Hi, I\'m new... need help with newly diagnosed peanut allergy

Posted on: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 2:50am
Mireille's picture
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Joined: 04/09/2007 - 09:00

Hi there,

I have 2 beautiful children.. my big boy Alexis is 2.5 years old and my baby girl is 13 months. Last month, we gave her peanut butter for the first time and she had a pretty scary allergic reaction to it. IT was almost instant, within 3 minutes she was covered in hives, puffy eyes, all red.. We took her to the ER and they prescribed her an Epipen. I'm slowly trying to understand now all the foods she needs to stay away from but I feel overwhelmed! The nurse at the Hospital told us to cut out everything that had even "traces of" from out home...

Anyway, our doctor also seems to believe that she has asthma (she has a wheezing breathe) which gets worse when she has a cold. She was hospitalized for 7 days at 5 weeks old form RSV so I know she is more likely to develop asthma.

And she also has eczema which I find very difficult to manage, even with 1% cortisone cream.

Our dc finally referred to an allergist and dermatologist but our appt. is only in SEPTEMBER!!!

My biggest worry now is that she goes to daycare and there is a cat there. Her eyes are always red and her breathing is worse since she has started daycare. (about one month ago) Could she also be allergic to cats? AND, to my biggest dissapointment, we found out that the daycare provider's husband is a smoker who smokes in the house at night and on weekends. I was very angry that we were not informed of this prior to registration.

I want to find new daycare, because if my daughter is asthmatic, this place is not good for her. The lady is soooo nice and good to my kids, but I need to protect her. Finding new daycare is so hard, especially for two this young. I am at a loss.

Also, the daycare still has all sorts of peanut products in her home, although she is very careful with my girl.. you never know what can happen.

Any tips, ideas.. whatever to help me deal with all of this. I am new to all 3 of these conditions so any info will help me

Thank you!
Mireille

Posted on: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 3:12am
Momcat's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

Welcome, I'm glad you found this site--it has been a great help to my family. About the daycare, look into larger chains and community centers rather than homebased daycares. Often, centers such as Kindercare have more training and allergy prevention policies in place.
Cathy

Posted on: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 3:45am
AidansMommy's picture
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Joined: 04/06/2007 - 09:00

Hi Mireille, sorry to hear you are going through all this. I have much the same issues you do minus the asthma with my 13 month old son. He has severe eczema and several severe food and environmental allergies, with peanut being the highest, that were just diagnosed two weeks ago.
We ran the gamut with our pediatrician, dermatologist, and allergist. Only since we

Posted on: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 3:57am
JacksonsMom's picture
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Joined: 07/21/2002 - 09:00

Hi and welcome. You are probably pretty overwhelmed right now with all of this but it will get better. Read as much as you can here, there is tons of information.
Let's see - first I agree with Cathy that you should find a daycare that is more used to handling allergies, ideally one that is nut free. If your current daycare serves nut products not only do you have to worry about your daughter eating the wrong thing you also have to consider that the other kids are covered in residue, leaving traces on toys, chairs, books etc. If your daughter is like my one year old she probably puts everything in her mouth. If she is asthmatic, has eczema, and a peanut allergy there's a pretty good chance she's allergic to the cat as well. When you get in to see the allergist make sure they test her for food and environmental allergies as well.
You mentioned that your appt is not until the fall? Try calling the allergist and explain that your daughter just had an anaphylactic reaction that required an ER visit, they should be able to get you in earlier. If not try and find another one who can see you sooner.
Good luck, and ask lots of questions here.
Take care [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 3:58am
McCobbre's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

I would strongly suspect the cat, but it could be the smoke. Look for a peanut free daycare while you're looking. It will make life easier for you--not perfect, because there will still be daycare issues involving food safety, but that's a huge hurdle to cross.
This board is a great resource. Welcome here. You ran across a great ER nurse who gave you good advise.
I would try to get to an allergist sooner, though.
But do read labels and do avoid all peanut products. I'd just get them out of your home. Your toddler can enjoy other things, and you'll rest much easier.

Posted on: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 6:08am
smudgesgarden's picture
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Joined: 02/26/2006 - 09:00

reguardless of the peanut issue id find a new day care center because of the smoking. find a state licenced place that would forbid smoking on the gounds.
plus if you find a place like child time ( i beleive its nation wide) thay are allready peanut free.
good luck
and welcome!
erin

Posted on: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 1:55am
amartin's picture
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Joined: 02/22/2006 - 09:00

Welcome (but sorry you have to be here!)....
We suspected PA with our son when he was 13 months old too. His first two reactions were flushing and two or three small hives. Our pediatrician advised us to wait until he was four years old to allergy test and to just avoid (didn't even prescribe epi). After his last reaction (at 18 months), I took matters into my own hands and went to an allergist. We also have a daughter, who at the time, was about 2.5 too.
I'm so happy to hear that the ER nurse gave you great advice. I wish we would have been as fortunate as I feel like we put our son's life in danger for several months after his original reaction.
I also work outside of the home and have had to deal with the childcare issues too. We did end up moving our kids to a supposedly peanut-free facility, but after being there for several months, I learned that they really had no idea what truly peanut free meant. Our biggest issue was food in other kids backpacks, lack of knowledge by other staff members, and a general lack of control around the whole food allergy issue. My advice would also be to look for a peanut free facility, but then don't stop there. Make sure to ask questions about what they serve, how they read labels, how they control food being brought in from the outside, who is trained on the epi, etc. I'd also ask to visit the kitchen and look at what they have on the shelves. Ask to read their food labels. Talk to the person who prepares food and grill them on their knowledge. My kids are now at their second "peanut free" facility since the diagnosis. They have been there for about seven months, but I still stay very involved on what is being served and I ask a ton of questions. With your daughters possible other allergies, I would think you may be better off in a daycare-type center. They tend to be much more structured and regulated. You won't have to deal with the smoking and pet issues. The hard part is that you will probably end up with your kids in separate rooms if you go this route. That was a huge sticking point for us as we wanted our kids to be together. Finding the right facility was a huge project, but attainable. I ended up calling EVERY daycare facility in our area and refused to settle. I started with the basic questions about childcare, education, etc. It may not be the "right" thing to do, but I didn't even bring up the allergy issues in-depth until I came in for a site visit. The one thing we found that really benefited us was that we have two kids and they are both young (more years in care before school - more $$ for them). I know it's overwhelming. The truth is you can never trust anyone as much as you would trust yourself.
Regarding the allergist, I would also call and tell them the circumstances. I bet you'll be able to get on a waiting list for a cancellation. Or, if not - perhaps there is another allergist that could get you in sooner. I definately wouldn't wait until September.
Sorry for the long post... This does get more manageable once you develop your comfort zone and have everything in place to feel "safe", as well as prepared to deal with a reaction should one occur.
[This message has been edited by amartin (edited April 10, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 2:52am
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Joined: 12/01/2006 - 09:00

We actually had great luck on the allergy front with home-based daycares. It sounds like the one you're in isn't ideal (I'd guess the cat could be the source of the red eyes) but if you're looking for a new daycare provider, interview home-based providers about their experience with food allergies. The woman we had for years had been running a daycare in her home for over 20 years and had seen everything, so dealing with a peanut allergy was no big deal for her. With the smaller group, it's easier for a home-based daycare to institute and really provide a nut-free envoronment, and with only one care provider you don't have to worry so much about untrained staff and staff turnover. Finding a smoke and pet free house isn't difficult since it's what so many parents want anyway.
Learning to read labels and knowing what to avoid will become second nature to you in time and won't be so overwhelming. It really DOES get easier! I hope the allergist is able to answer some of your questions (and a six month wait to see a specialist is not at all unusual. When we want to see our immunologist, we have to call at least five months in advance, and that's for a follow-up! Initial appointments take even longer. Ugh.).
Good luck!
Sarah

Posted on: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 11:27am
slk70's picture
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Joined: 02/03/2007 - 09:00

I am sorry about your daugther's allergies. Getting her into a peanut free home or center is very important.
Also you should read some books on dealing with peanut allergies- it gives you tons of advice on how to educate those around you and how to keep the child safe at home, out etc. I would be concerned about the smoke and her asthma. The cat may be another source of her allergies. I would look for a healthier environment.
I am a licensed daycare provider that has a totally nut-free/peanut and egg free home. I had to due to my son but have been asked by other families that have considered using my care. I am sure you can go to a referral company and find safe households if you still want home daycare.
Good luck.
------------------
Slk70 (Sheryl)
Mommy to Nathan (1 yr)Peanut/Egg/avoiding peas
Aidan (3 yrs) NFA

Posted on: Sun, 04/15/2007 - 12:01pm
JRB's picture
JRB
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Joined: 09/11/2005 - 09:00

HI,
I'm sorry that you are going thru this. My ds was 18 months old when we found out he has pa. He had eczema real bad and could not get it cleared up. After we went to the allergiest we found out that he is also allergic to cats/dogs, dust mites, and eggs.
I beleive that after getting rid of our cat helped him a a lot. He still has unknown reactions from time to time but nothing serious.
Just keep reading the post and watch the foods that you offer and then it will become easier. My ds will be 3 in Aug. and he is just now wanting other food that the big kids have. It's hard but he will tell you that pa/eggs "make me sick".
Good Luck
Suzette

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