. Swelling did go down without Benedryl. However, looking at this area a couple of hours later, there were no remnants of a scratch. You'd expect that if an eye swelled enough from a scratch, that there would be some remnants of the offending scratch once the swelling went down. Well, a couple of hours later, wouldn't you know it, she is on a nebulizer with Xopenex and an inhaled steroid because she can't catch a full breath.
Oh, and a child at this PB free school had a reaction about a week ago because a sibling of a student brought PB into the lobby. Teacher said the PA child had the reaction because she (the teacher) removed the offending PB sandwich and must have gotten some of it on her clothes. (This was described to me as an excuse as to why it a...' wasn't because a kid exposed her (the PA child)') HELLO!!! I tried to tell them that the reaction occurred and the method of exposure doesn't matter. If a child can be exposed by a teacher who touched it, why can't it be a kid who exposes a PA child if the child is not required to wash their hands when they get to school!!!
I guess the battle has just begun for us.

Posted on: Wed, 12/26/2001 - 7:31am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Lauren's Mom, your daughter has a "peanut free" school in the U.S.? Do you have a 504 Plan implemented for her or did you feel because it was a "peanut free" school you didn't require one?
Does the school have written guidelines indicating what they do to justify calling themselves "peanut free"?
The reason I'm asking is that I truly feel that any school that chooses to call themselves any of the "catch phrases" re PA SHOULD have written guidelines.
Last year, my son's school was calling itself "reduce the risk" and yet there was NOTHING being done in the school to "reduce the risk" and even as you entered the school, there was no paperwork on the doors indicating that it was a "reduce the risk" environment.
I was quite willing to work with the principal to work out a set of written guidelines so that she could, truly, call herself "reduce the risk". When I approached her re this and also mentioned the legal ramifications by calling the school something it wasn't, she chose, sadly, to stop calling the school "reduce the risk" (although not sadly in the fact that it wasn't "reduce the risk" to begin with).
Based on the fact that your daughter's asthma has been acting up at school (and you suspect it's cause is PA related, which it probably is) and that another PA student had a reaction due to pb being in the school, I would be asking the school for their written "peanut free" school guidelines.
The school that my son is currently in is not "peanut free". He does have a "peanut free" classroom. It's kinda sad because we actually moved from a school that was FINALLY "reduce the risk" and had every right to call itself such. But after a couple of months of attendance in this new school, I recognize that I have to meet with Jesse's teacher and then the principal to see if his school plan is being followed.
It just seems like a constant process with the school and although it can be overwhelming to the point where you just want to shut-down, the one thing I have learned (through the great help of people here) is that you have to follow-up and be consistent with the school.
Just in reading what you had posted, my first thought was, okay, if the school is "peanut free", where are the written guidelines. I'd like to see them.
Hope this helps in some way.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sat, 12/29/2001 - 2:38pm
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Lauren`s mom, how did you ever get the school to go peanut free? Was it a big deal or did you just ask them and they said okay? Did they send letters home with the kids telling them not to bring peanuts or what? Is it public or private? You are so lucky to have a peanut free school, even though it sounds like it may not be completely, at least that is their goal. I don`t think I could ever get that done at my daugher`s school. I got the classroom to go peanut free by showing the teacher my daughter`s CAP RAST of 1804, and pointed out that if kids bring peanut butter she will be using the Epipen and having to deal with a medical emergency. The cafeteria serves peanut butter once a month and on those days I pick my daughter up before lunch, but I still worry about the classmates eating peanut butter in the cafeteria, not washing their hands, and bringing small amounts of it into this classroom.

Posted on: Tue, 01/01/2002 - 6:53am
LaurensMom's picture
Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by LaurensMom (edited June 17, 2007).]

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