Getting a younger sibling tested?

Posted on: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 2:18pm
KateDe's picture
Joined: 09/20/2006 - 09:00

My 4 year old is PA. I don't know about my 2 1/2. The allergist said I could test her myself by putting a little on her cheek, wait, tongue, wait and then feed. This seems insane to me. I would much prefer to have her bloodwork done. My doctor is well known, respected etc.... so what I'm asking here is is his advice normal? Has anyone ever done this or heard of doing it with a younger sibling?

Posted on: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 2:25pm
DebO's picture
Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

My daughter is PA and when her younger brother was 4 he reacted to eggs. He was tested normally for peanut allergy - and cam up negative on both skin and blood tests. Our allergist wanted to go on with an oral challenge, but since my house is peanut free I didn't see any point in it. He can be tested when he is older.
I suppose just trying it out as your doctor described is the way many people find out about food allergies, but I think with the history of an older sibling who is allergic I would expect standard testing.
good luck

Posted on: Thu, 09/20/2007 - 2:45pm
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

Our older son is PA/TNA and our younger son is Egg allergic. Our younger son was RAST tested for Peanut and also skin tested. But we didn't try testing him with an actual oral challenge until just last month -- which means he was about 5 1/2. He also had recently undergone RAST & skin tests again for other stuff, but Peanut was in there too, just to be sure.
When we tested him, we did start with a bit on his arm. Then just a near non-existent amount to taste. And a couple small amounts..... like the size of a pea.... after. We haven't done anymore though. But, he didn't react.
I don't think I would have done that at 2 1/2 though. Actually, I know I wouldn't have done that at 2 1/2.
If there isn't really any pressing reason to know, and your house is peanut free anyway, I might wait. Only do a bloodtest and skin test, maybe. We only really did it this year because my younger son was starting Kindergarten. We all live Peanut, tree nut and egg free at our house, so it only became a bigger issue when it meant possible daily exposure at school.

Posted on: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 12:24am
bethc's picture
Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

With her having an allergic sibling, I think you should wait until she's 4 or so to expose her to peanuts. She's in a higher risk category for developing allergies, and I've read that they think you should delay introducing highly allergenic foods with a family history. Then once she's older, you could go with either blood tests first or the self-testing the way the allergist said. After all, the odds are still quite low that she would be allergic to peanuts specifically.
With my younger DD, because she'd had 2 episodes of mystery hives while she was young and thus we suspected some food allergy, I had them do blood tests on her first when she turned 4. But when those came back negative, the allergist gave me the go-ahead to feed her peanuts and nuts. He said anyone can become allergic to any food at any time, but there was no reason to believe she had PA.
I did put a little peanut butter on her cheek one day, then on her lip another, then had her taste a miniscule amount another. Then we worked up to a few Reese's Pieces. I still haven't felt brave enough to give her a whole peanut butter cup or anything, which is probably silly since she's shown no sign of PA. And my DS, who's the oldest, eats whole peanut butter sandwiches away from home and I don't worry about him. It's just that I've seen what can happen when I didn't think my other DD was allergic to peanuts but really she just hadn't eaten it enough times to display a reaction yet. Better to be cautious about how much they eat when you're still testing the waters.

Posted on: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 1:10am
SpudBerry's picture
Joined: 07/23/2002 - 09:00

Having had a 2nd child turn out to be allergic even after he originally tested negative.... here is my experience:
Mom to 7 year old twins Ben & Mike
One PA since 13 months
One PA since 7 years
Stay Informed And Peanut Free!

Posted on: Fri, 09/21/2007 - 3:47am
KateDe's picture
Joined: 09/20/2006 - 09:00

Thank you for the responses. I asked because my little one started preschool. So far I've just kept her away from peanuts and told the preschool directer to do the same. But I really do need to find out.

Posted on: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 7:15am
SkyMom's picture
Joined: 10/27/2001 - 09:00

My son was given the SPT at the age of three. His older sister is PA. Thankfully he tested negative and occasionally eats may contains if his sister isn't with us. He is now going to be eight in November and has never had any problems.

Posted on: Sun, 09/23/2007 - 8:31am
April in KC's picture
Joined: 08/28/2006 - 09:00

We had this dilemma when our middle son turned 3. (His oldest brother has PA.) Our allergist agreed to do an ImmunoCap blood test for several foods, and it came back negative for peanut. We still do not feed him peanuts, but he does not carry an Epi.

Posted on: Tue, 09/25/2007 - 7:41am
bethc's picture
Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

Raising for Lilysmom.

Posted on: Tue, 09/25/2007 - 8:14am
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

My 11yo dd is PA/TNA. We have avoided all nuts with our two younger children.
Our allergist recommended RAST testing them first. If that comes back negative, then they will skin test. If that comes back negative, then they will food challenge IN THE OFFICE. I also think they wanted to wait until age five for the food challenge part, I'll have to recheck my notes for sure.
So far they have both RAST tested negative but I haven't had the skin test done yet. I actually need to get on this...for right now it is really no problem avoiding but I would like to have the peace of mind, especially with so many school years and bday parties ahead!

Posted on: Tue, 09/25/2007 - 4:26pm
SFMom's picture
Joined: 11/27/2006 - 09:00

My girls are ages 13 and 11. Our allergist doesn't do the blood tests unless the patient is HIGHLY allergic. He says that the blood tests often do not show accurate results and that the skin tests are more accurate.
With that said...I waited until younger DD was about 3 years old to have her get the skin prick tests. Peanut was negative. In fact, I think everything was negative.
Fast forward two years age 5, she accidently took a bite of a peanut butter cookie and spit it out. But a year later when I got her tested again (around age 6), she was postive for peanut and legumes, just like her older sister.
When my kids were little, I didn't realize the cross-link between legumes and peanuts. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have kept younger DD away from legumes as a baby (e.g., peas or tofu). I sometimes wonder if that one bite of the peanut butter cookie, compounded by eating legumes, caused her nut allergy to bloom full force?
I also wonder....if this food allergy thing is totally GENETIC, then is there anything we really could have done to prevent our kids from being allergic to legumes and nuts? I mean....would the allergy have happened no matter what?
Maybe one day they'll identify the gene that causes this and maybe (wouldn't it be great) if some gene therapy would fix it for good?! Personally I believe that there is a strong genetic component to this, and that it's not an "environmental" or "over-sanitation" issue.

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