Mystery Reaction! Need Help


How long after coming in contact with an allergen can a reaction occur? I need help figuring out what caused my son's reaction.

Last sunday, at 3:30pm he was sitting next to a child eating Reese's PB cereal. A cousin at my parent's cabin. I know he did't touch any but complained to his brother of the smell.

At 5:00pm, he had two bites of pan fish that were caught that day. This was probably the first exposure to fish. He just turned 4.

At 7:30pm, we stopped at a gas station on our way out of town and he ate a small package of twizzler pull&peel licorice. No other products in the car etc...

Within a half hour he was wheezing, coughing and complaing of breathing. I pulled over and gave him benadryl. I checked his entire body for hives, he had none. When we arrived home I had to give him multiple nebs through out the night. I didn't give epipen.

I think it must be the licorice, maybe the red dye?? Any thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated.


[This message has been edited by JSaastad (edited June 12, 2002).]

On Jun 13, 2002

I have a friend who is allergic to the red dye....I think it's called something like "carmine". Derived somehow from bugs...yuck. He carries an epipen now. The allergist can test for it.

On Jun 13, 2002

Licorice is a cross-react with peanut (legume), so if the Twizzlers have any real licorice in it, I'd say it was from that. My son has had one Twizzler in his life, and had a mild reaction. We totally avoid them now.


On Jun 13, 2002

Thank you both. I do think it must be the licorice. The cabin was supposed to be peanut/tree nut free. Everyone is still learning, including me. I feel terrible for my son! Thanks again.

On Jun 14, 2002

I don't think Twizzlers has any real licorice in it, but it still may have caused a reaction from the dye or cross-contamination. I heard that it can take up to 4 hours for a reaction to occur. I think I would also be cautious of fish, since it is a highly allergenic food.

On Jun 14, 2002

My PA/TNA dd eats has eaten Twizzlers for years with no trouble - but as has been said red dye can be a problem for some.

Also, as I understand it the allergic reaction can occur as different points in the digestive process, so checking out the fish was also good advice.