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Just wanted to say hi everyone. I am new to this site. My DS was diagnosed with a peanut allergy 3 years ago. He was tested for food allergies because of his severe ezcema, and the only thing that came back positive was peanuts-and even that was at a low level. The allergist said to just avoid all peanuts and all tree nuts and carry the epi-pen at all times "just in case." Thankfully, we have never needed to use it. A while ago someone gave my DS a cookie thinking it was a sugar cookie when in fact, it was a peanut butter cookie. He ate 2 bites of it and did not want any more. About an hour later he threw up,which at the time, we did not attribute to being an allergic reaction. When I told his allergist this a few weeks ago at a follow up appt, I was alarmed to find out that GI stuff is a very common reaction to peanuts. The doctor retested him (he hadn't been tested since the initial diagnosis) because he was certain the level had gone up. Sure enough, now my son is at a level 4. So of course now I am freaking out. I'm worried that I'm not going to be cautious enough and that he is going to have a major reaction. We mostly just avoided direct contact before but now I'm wondering if that is nearly enough. We have made our house completely nut free but I don't know how far to go, like should we be avoiding the stuff that is manufactured on same equipment, etc. Because my DS has never had any major reaction, we don't know what we could really expect if he injested more than just a couple of bites. I am now educating myself as much as possible, which is how I ended up on this site. It is comforting to know there are others in similar situations. I look forward to giving and receiving feedback as well as we continue on this "journey."

On Dec 15, 2007

Welcome Resa! I have not been a member very long myself, and haven't really had much of a chance to be a very active member but have finally found the time to become more involved so hopefully I can begin to be more of a contributor. As a new member, I highly recommend you start out by browsing the Manufacturers forum. There is much to be learned here, some obvious but others that you would never think of (medicines and sunscreens for example). One thing you will not learn on here is how to determine your own comfort level with dealing with the allergy. That is a decision that only you can make. But hopefully the information on here can help you make that decision. I wish you the best of luck!

On Dec 19, 2007

At any time, that next reaction could be the major one. The risk involved with items manufactured in a facility or that may contain peanuts might seem like a small risk but you need to decide if you should let any risk enter into things. For me, there are plenty of other items to choose from with no warnings at all. Its just not worth the risk. As for that cookie...some questions that should go into your decision when taking a cooking from someone. Was it made on the same baking sheet as a peanut butter cookie. What about residue and crumbs from a cooling rack, mixing bowl utensils, bakers hands ect. It takes so little for that peanut poison to contaminate our world. I feel the need to be very bold with this because I personally think these are the things that are a real danger to the allergic person. I was never afraid my son would eat actual peanut items, its the cross contamination that I fear. I would suggest next time, avoid the cookie all together. Its just a cookie. Promise to go home and make bigger and better cookies later. Read Learn Read and Ask Welcome!

On Dec 20, 2007

Hi and welcome,

i just posted the following to another newbie post. When we were first diagonsed we did bascially what you stated avoid the obvious etc. However that changed when he had a reaction within a month that I mention below. Now we are much much more cautious.

My son also had GI reaction to his first (and only) known ingestion of Peanut at age 3 - his was immmediate and severe with coughing.

Quote from my earlier post: One was the real risk of cross contamination. I had read that Bakeries are high risk - I was thinking oh don't get a donut out of the case as it could be by a nut item. I didn't get that it meant any bakery item - my son had a reaction to bakery french bread no nuts on the label. Other high risk areas are Oriental restaurants and ice cream parlors. For us if we are going to eat out I call and speak to the manager in detail on how they prepare items what type of oil they use etc.

Another question that comes up often is the may contains and processed in a facitly warnings. There have been studies done and somewhere between 7 & 17 % of these items do contain peanut protien. My allergist recommends avoiding all of these.