Exposing a younger sibling of a PA older sibling - Peanut Allergy Information

Exposing a younger sibling of a PA older sibling

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My 5 yr old son was diagnosed with a PA when he was 1.5 years old. SInce that time, we have created a peanut-free home. His little sister (who is now almost 3) hasn't been exposed to any nuts because of this. Our allergist said that we need to expose her to peanuts now, because the longer we wait, the more likely she will will be PA as well. So with a pit in my stomach, I bought a jar of peanut butter. It is in a cupboard, sealed in a ziplock bag. Yesterday morning, with epi-pens at the ready, I did a skin test...waited...and nothing. I washed her up and changed her shirt. Later that afternoon, I gave her a small taste...and no initial reaction. However, I was as stressed as I have ever been, worried that she might drink her brother's drink or kiss him or something. The doctor said it can take up to 2 weeks before we know if she is in the clear. Any advice on dealing with this? I'm so scared that my son might accidentally come in contact with it. Also, does anyone know if I have to keep giving her peanuts once/if we discover she isn't allergic?

By PeanutAllergy.com on Aug 19, 2014

Question of the Week: Answered!Every week, PeanutAllergy.com is answering one of the questions posted in our community.Our Answer: Thank you for your question! Your concern is one that many families face so know that you are not alone.

Peanut exposure therapy is showing promise in children with peanut allergies so it may be logical to start introducing peanuts to your daughter. For your son, it is advisable to consult your doctor on this matter. Remember, there is no guarantee that your daughter has a peanut allergy just because your son does. Statistically, your daughter is overall unlikely to have the allergy. You can read more in the Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology Journal here.

It is a good sign your daughter did not react to the skin test you performed. Although it is not conclusive, it is one step toward her being cleared as allergy-free. On the other hand, if she does continue to consume peanut products, it is extremely important you keep them separate from your son. As you know, even something as tiny as peanut dust can be left on the counter and cause a reaction.

Make sure that if your daughter is consuming peanuts your son is out of the room. Additionally, make sure she washes her hands very thoroughly. Read more about that here. Education is also necessary. Sometimes children don’t understand the consequences of an allergy and share food with those who have them. Make the severity of your son’s peanut allergy known to your daughter.

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By Aidan has PA on Aug 25, 2014

That is just crazy. The difference between what doctors tell people to do is stark. After saying that, there really is no right or wrong answer. It is up to you, the parent, to decide what to do.

My older son's allergist wanted to test my younger son before he was exposed. So we did that and he came back negative but we still avoid nuts with him since my oldest is so allergic.

By poppyo on Aug 25, 2014

Just found out today that both my sons are PA (see my post). Had food challenge for older son today (he's 5) and came up with mild PA. Asked for younger son to get the skin prick test and he came up positive for PA as well.

Came on for a bit of advice really.

No food allergies in family but:

My husband: eczema as a child and wool allergy My dad: wool allergy, eczema on elbows, hay fever My sister: wool allergy My sister: eczema My Mother in law: late onset asthma My brother in law: late onset asthma and dry skin My father in law: dry skin

My two boys have dry skin/childhood eczema although my older son is growing out of it.

I was told it's all related.

By Hannah'smom on Aug 25, 2014

Wow I believe I would find a new Dr. Stand by with Epi? What about a crash cart if she codes! That's crazy. Why not just have her tested in the Dr office? We have a severe PA child and we had our other two children tested. Both negative but we do not allow any nuts in our home period.