Child may have outgrown allergy

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 12:21am
tracy's picture
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I had a very interesting discussion yesterday evening with a woman I met at a party. Her 2 boys (ages 2 and 5) were running all over the place, so we got to talking about taking care of kids, etc. I mentioned that my son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy. (I tell EVERYONE about this now because so few people seem to understand how serious it is.) She said, yes, her older son (5 years old) had a peanut allergy too, but he didn't have it anymore. She had fed him peanut butter before he was a year old and she said his face swelled (eyes practically swelled shut) and he got hives. This actually happened twice and she narrowed it down to the peanut butter. That's all she knew about it... when she took him to the pediatrician, he said her son was probably allergy to peanuts. She didn't see any need to follow up with an allergist. This woman (who was very concerned about her children as they were running everywhere) didn't seem very worried about the allergy, probably because no-one told her about the seriousness of it. She said that when he went to preschool she wrote on his forms that he was allergic to peanuts, but she didn't tell anyone at the school about it -- she didn't think to do that. I think she said she visited the school one day and all the kids were eating peanut butter and apples, including her son and he was fine. She said he's been eating peanut butter ever since with no problems.

My eyes were about as wide as they could be while she was telling me this story. It sounds like her son had a pretty classic allergic reaction to the peanut butter. But she didn't get him tested for sure, so there's no way to know if he actually was allergic. Still, I thought it was interesting enough to tell everyone here.

--Tracy

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 1:54am
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<p>I am curious if she tested him now would he still show an allergy. I know she probably wouldn't, but it would be very interesting to know. I also tend to wonder if it really was the peanut butter. I'd be very excited to think that it might be possible. But everyone tells me it is not. I wish we could really keep statistics some how. Maybe there are kids out there who have outgrown allergies. They never saw an allergist so it was never documented. I also think there are people who have children that have this allergy and don't really take it seriously. I know if I had just listened to my pediatrician,( and I think he is a good one - he is just not well versed on peanut allergies) I would have said o.k. she has an allergy keep her away from it. He was that nonchalant about it. Didn't put much merit to it at all. This is all very interesting. I wrote that I am going to the FAN meeting in May in Stamford CT. I am certainly going to pursue this with them. Thanks for posting it.</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 2:05am
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<p>Patti,</p>
<p>Sometimes I wonder if I'm blowing everything out of proportion, the seriousness of my son's allergy, but all the information I've read always makes me think I'm not.</p>
<p>However, I've called quite a few people who I've just learned have peanut-allergic kids and they're all pretty nonchalant about it... everyone of them. A few of them sounded a bit concerned, but none were educated about the allergies, only one of them belonged to FAN (but didn't sound like she read all the materials they send). They had each experienced pretty severe reactions with the first exposure, but said that they didn't have any problems with keeping their kids away from peanuts, or that the reactions were any more severe when they did accidentally eat them. So when I talk to these people, I wonder if I should be so concerned. I have gone to great lengths to educate myself, find a good allergist, ask the right questions... and no-one I know personally does these things. But then I read some of the stories on this web site and I get worried again.</p>
<p>*sigh*</p>
<p>--Tracy</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 2:48am
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<p>Tracy, in response to your statement of some people being very laid back about their child's allergy - I believe that they are most likely not as informed about the potential of the allergy. Also the phrase of anaphylaxis being very "rare" makes one think that it cannot happen to their child. I know of two people who were taking the "laid back approach", labeling reading, but allowing their child to eat bakery items from others, no epi-pens, etc. - Each of those families recently had a trip to the ER from a cookie at a Christmas party.<br />
Fortunately each of these children recovered. Now, they have joined FAN and carry epi-pens. I would rather have the knowledge that we have for prevention versus the experience they encountered.<br />
Knowledge provides comfort and power to keep your child safe!</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 3:38am
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<p>This is definitely an interesting thread! I know what you mean about people not taking things seriously. I feel like I am the ONLY one at the daycare center bringing them literature, demanding things, etc. I'm sure I've got the "b*tch label" by the workers but I don't care. But people's stupidity amazes me. At my daughter's school (she is not allergic) there was a boy in her class with a peanut allergy. I went to a Christmas party and there were cookies there with M&Ms baked in. I told his mother that she should not allow him to eat those. She just stared at me. I explained it all to her. She said, "well, if he eats straight peanut butter he vomits but if he eats an M&M or chex mix, etc, he just gets hives on his face." She absolutely did not seem concerned that he was getting all of these exposures. Believe it or not, in all other areas, she was extremely intelligent and responsible. He has made it, so far, to the ripe old age of 8.</p>
<p>Regarding the outgrowing issue. My son has always tested at 4 on the skin prick test. His first reaction at 7 months was bad hives on the face and swelling of the eyes. His second exposure, at age 3, was with the pre-packaged Austin Peanut Butter crackers. He ate two of them. Guess what--no reaction at all (that we could see). I took him back to the allergist after this, had him tested again, and he was still a 4. So, I don't know if he needs a certain amount to react, or if he will never react in a visible way, or if it was just a fluke.<br />
Christine</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 5:32am
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<p>Hi Tracy, Patti, Mary & Christine,</p>
<p>As I am sure you all do, I feel much safer knowing all that we know about this allergy and are still learning. As I too wish that all of our children could outgrow this allergy, I could not play Russian Roulette with his life and that is what I feel these other parents are doing. I couldn't imagine giving my son a food that contained peanuts in it and nonchalantly say "oh he just breaks out in hives." As we all know, when someone breaks out in hives, there is intense itching inside their body. Why in the world would any parent want to put their child through that?! </p>
<p>Tracy, you are by no means blowing this allergy out of porportion. Mary made an excellent point...we are all informed and knowledge is power. The more educated we become, the less frightened we will be. Everytime I read this BB, I learn more than what I knew the day before. I'm like Christine when it came to my son's daycare - I think we shared the same title! I had jokingly mentioned to Donna before that we all should be like the Saturn commercial and get together once a year! At least our children would be able to play together...there wouldn't be peanuts around for a lot of miles!! </p>
<p>Take Care!</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 6:09am
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<p>Just me again. I too wonder about the fact that I have become almost neurotic about this allergy. But I believe it is better to be educated and careful than take a chance. I hope none of these people have a problem, but I certainly could not take a chance now. It reminds me of when I was in Disney World I was chatting to a cast member about the allergy and the lady next to me said oh yeah my son has a peanut allergy too. Every Halloween we have to get out the Benadryl for hives. Her husband is a doctor!! I don't know what kind of doctor but I was so surprised that they were that carefree about it.<br />
On another note,I did however finally make a connection through a friend of mine with a friend that has a first grader with this allergy. She takes it very seriously and is starting a support group. I told my friend to give her my number and told her to tell her about this web site. I hope to get her involved expecially since she has a child in school with this allergy. Also if anyone is in the Northern NJ area and we get a support group going let me know.<br />
Patti</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 6:14am
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<p>P.S. Christine and others<br />
I would rather cary the B*TCH label than the one "The mother who didn't do everything to protect her child". Call me a B*TCH anytime.<br />
Patti the B*TCH</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 6:35am
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Anonymous (not verified)

<p>Patti, </p>
<p>I couldn't resist...YOU GO GIRL!!!</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 8:50am
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Joined: 02/10/1999 - 09:00

<p>Hello,</p>
<p>In response to the comment about outgrowing peanut allergy, I just visited the allergist and got my son's blood test results - level 5 - pretty bad. Anyway, I asked them about outgrowing this allergy and they said although rare they have see cases where the kid could eat peanut butter when they got older without a reaction. I don't care if they told me tommorrow my son was no longer allergic I still would not give him any, but I wouldn't be as stressed out. </p>
<p>My question is I thought I had read somewhere that you could test positive for life but not have the allergic reactions. Has anyone read this? Because if this is true then you would never really know. My allergist said bring my son back in the office for another RAST test in three years (at that time he will be five years old). Because of his age, his immune system is possibly still changing that there is a 'small' chance that he might out grow it.<br />
I am not holding my breath.</p>
<p>I 'm so curious what the test results would be for the lady with the 5 year that out<br />
grew it. It makes you wonder how many kids go to the doctor because of a reaction then get tested, results positive and then later in life they change but never go back to the doctor because they don't have the problem anymore. The allergists may not really know the true outcome of alot of the patients. Just a thought.</p>
<p>Carol S.</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 8:56am
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Joined: 02/10/1999 - 09:00

<p>P.S.<br />
One more thing. You mentioned the lady (the one with the 5 year who outgrow the allergy) said the her son's doctor said don't bother going to an allergist. Funny thing, my son's doctor said the same thing. He said don't bother going to the allergist because the test will probably say he is. Well, he was right he is. But, I decided to go to a allergist on my on and get him tested. At least now, if when he is older and if he tested negative, I would always have that information that he really WAS at some point.<br />
I glad I went on my on.</p>

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