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Hello everyone,

I just discovered (the hard way) that my 1 year old has a peanut allergy. We had to make an emergency trip to the hospital Monday, 12/17/2007, after eating peanut butter. I am so glad this forum is here and would love to hear from everyone about any suggestions or tips on peanut allergies. I do have a question...If my child has a peanut allergy, does this mean she may be allergic to other nuts. I do not want to just try it by allowing her to eat them. I don't want to put her through that ordeal again. Thanks for any help!!

On Dec 19, 2007

The first thing you need to do is see an allergist to confirm the peanut allergy, see what other allergies may be lurking, and get an EpiPen prescription in case of future episodes.

Peanuts aren't a true nut, they're actually a legume (bean), and more closely related to soybeans. My daughter can eat tree nuts, and especially loves pistachios.

BUT... be aware that most nuts are processed on the same equipment with peanuts, and usually in peanut oil. Sunflower seeds are often roasted in peanut oil as well. And most chocolates also have "produced on equipment with peanuts" warnings as well. Your greatest mission in life right now is to READ EVERY LABEL CAREFULLY.

[b]DO NOT BELIEVE THE STATEMENT THAT PEANUT OIL IS SAFE FOR PEANUT ALLERGIES.[/b] Technically it is, [i]if[/i] it has been heated enough to kill the protein. But my daughter once had an anaphylactic reaction after eating sunflower seeds roasted in peanut oil. It is definitely better to be safe than sorry... or worse.

By the way, I just tried Sunbutter for the first time today, and it is SO GOOD! It is ground sunflower seeds but guaranteed peanut-free, and tastes almost [i]exactly [/i]like peanut butter. I'll have to post the Scotcheroo recipe I made with it.

Try not to feel too overwhelmed with the peanut allergy: Your child can lead a relatively normal life if you just supervise carefully until he/she is old enough to do it himself/herself. My daughter was actually pretty good at it at about the age of 4 or 5. If she wasn't sure, or her dad and I weren't there to ask, she just politely declined anything offered (she's allergic to milk, too).

On Dec 19, 2007

NO! I meant that to be loud and crazy :) Do not just try anything from now on. She may be allergic to other thing such as nuts or maybe not but let an allergist test it. I would suggest to the allergist that a blood test called a RAST test be done. A SPT( skin prick test) is considered an exposure and we have already established a peanut allergy. Get an epi pen prescription from your pediatrician or even the hospital you went to right now. Get to an allergist asap. My son is 10 and so far so good. A few weeks ago I found out he may have outgrown it(wont know till Jan 8th for sure) Avoidance is very very important.

On Dec 20, 2007

Hi Welcome,

I agree with the others on Rast before any new items and EPI.

I also wanted to mention a few things that took me a while to learn in the beginning. 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.