New and overwhelmed - 2 PA kids

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Hi. I've spent the last week reading through many of the forums. We have a 7 year old 2nd grade son and 4 year old preschooler daughter, both PA. Here's our background:

When she was 2, our daughter had a wheezing episode, not food related, and was diagnosed with somewhat mild asthma. Because of that, they gave her a blood test and the RAST score came back 1.7, so level 2 for peanuts (and a slight egg allergy). Her pediatrician told us that was a milder level and to just not give her any peanut products and that she didn't need an epipen (her allergist just told us that was ridiculous guidance and we agree). We didn't know any better. Since our son didn't like peanut butter, we figured it wouldn't be a problem to keep her away from it. She turned 4 two months ago so I asked to have her retested. The egg allergy went away but the RAST was now 31, level 4. We were floored. The ped. said she'd now need an epipen but things like eating Chinese were fine and we didn't need to go see an allergist. We thought that was slack, so we need go to an allergist and he definitely ramped up the guidance for us to be much more vigilant than the ped. suggested.

Now, our 7 year old son has refused anything peanut related since he was offered it at 2. Never would eat pb, doesn't like cookies because he thinks they might have peanuts in them. He would leave the room when I would eat it. He won't sit next to kids with pb sandwiches and he asks moms who bring treats to school if peanuts are in them because he can't eat them and he is allergic. He's been telling people he's allergic since he was 4!!! I kept telling him that was silly and also like lying because he wasn't allergic. Well, because of the development with his little sister (and the fact he had eczema when he was little though no longer), I had him get a blood test a few weeks ago. His came back at 27, level 4, too.

This has been very confusing and overwhelming to have two results like this so close together. To my knowledge, our youngest has never eating anything with peanuts, not withstanding any possible cross-contamination. Our son did take one bite of a PB sandwhich when he was younger and spit it out b/c he didn't like it. He said it didn't make him feel sick. Last summer he tried peanut m&ms and spit them out as well, again not sick but didn't like the taste. So, neither kid has had a reaction, no rash, swelling, etc. However, I know the high RAST is a predictor of likelihood of reaction and I'm going crazy trying to get paperwork and such to our elementary school to get an epipen with our son. He has been eating the school lunches daily for 2.5 years (the district is peanut/nut free ingredient wise but no guarantees on cross-contamination). I feel like I need to be a bull in a china shop for the school to take precautions, but am trying to determine my approach and what steps are appropriate.

Anyway, that is where we are!

By Mrsdocrse on Jan 11, 2011

Hi There, If you haven't been to see an allergist. I would. He /she could help you sort out everything. If I understand you correctly, your youngest has never actually eaten PB to your knowlege. However she did test positive. correct? your older son had had PB once but had no reaction to speak of? My child has definately had reactions to PB and contact reactions that were mild. I have an Epi at school for him. Our allergist gave us an "action" plan to give to the nurse and care givers to determine appropriate actions for my son. Chinese food used to all be made with peanut oil. However it is expensive and a lot of places near me dont do that anymore. But still wouldn't let my son eat it. A lot of the dishes have chopped peanuts and peanut oil in them. Cross contamination is a concern.

You should meet with the school nurse and review the policies they have in place. The funny thing is that I have heard other people say a child will refuse to eat something and then they find out later they are allergic. Sounds like he is.

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