My 14 month old is allergic to peanuts

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We just found out that our son is allergic to peanuts (after having to call 911 because of a PBJ sandwich). I am so frightened for him, something so small can hurt him so much. I just want to protect him and I fear that I won't be able to. I feel guilty for being so upset; it's not like it is cancer or a heart problem.

My son's pediatrician recommended to wait until he is 2 or 3 before seeing an allergist because they won't be able to do anything for him anyway. He also recommended that we avoid all legumes that are related to peanuts. I am not sure what these are, does anyone else know?

I am just looking for some insight into what else to expect for my son...

By jenniferbfab on Jun 27, 2009

MasonMommy, welcome to peanutallergy.com. You'll find a lot of helpful info here.

First, I would recommend calling an allergist despite your pediatrician's opinion. Some allergists will indeed test infants and toddlers. In addition, you may be able to get different helpful advice from an allergist that might not be available from your pediatrician. We love our pediatricians but they don't usually specialize in allergies. Get your info on the peanut allergy straight from an allergist. It's the best thing to do.

Legumes include things like peas, chickpeas, beans, lentils, lupine. Our allergist recommends we steer clear of tree nuts because of the risk of cross-contamination. Tree nuts include nuts such as walnuts, pecans, pistachios, brazil nuts, cashews, etc. They are often processed in the same facility or on the same equipment as peanuts so there's a chance of cross-contamination.

What to expect? Learn to read labels carefully. You may need to check websites or call manufacturers to find out if peanuts/tree nuts are present in the facility, if there is a chance of cross-contamination. There is a learning curve, and you'll develop your own list of "safe" foods, "safe" manufacturers. Once you do, living with peanut allergy will be very manageable. Also, take note of what is in non-food products too, like shampoo, lotions. And ask as many questions as you need to when dining out. I recommend reading one of the many books on peanut allergy, such as Dr. Michael Young's. It will give you a great overview.

All the best, Jennifer B www.foodallergybuzz.com

By mkate on Jun 27, 2009

I'm new to this too, but it is quite a blow and you have every right to feel upset! My son had a reaction to peanut butter at 15 months, one month ago, and I have found this board/site to be very helpful. I'm sure others will have some advice, but I think people will tell you that it is good to see an allergist anyway (we won't be able to get in to see one until late September, but at least we have the appointment.) Do you have an Epi-pen and clear instructions on what to do in the case of another reaction?

As far as related legumes, that would be peas and soy and possibly lentils, garbanzos, etc. I think, though, that it is more common for peanut-allergic people to be allergic to other nuts than it is for them to be allergic to other legumes. For now we are avoiding all tree nuts as well as peanuts (we're also avoiding soy, just in case, but he has had lentils, peas, and chick peas with no problems so they are fine for us.)

As I said, I'm still new to this, but I just wanted to say you are not alone, and it is perfectly normal to have all sorts of feelings-- this is a big deal, but it can be managed, as you will see from others here who have been dealing with it for years.

By BestAllergySites on Jun 28, 2009

MasonMommy-welcome to peanutallergy.com! Sorry that your son had such a horrible peanut experience.

I wanted to chime in to mention that while pediatricians mean well, they are not experts in any one field-they know general medicine. As the others have suggested-you should consult with an allergist.

Eliminating foods from your sons diet can be very dangerous. While some children have peanut allergy and are allergic to other legumes like soy, peas, and beans-many others are only allergic to peanut. Eliminating foods your son has not had a reaction to "could" cause a food allergy to that food down the road.

That is why it is best to consult with an allergist. It's not true that they can't do anything for you. They can advise you on diet changes, "may" be able to do testing, and help with an emergency plan and epi pen script.

Things seems overwhelming and hard now-but it does get easier. Take it one day and one step at a time. Start with making an allergist appointment! :)

Best of luck! Ruth

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