Mystery Reaction at Lunch

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Does anyone have any guesses at to what may have caused this?

I fed my toddler his lunch today. He has tested negative for TN allergies but positive for PA. I gave him Zyrtec just as he was sitting down to have a sandwich of wheat bread that we know is peanut free. He has it every day. On the bread was Walmart brand cream cheese, which has no allergy alerts on it but he's eaten without incident several times, as well as Welch's grape jelly, which is produced in a peanut/nut free facility.

He also had a bit of smoothie made from milk, banana, and frozen raspberries. The only new ingredient there was the frozen raspberries, but I gave him the same smoothie for breakfast and while he didn't seem to really drink much of it he didn't have any sort of reaction.

Soon after eating and drinking, he had small hives and red blotches over his face and a bit of irritation on his hand too.

Was something contaminated or is this an allergy to something else??

I called the Dr.'s office, they said since he just had Zyrtec to wait and see if that diminishes the hives. If in 30 minutes they're still there go ahead and give him epipen. The hives seem to be going away slowly and now I'm just confused.

Any advice/suggestions?

Thanks,

Amy

On Nov 2, 2006

No advice, but my ds is actually allergic to Zyrtec. Just our luck- allergic to an allergy medication [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

On Nov 2, 2006

Wow that's ironic in a horrible way!

He takes the Zyrtec daily as treatment for cat/dust mite allergy in the hopes that it might prevent the onset of asthma.

Can a kid suddenly develop an allergy to a drug?

My husband thinks it's the raspberries since that's the only new food that was introduced today... he's had raspberries before but it was months ago. Yet I'm guessing that he ingested some this morning too with breakfast and didn't react.

On Nov 2, 2006

Hi Amy, it sounds like maybe you've got it figured out? We have been having problems with our 2.5 yo dd also with mystery reactions. If you are interested I started a thread on the main discussion board about it. I got some great ideas and thoughts. I won't bore you with the details here if you want ot go back and read it. The triggers are probably different but there really is some great general info in there. Best of luck!! Hope you figure it out!

Kara

(Here is the link to the discussion. I've never actually given a link before so hopefully it works, if not I'll try a different way!!)

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/008541.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/008541.html[/url]

On Nov 2, 2006

I would guess raspberries as well. The ingestion this morning could have sensitized him so that he reacted to the ingestion at lunch.

Good luck figuring it out... Rebekah

On Nov 2, 2006

Could you call on the Wal-Mart cream cheese to find out if they produce it in the same facility as PB--or if they run it on the same lines as flavored cream cheeses (a variety could have peanuts or other cross-contaminated nuts)? This was the first thing that crossed my mind when I read your description.

I'm not impressed with Wal-Mart's approach to food allergies. I've noticed that they do not label each bakery item for allergens, but they put out a small sign on the bakery counter that says ALL their bakery foods should not be considered safe for people with x,y,& z allergies. I think I read a post that said that a number of their boxed foods do carry warnings that they were produced in a facility that also processes peanuts.

On Nov 2, 2006

Thanks for the info, all. I did contact Walmart about the cream cheese. They said that if there was any chance of cross-contamination from equipment that the warning would be on the label. I'm not 100% comfortable with Walmart brand things anyway since like some of you, I've noticed that many of their products do have may contains. He's been eating from that tub of cream cheese without problems though so it seems unlikely... ugh.

I hate this aspect of allergy... not knowing exactly what's going on. I wasn't sure if I should follow the normal peanut allergy procedure or not. I never did give him epipen because it didn't seem like it was a peanut reaction. Now I don't know if what I did was wrong, though I followed the allergist's nurse's advice. It's frustrating!

On Nov 2, 2006

It IS possible to be allergic to Zyrtec and Shane WAS as a toddler. It would cause small red raised bumps on his face. He could not tolerate Zyrtec when he was little. When we stopped the medicine, the rash went away. I think it was just too strong for a toddler.

Shane's ENT doc tried him back on Zyrtec at about age 10 with no reaction.

You should see the looks we got (even from doctors) when we advised Shane was allergic to allergy medicine!

Have a blessed day, Bridget

On Nov 2, 2006

Well, one other idea (since nobody else has suggested it)... contact turned ingestion.

How well did he (you) wash his hands before eating?

Had you been out of the house at all? Did anything else come [i]in[/i] to the house before lunch that he might have touched? (Mail, packages, Dad, a pet-- anything.)

Where do you keep your shoes when you come inside?

DD had reactions to the dye/flavor in standard Benadryl formulations... we have used only the dye-free stuff ever since without any trouble.

On Nov 2, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by amyd: [b]...I hate this aspect of allergy... not knowing exactly what's going on. I wasn't sure if I should follow the normal peanut allergy procedure or not. I never did give him epipen because it didn't seem like it was a peanut reaction. Now I don't know if what I did was wrong, though I followed the allergist's nurse's advice. It's frustrating![/b]

Yes, very frustrating. Especially when the symptoms vary from episode to episode. Just always keeps us guessing!

Have you seen the "Anaphylaxis Symptoms and Grading Chart?" With hives only, and no other symptoms (coughing, itchy throat, etc...) it sounds like your allergist's advice is consistent.

Best of luck, Daisy

On Nov 3, 2006

Here are the answers to your questions, CorvallisMom, thanks for the help, I haven't become accustomed to playing detective yet!

[b]How well did he (you) wash his hands before eating?[/b]

I wash my hands pretty frequently but I'm not positive if I washed my hands. However, we keep no peanut products, even may contains, in the house right now.

[b]Had you been out of the house at all? Did anything else come [i]in[/i] to the house before lunch that he might have touched? (Mail, packages, Dad, a pet-- anything.)[/b]

I hadn't been out of the house, my cats just stay inside... dad went to work early in the morning. We don't get out much, it's sad!

[b]Where do you keep your shoes when you come inside?[/b]

I usually take them upstairs to my closet but sometimes they stay in the downstairs office. DH often leaves his in the kitchen, though not yesterday. (Thanks for bringing this up though, as much as my son likes to touch and lick stuff we shouldn't have shoes within his access!)

[b]DD had reactions to the dye/flavor in standard Benadryl formulations... we have used only the dye-free stuff ever since without any trouble.[/b]

That's interesting... it makes me realize that it might not even be food related. I am going to give him the Zyrtec about a half hour before I actually give him lunch today and watch him closely. It doesn't appear to have dye but is it possible that he's become sensitized to it? He has had it for about a month now without incident, although we stopped giving it to him for the last week because he was taking cold and flu meds that can cause drowsiness and I didn't want to dope him up so much.

The allergist is supposed to call this morning since he was out of the office today. I'm curious to know if he'll want to do anything about this or just wait and see.

Thank you all for the help, you're showing me how to approach this.

On Nov 3, 2006

My guess is the raspberries. My DS is allergic to Strawberries and Raspberries. He still has a pretty mighty reaction to them. The strawberries really really cause a bad reaction. He blew up as a baby after eating strawberry yogurt. Then later he ate a strawberry fruit pop. His reaction to raspberries is much milder. Redness and maybe a hive. Can you try just having him handle a raspberry, then you might know if that's what it was. My DS could not take Zyrtec, it makes him very aggressive, hyper almost changed his mood to an angry person. Very strange.

On Nov 3, 2006

Do other people in your house eat peanut butter? Could someone have put a shared knife into the jelly? Back when DD's reactions were hives only, we used to put the peanut butter knife in the jelly jar, and once she got hives from it. We stopped doing that.

On Nov 3, 2006

My daughter had a one-time reaction to raspberries. The allergist told me at the time that sometimes raspberries (and other fruits like melons) contain high amounts of histamine which causes a reaction. But it is a reaction to the histamine, not an allergic reaction to a protein in the food.

I hope that makes sense, because it's not entirely clear to me, I'm just trying to repeat what he said.

Cathy

On Nov 3, 2006

Nope, no peanut butter in the house or anything actually that DS can't have right now.

Here's the weird thing... DH was careless this morning and gave DS raspberry yogurt. He had no reaction at all. Are the raspberries in yogurt cooked? I read that sometimes raw fruit can cause problems while cooked fruit won't.

In any case, the allergist told us to keep a diary of what he eats when he has reactions.

The 1 time histamine thing is interesting too... I think this may have happened once when we gave him strawberry as a baby. He never had a problem afterward. But it was on pancakes at a pancake house so who knows really.

Thanks for the insight!

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