Help, I'm new to this! My 18mo old has peanut allergies..

Posted on: Fri, 07/17/2009 - 5:43pm
rdowers's picture
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Joined: 07/18/2009 - 00:22

My daughter is 18mo. old and I just gave her peanut butter for the first time this past Monday. Barely a bite and she was complaining about her neck and pulling at her bib. I pulled it off and saw the hives on her neck and immediately went for the benadryl. She also got hives around her mouth and eye. but the Benadryl helped take care of them. Saw the pediatrician the next day, got her epi-pens, and had a blood draw done to test for more allergies. We need to find her a good allergist. This is all so overwhelming. She has never had any problems with foods that say they may have traces of peanuts or may have been manufactured in plants that also use peanuts. Nor has she had a problem with foods fried in peanut oil. Do I have to avoid all those things now too? I've heard the reactions to peanuts just get worse each time :(

Posted on: Sat, 07/18/2009 - 1:45am
BestAllergySites's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2009 - 21:46

rdowers,
I'm sorry your daughter had a reaction but am glad to hear she is okay. I know peanut allergy or any allergy for that matter can be a scary thing when getting a new diagnosis.
I am not an allergist, but please understand that there is no one right answer to your questions. Some children tolerate peanut oil fine, other do not. We personally stay away from it for safety sake. Most peanut oils do not have enough peanut protein to cause a reaction-however in oils not processed enough there could be detectable peanut protein.
Regarding "may contains" type foods. It's possible your daughter has just been lucky and never really ate a food that actually had the peanut protein. It's not a definite each and every time. One time a batch of m&ms might have the protein another time it might not. Which is why the label says "may contains". We also avoid such foods.
While it is possible for a reaction to get worse each time, that does not always happen. Reaction number 1 could be severe, 2 mild, and 3 severe again. There really is no rhyme or reason to it.
You really should consult with your allergist regarding these questions-but for us personally-we stay away from all things peanut.
Regarding the blood draw for other foods-if other foods come back positive I would also request a skin prick test. If that is also positive but your daughter has never had a reaction to that food-I would ask for a food challenge. Testing can have a high false positive rate so you really want to make sure there is a history of reaction to the food.
It will get easier in time. All children and allergies are different. Take what you read on these boards with a grain of salt. You can live with food allergies!
Hope that helps!
Ruth

Posted on: Sun, 07/19/2009 - 5:49am
jenniferbfab's picture
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Joined: 05/04/2008 - 12:43

Hopefully your allergist will give you some good guidance on what to avoid. I can tell you what our experience has been. My son has a life threatening allergy to peanuts. He is not allergic to any tree nuts.
We have been to two allergists from Children's Hospital of Boston. Both have told us to avoid peanuts and tree nuts and products which are made in a facility where peanuts and/or tree nuts are present because of the risk of cross-contamination.
My son has had skin reactions to trace amounts so it seems the advice to avoid "may contains" is critical in our case. I know others who can eat "may contains" without any worries. It just depends.
Listen to your allergist and to your gut.
Good luck, and don't worry, managing the allergy will become easier over time.
Best,
Jennifer B
www.foodallergybuzz.com

Posted on: Tue, 07/21/2009 - 5:28pm
rdowers's picture
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Joined: 07/18/2009 - 00:22

Thanks for yur responses ladies! As it turns out her blood test showed that she was only mildly reactive to peanuts but more reactive to wheat and egg whites. (Things that she eats all the time by the way.) I don't have the actual results yet but this was told to me over the phone. I dont even know where to begin with this since what I do in my spare time is bake cakes and cupcakes for parties and events and just for friends. I guess I will just have to get creative with a new kind of recipe now. I do intend to request skin prick test but there are no appointments available until Aug 20th. Until then we will continue to be careful and avoid "may contain" foods as well. It seems silly since she has never been affected by them but she may have just been lucky so far and not had anything that actually did have traces/peanuts. She has had almonds before with no reaction so I think they are ok. I think...

Posted on: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 8:07am
lakeswimr's picture
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Joined: 02/01/2007 - 09:00

Testing is not 100% accurate. Testing (both skin and blood) are only 50% accurate for positive results and about 90% accurate for negative results. Testing should not be used on foods a child eats all the time just fine. If a child eats a food just fine the child isn't allergic to the food. Allergies can develop at any time but testing is used to confirm an allergy or to try to figure out an allergy, not to check foods a person eats just fine.
Also, test results do not tell you the likely severity of a reaction, only the *likelihood* of a reaction. A person can test 'low' or 'moderate' (or even negative) to a food and still have the most severe of reactions and a person can test high and only have mild reactions. Your child's past reaction shows your child has a real, serious food allergy, though, that you should treat most seriously.
You should check out www.foodallergy.org and get some of their books and pamphlets for basic, important info. Also www.kidswithfoodallergies.org is a great site as well with a lot of basic, important info.

Posted on: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 6:14pm
rdowers's picture
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Joined: 07/18/2009 - 00:22

Thanks Lakeswimr. Everything you are saying makes sense to me. I am somewhat inclined to belive there is something going on with the wheat allergy even though I always assumed she was fine after eating it. only becaus she has had a few unexplained stomach "viruses" that no one else in the house suffered from. They seemed to come from nowhere, none of her friends of brothers was sick, and she never managed to infect anyone else. So I'm thinking that maybe it was reactions to soething she was eating explained away as a "virus". Who knows. Hopefully with time we can get this all figured out but, based on her reaction to peanuts, not the test results, they have been eliminated from her diet.
Thanks also for the links.
:)

Peanut Free Store

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