First allergic reactions

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I have a 17 month old grandson and his parents are very worried about anyone giving him peanut butter. His aunt absent mindedly gave him a bite of her PB&J sandwich and they parents were very upset. He does not have food allergies as far as we know. What is the first sign of the allergic reaction to peanuts? Are they being overy cautious or am I being overly critical? Thanks for your input. I value your experiences.

On Jul 11, 2007

Pediatricians currently discourage giving peanut products to a child so young.

The reason probably has more to do with the risk of choking than of allergic reactions-- HOWEVER, in 'atopic' children,(that is, those who already seem to have the signs of allergy, eczema, or asthma) or those that have first degree relatives with atopic conditions, there is a clear recommendation to wait until such children are MUCH older... 3 years old [i]at a minimum.[/i] Some sources say 5 years old.

Truthfully? I found out about my daughter's peanut allergy the same way-- when she was 11 months old. I know that she would have been allergic anyway, but my three year old child would have been MUCH better able to communicate with me. If a child has non-external symptoms, they need to be able to indicate this very clearly, and such young children cannot do so.

The first "sign" that she was allergic? She ate a thin smear of peanut butter spread on the top of a single cheerio. Within a minute or two, we truly feared she might die before we could get her to the local emergency room five minutes away. EMS [i]told us to not wait for an ambulance.[/i] Until that morning, we thought she 'might' have a milk allergy, maybe-- but we hadn't ever seen anything like that. EVER. And my daughter has two parents and several other family members who carry epinephrine for our own allergies. Peanut allergy in a toddler is scary stuff. But you did ask.

Another thing to consider is that the mechanism of how a peanut allergy develops isn't very well-known. So early introduction (which this child has now had) doesn't seem to make them more likely to be allergic. But the fact that the child didn't have any apparent reaction doesn't mean anything either. Many children who go on to develop a peanut allergy do not initially seem to be allergic.

HTH.

(In other words, mom's probably freaking out a little over this, and you're probably feeling a little defensive. Neither one of you is 'right' or 'wrong.' In my opinion, of course. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited July 12, 2007).]

On Jul 12, 2007

I believe the first exposure would probably not cause a reaction. Subsequent exposures may. I would avoid until age 3, even though he's had it already. We have NO food allergies on either side of our family but our oldest DD is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.

------------------ ============== [b]~Gale~[/b]

On Jul 12, 2007

Since I am allergic to peanuts and tree nuts I wanted to wait till my son was older to try nuts. But against all my wishes other people decided to give him cookies with traces of nuts and let him play with a peanuts container cover, it was all over his face. No reaction, but exposure. One day my son had a hive under each eye. I thought it was suspicious and later found peanut butter drops on the floor where he was playing (3rd exposure) he was under two at that time. At 2 years old someone was eating peanuts and touched his face and he broke out in hives on his face. This happened more than once even after I mentioned that he may be allergic. I had him tested and he tested positive. He sat in a chair where someone had eaten peanut butter and had his first ingestion reaction (he didn't eat anything). He must have touched a spot on the chair that someone else touched with traces of peanutbutter on their hands (a trace of peanutbutter is not visible). At 2 years old we found out he was severely allergic to peanuts. Then tree nuts and sesame, which he was exposed to without me understanding that certain cookies had tree nuts or certain brands we can't trust and I had no clue about avoiding sesame.

I will never find out if avoiding peanuts would have prevented his allergy or lessoned the severety of it. He may have still been allergic but I will never know.

Edited to add that our allergist recommends that all children should avoid peanuts and tree nuts untill at least 5 years old.

[This message has been edited by momll70 (edited July 12, 2007).]

On Jul 12, 2007

As others have stated, the current medical advice is to delay introduction of peanuts--which may or may not prevent an allergy in a susceptible kid (susceptible in terms of heredity, already showing signs of being allergic to *something*, etc). My kid was susceptible, we delayed until past 2 years, and, well....here we are!

Maybe the parents are overly worried about peanuts; maybe not. However, since this is their child, they get to set the rules. Honestly, the child getting peanut butter in the first place sounds like an honest mistake to me, but now that everyone is aware of what the parents want, they should respect the parents' wishes and refrain from offering the child peanut-containing foods.

An honest discussion would help, too, such as, "We know you don't want XXX to have peanuts--are 'may contains' okay? Should we always check with you before giving XXX food?" It will let the parents know that you respect their decisions WRT their child and that you are willing to work WITH them. Because relationships are more important than peanuts.

Ultimately, it really doesn't matter if mom and dad are being too nervous or paranoid. They are making the best decisions they can. The best thing you can do for them is to support them in that decision.

I think it shows wonderful concern and caring that you came here to ask for our advice. It warms my heart!

~Jenn in GA DS (5) PA, DD (2) NKA

On Jul 12, 2007

Hi, thanks for coming here with your question. When my son was a baby and toddler, I was very particular about what he ate. My motivations were twofold. I wanted him to have healthy eating habits and he was kind of an "allergic" child from the beginning. I avoided the major allergens (peanuts, treenuts, wheat, egg whites). I didn't avoid milk because I did give him that at the recommended age and he had no problems.

He did not eat processed meats, cookies, rarely had candy. I pretty much dictated what he ate and did not appreciate people feeding him things I didn't approve of. Regardless of the risks of allergies, I think it is wrong to go against what a parent wishes for her child's diet. My cousin is currently going through this with her baby in my aunt feeding the baby stuff that isn't appropriate for a child her age.

Many times, a child does not react the first time, so this bite of PBJ won't be the okay to eliminate the possiblity of allergies. What others have posted about holding off on allergic foods is correct according to many doctors.

So maybe be supportive of your grandchild's mother and find out what she feels is inappropriate for him/her to eat at this age and respect her wishes.

On Jul 12, 2007

I have to agree with kcjenn. If it isn`t your child, it really doesn`t matter if it`s a good idea or bad idea to withhold peanut products at that age. It really isn`t your decision to make. If the parents asked that peanut products should not be given, then they should not be given, whatever the child`s age is. Just like if they said no junk food or no soda, then that should be respected. On the other hand, if the parents had not set down this rule about no peanut butter and then got upset after the peanut butter was given, then the parents need to be more clear about the rules. It`s really moot whether it is or isn`t recommended to give peanut butter at that age, but in fact the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against it.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited July 12, 2007).]

On Jul 12, 2007

Kelly K, I'm guessing that someone in your grandchild's family has asthma, eczema or food allergies. Corvallis Mom suggested this too - if he is from an atopic family, then his chances of developing a food allergy are much greater. Pediatricians now suggest waiting until a child (from an atopic family) is as old as 5 before allowing high-allergen foods, such as nuts.

I have adult onset peanut allergy. I'm also a grandmother. I was very concerned when my son and DIL gave peanut products to my grandkids for the first time as both sides of the family are Atopic. They waited until the kids were two, and I thought that was too young.

The first sign of an allergic reaction in children may be hives, but it is also common to have swelling of the lips, face, eyes. With some the first reaction might be to try to scratch their tongue or scream that the peanut butter burns their mouth. The child may have an itchy throat or his voice might become raspy or hoarse. Some have just GI reactions with stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

At first, the reaction may happen up to four hours after eating the peanut product. Subsequent reactions come harder and faster. It takes two exposures to become 'allergic'.

If you read the posts in the INTRODUCE YOURSELF thread, you'll read many accounts from parents of young children who have just learned (the hard way) that their child is allergic to peanuts.

I hope your grandson doesn't develop a peanut allergy. It is life-changing, to put it mildly.

On Jul 12, 2007

To all who replied to my posting - thank you so much for taking the time to educate me. I can't tell you how helpful it was reading your postings. I appreciate your suggestions and incredible wisdom in this area.

On Jul 12, 2007

I have to agree, people should really try to hold off on peanut products until around age 3-4 (IMO). And it is every parents right to do so if they wish(why family has to be so difficult is beyond me). I was doing daycare in my home and I would give the kids pb Ritz at snack time now and then. All the kids were 3 1/2 and over, except my son Jake(he was 1 1/2). But one day(out of sheer uneducation about food allergies) I gave him a bite of my pb toast(granted, he'd had nibbles of the ritz quite a few times prior)....but that one piece of pb toast, which he spit out, caused his lips to swell and his tongue swelled and hung out of his mouth, he coudln't talk. I gave Benadryl immedietly and called the Ped. It took an hour and the swelling went down, he was into the allergist within the month and my food allergy journey began. I wish I would have know then....my son Carson is now 4 and has never eaten it. Just wanted to share, with as dangerous as pb allergies are, I think holding off to give it is a GREAT idea and the parents should be supported!

------------------ Chanda(mother of 4) Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma) Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma) Carson-4 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE) Savannah-1 1/2 (milk and egg)

On Jul 12, 2007

Oh I forgot-my dd *may* have been exposed at a very early age. I had forgotten until someone posted about other people giving food at a young age. My dd was about 4 mos old when I was getting finished with my RCIA (Catholic education, basically). We had a little party and I took dd (normally didn't take her to the classes but this was not a class). The nuns wanted to hold her and they carried her around a little. Then I found out they were feeding her cake and letting her drink from ANYONE'S cup. I was really upset. I didn't know about avoiding nuts at the time but I did know that 4 mos old was too young to be eating cake, and even I wouldn't drink from someone else's cup. So anyway she might have had an exposure (may contains-it was a bakery cake) from that.

------------------ ============== [b]~Gale~[/b]

[This message has been edited by gw_mom3 (edited July 12, 2007).]

On Jul 12, 2007

I haven't read the whole thread so I appologize if this has been brought up already...

but I first gave my son peanut butter at age 3 - he did not like it all - 8 days later he had a rash all over his legs. That was my first hint that he might be allergic. It was months later that he got another tast of peanut butter and trip to the ER.

So I would watch that child for a rash.

Good luck! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by Sarahb (edited July 12, 2007).]

On Jul 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Sarahb: [b]I haven't read the whole thread so I appologize if this has been brought up already...

but I first gave my son peanut butter at age 3 - he did not like it all - 8 days later he had a rash all over his legs. That was my first hint that he might be allergic. It was months later that he got another tast of peanut butter and trip to the ER.

So I would watch that child for a rash.

Good luck! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by Sarahb (edited July 12, 2007).][/b]

I think that is an important thing to notice...my son didn't like the taste either and have noticed it with my other kids allergies(they tend to spit out the offending food, like their body is telling them, *this isn't right*)

------------------ Chanda(mother of 4) Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma) Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma) Carson-4 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE) Savannah-1 1/2 (milk and egg)

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