First time peanut reaction

Posted on: Sun, 09/29/2002 - 3:50pm
lilredmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

Hello...I'm new to this site. My daughter, Ireland, who will turn one on Tuesday had an allergic reaction to peanuts today. I've always been really careful not to give her any nuts, since I know that peanuts are the #1 food allergy for kids. But I was trying to get my other kids ready to go out and gae the baby a cookie to keep her busy...and I didn't even think about the fact that it was a peanut butter cookie. We ended up rushing her to the ER and they gave her an IV and managed to get it under control. Now we have an appointment to see our family doctor on Tuesday, but I have no idea what to expect. I've never dealt with a food allergy before and I'm feeling really overwhelmed....not to mention the fact that I feel like the worst mother in the world for being careless enough to give her a peanut butter cookie when I should have known better. Can anyone offer any guidance as to what happens from here? Do they do allergy testing on babies? How do we make sure it was definitely the peanuts, and not something else? I have had allergy testing several times throughout my life, and they've always poked my arms with about a zillion do they possibly do something like that on an 18 pound baby? It seems like she wouldn't have the skin space required for testing like that. I'm sure the doctor will answer all of my questions on Tuesday, but I just feel so overwhelmed and scared that I was hoping just to get a little feedback before then. Can anyone recommend a good book on peanut allergies to start off with?

Posted on: Sun, 09/29/2002 - 6:01pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hi, lilredmom --
First of all, you're by no means the worst mom in the world! Almost all of us here have a moment we wish we could "do over" -- I outright gave DS peanut butter on a rice cake at 13 months, with the thought that it would be a good source of fat since he was allergic to dairy products!!! (I'd honestly never heard of peanut allergies...this was not quite four years ago.)
Poor little guy didn't even eat the stuff -- but did rub a tiny bit into his eye. Fifteen minutes later, he looked like a third degree burn victim. The nurse at the ped's office told me to give him Benadryl. I didn't even have a bottle of it in the house -- had never even thought about needing it! I flew down the hill to our local K-Mart, tossed my credit card (literally) to the girl at the pharmacy window, and dosed DS right there on the counter. I definitely did *not* feel like Wonder Mom at that particular moment.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
One thing that I wish I'd known right from the start is that scratch testing (what you were describing) basically re-exposes the child/patient to peanuts. Similar information can be obtained more safely through a RAST or CAP-RAST procedure. (Blood is drawn, and the testing therefore doesn't put her at risk of a reaction.) Our original allergist was a huge fan of scratch testing, so we did a fair amount of calling around to find an allergist who would order the RAST for us. After that, our pediatrician was willing to order and authorize follow-up tests.
I don't generally post "absolutes" -- especially not in terms of medical procedures, as I'm not a medical professional -- but I feel pretty strongly about this particular issue. If you do a search for "RAST" here on the boards, you'll find lots more information about the tests.
Please feel free to ask lots of questions -- you'll find a lot of people here willing to help. Just thought I'd share my .02 as probably one of the few PA.comers still up at this hour! [img][/img]
--Sue (a bit south of you, in Reno, NV)
[This message has been edited by M'smom (edited September 30, 2002).]

Posted on: Sun, 09/29/2002 - 10:29pm
AJSMAMA's picture
Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

First of all stop beating yourself up about the cookie. How were you to know she would be allergic? From this point on it is going to be all about getting as much information as you can about this allergy. As the previous poster said you will want to find a pediatric allergist. Sometimes it is very hard to find an allergist that is willing to do a RAST test. We went with the skin test in the beginning and I feel okay about it. I think you are likely to get conflicting opinions on this from people on this board as well as from doctors. Just listen to all the information and decide what yout think is best for your daughter - it will be the right choice no matter what. There is gobs of helpful information on this board just waiting for you! You will want to avoid all itmes from the bakery and meats from the deli due to cross contamination. Also you can do a search to find out about specific brand/restaurant safety.

Posted on: Mon, 09/30/2002 - 5:30am
samirosenjacken's picture
Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

I will agree with the others that you should not beat yourself up over this. I am new to the board but not new to this allergy. I have 2 daughters who are peanut allergic. I gave them both a taste of peanut butter cookie batter when they were 2 and 4. This was their first exposure to peanuts b/c I was so paranoid about it. They both have very strong reactions.
My allergist prefers to skin test. They don't make it painful for the kids and he would do the RAST test if we wanted, and in fact did do it on my one daughter, but I found it more traumatic for her to have blood drawn then do the skin test.
My allergist will test my son when he's 3. They worry about it running in families but don't like to test before 3 unless they have reason. My daughter was skin tested at 2. I have a friend who's son was given the rast test at 1.
My suggestion is to get as much information about it as you possibly can. Consult with an allergist. Have you child tested. Read what you can. Read all labels and talk to other parents. I found most of my information in talking with other peanut allergic moms.

Posted on: Mon, 09/30/2002 - 6:38am
lilredmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

Thanks everyone for oyur words of support and advice. I'm feeling a little less scared and a little less overwhelmed after hearing some of your stories. My husband and I watched the baby sleep for most of the night, but I have managed to stray about ten feet from her today without stressing too much. What a scary experience. I do feel lucky that we have a great family doctor and I know that he'll have lots of good info and he'll take this as seriously as we do. And of course I visited this morning and ordered some food allergy books! Thanks!!
- Meghan

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