Contact reaction at zoo playground - what would you have done?

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 8:11am
mfharris's picture
Joined: 02/21/2007 - 09:00

We went to the Brookfield Zoo today and had a great time, but my pa/tna daughter had a minor contact reaction after playing at the playground. It was next to the picnic area, so I knew it may be dangerous - I kept telling her "don't touch your face" and "keep your hands out of your mouth" blah blah blah...after a few minutes, red marks on her face and two small hives. I kept asking her if she felt ok, was her mouth itchy, etc., but she said she was fine. Once we left, I washed her hands and face down, and the redness/hives went away but she coughed 3 or 4 times...was this more serious than I thought? Would you have given Benedryl? She said she just had a cough, but how does she know? Or how do I?

Today is the first day that I broke down and cried (not in front of her, of course), just thinking of how life-changing and terrifying this is. She has the most beautiful spirit, she is so smart and so kind and so outgoing, I don't want this allergy to change her.

Anyway, just a minor vent and a hope that all of our children stay safe and healthy and can enjoy a normal childhood.

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 8:45am
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

We have had similar experiences at playgrounds (and other places!). Our approach is always what you did--clean the affected area and if the hives go away, call it good. I have used Benadryl when the hives were all over the body (not just a localized reaction.) The all-over reaction has always indicated ingestion of traces. DD has never ingested more than a trace, so I'm not sure what would happen if she did, but I have a feeling it would not be good [img][/img]
Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 4 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 10:23am
Kathryn's picture
Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

I am not consistent. After 12 years we still judge one situation at a time. I have given Benedryl for localized reaction a few times--sometimes because we were distant from a hospital should the reaction increase and other times as a reaction to anxiety and nervousness either mine or my son's. Benedryl isn't harmful although it does sometimes make him sleepy a bit. I have learned after more than 40 years of dealing with life-threatening allergy in our family that you do the best you can and aim to ensure that your family member is living the least restricted fullest life possible. Take care and trust your instincts--they are good.

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 11:59am
slk70's picture
Joined: 02/03/2007 - 09:00

We went to the Brookfield zoo on Sunday. (First of all wasn't the weather awesome these last few days?)
My son is 1- so we didn't have to worry about the playground equipment but I did spend the trip worried about peanut contact. We ate at a picnic table- I noticed the people at the next table were eating PB&Js. I kept him in his stroller for lunch.
LAter, I was sitting at a bench in front of the bears and my son was toddling around me. He bent to pick up a stick...I looked down and saw peanuts on the ground 4 inches away. I swept him up pulled out some wet ones and hoped for the best. Nothing happened, thankfully.
UI am sorry about your daughter's reaction.
Slk70 (Sheryl)
Mommy to Nathan (1 yr)Peanut/Egg/avoiding peas
Aidan (3 yrs) NFA

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 12:38pm
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

random hives..they happen. I always give a dose of Benedryl and wipe them down(if we're home they jump in the shower). We've had our fair share, I just chaulk it up to the unknown...because that's what they are.
With your daughters coughing, my kids if it's not obvious distress, I follow the same game plan. It may mean me hanging REAL close by for a few, but contact reactions usually stay just that. Stay on top of them and they should be easy to manage(in most situations, by no means do I mean all).....
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 1:46pm
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

My pa dd is now 10 and had an anaphylactic reaction around 2 so we have unfortunetely encountered what you described a number of times since. It's scary because there is always the worry that it may progress.
From what you are describing, we would have done the same but I also would have given Benadryl and because my dd is also asthmatic, she probably would have used her inhaler also. Then I just would have watched her closely.
10 yo dd- PA,TNA, tests pos to soy, CATS, many environmentals, Asthmatic
5 yo dd- NKA, avoiding nuts
3 yo dd- outgrown milk/soy, avoiding nuts

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 2:14pm
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by mfharris:
Today is the first day that I broke down and cried (not in front of her, of course), just thinking of how life-changing and terrifying this is. She has the most beautiful spirit, she is so smart and so kind and so outgoing, I don't want this allergy to change her.
Anyway, just a minor vent and a hope that all of our children stay safe and healthy and can enjoy a normal childhood.[/b]
Oh, I've had these days as well. It can be stressful, scary, and sad.
But, my dd is just as she was as a baby. She is happy, outgoing, kind and strong. So I don't think this allergy has changed who she is. I also like to believe that she still has a "normal" childhood, just with ALOT more planning.
There are times I think dd is handling her allergy better than I am!
Hope you and your dd are both feeling better. Thank goodness not all days are like this.
10 yo dd- PA,TNA, tests pos to soy, CATS, many environmentals, Asthmatic
5 yo dd- NKA, avoiding nuts
3 yo dd- outgrown milk/soy, avoiding nuts

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 9:45pm
momll70's picture
Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

I would have done the same as you. I have wiped down my son too with contact reactions. Take it one day at a time. I'm glad your daughter is o.k.

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 10:38pm
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Just our personal way of handling --
We always *also* carry small bottle of Benadryl topical gel for skin. (Also useful as we seem to move from one mosquito-heaven to another.)
For us, decision as to what to use, topical Benadryl &/or oral Benadryl is a case-by-case basis as to severity of hives, location on kids' body, coughing & duration, and so on.
IMPORTANT thing I do for confusion reduction as to the 2 different Benadryl bottles in emergency med bag -- in RED, permanent marker I write "SKIN" all over the gel one.
Mother to 2:
DD age 5, NKA, treated as though PA/TNA
DS age 8, PA, possible TNA, Latex, legumes?
(PA diagnosed & ana reaction 1999)
Member here since 2000

Posted on: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 1:41pm
mfharris's picture
Joined: 02/21/2007 - 09:00

Thanks for the advice; I'm glad to read that the "wipe down and watch" seemed to be the right response for that situation, although I realize they can each be different.
We went to the Museum of Science & Industry today without incident (busy week!). Wiped hands after touching almost every exhibit, brought our lunch from home, and had a great time. Just a new definition of what our normal is I suppose! Thanks again.

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