One year old with severe peanut allergy

Posted on: Mon, 07/02/2007 - 6:10am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My one year old was recently diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. We now have 3 EpiPen Jrs and medical allert shoe clips on the way. I don't know where to start on educating myself and family. I have been on the web. I am open to suggestions and coaching.

Posted on: Mon, 07/02/2007 - 6:37am
bethc's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

Welcome! It sounds like you've got a good start. I'd recommend reading a couple of books: The Complete Peanut Allergy Handbook by Scott Sicherer, and The Parent's Guide to Food Allergies. I recently discovered the first and found it so clear and thorough. The second one I actually read when we first found out that my DD's PA was serious business that we needed to manage better. It gave me a good foundation of knowledge, the basic principles to go by. From there, it's nice to come to this site for specific manufacturer and restaurant information (although it's always good to go directly to the company for information, too), and for support and advice on specific situations you run into.
Did your Dr. give you a written plan about when to use the Epis? We have a Food Allergy Action Plan that ours gave us that tells us, based on symptoms, when to give Benadryl, when to give Epi. It's also nice to have that official paper to give to people who take care of my DD; it's spelled out for them by the Dr., not made up by me, you know?
Your basic principle should be "read every label every time". Labels change, ingredients change, and you need to be sure of what you're feeding your child. You need to ask at restaurants (although we don't ask at fast food chains as long as we stay up-to-date with information from the web). You need to either ask people (relatives, friends) detailed questions when they have prepared food that your child is going to eat, or not have him eat things other people make (or especially, bake). That's something you'll have to weigh out for yourself. There are people who don't realize that someone who's allergic to peanuts can't have peanut butter. And even using the same spoon or spatula for a peanut thing and a non-peanut thing can be dangerous. So there's always lots to think about, but it does get easier once you've handled it for a while. Good luck!

Posted on: Mon, 07/02/2007 - 6:54am
April in KC's picture
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Joined: 08/28/2006 - 09:00

Welcome! This is a great place (the only place I've found like it) to hang out and learn.
We found out about Nate's allergy when he was one year old, also. We didn't know that much at first - we just knew that his reaction was "not that bad" and we hoped he wouldn't be like some of those other kids with peanut allergy we'd heard about.
We went several years without incident - a few hives from contact exposures, but no ingestions - but then in preschool, he had an accidental ingestion of a small amount of peanut-laced chocolate, and he had a severe anaphylactic reaction that put him in the ER. I hope your child never experiences this, but it could happen.
It's overwhelming at first, so give yourself permission to tackle it in "chunks." It will change your life in some small ways, but once you adjust, you will be fine. New situations (like daycare, preschool, vacations, school, etc. often require new rules). It's good to plan on a little extra "think" time - i.e. a think week before school starts, a think day before vacation, a think hour before a trip to visit friends, a think minute before leaving the house. You might find it easier (and safer) in the long run to have a policy that, in your absence to check things out, your child does not eat food that does not come from home. That goes doubly for preschools, Sunday schools, etc. - it's just too hard for well intentioned folks not to make mistakes.
Your family may go through some trials as you set new expectations. At one year old, it's still pretty easy to control what goes into their mouths. You'll need to figure out safe options for eating out, etc., and this is a great place to find that information. This is also a great place to just watch, learn and prepare for the school years.
Don't get too overwhelmed by the topics here. Give yourself a vacation from reading any time it gets to be too much - but then DO come back.

Posted on: Mon, 07/02/2007 - 8:40am
PennMom's picture
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Joined: 08/01/2006 - 09:00

One book that I think is really good is Food allergies for Dummies - written by Dr. Wood (who has peanut allergy himself!). It is very easy to read the way the information is broken into sections- you can read just what you want to quickly and then go back. It is one of the most recent books out there so it is very up to date and covers lots of stuff- including day to day life, school, and even current research for a cure/treatments.
This board is very helpful for figuring out what foods are good/bad. I'm sure you are learning all ready read labels everytime!

Posted on: Mon, 07/02/2007 - 9:41am
tidina's picture
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Joined: 01/26/2005 - 09:00

its good to have a few packs with two epi pens in each. its good to have different lot numbers in case they are defective. my son will start K this fall so the teacher will have one or two, the nurse will have two and my son will carry two. i keep two in my purse and two in another pack that my husband brings when they go places. then i may have one extra after that. four is good, or six. and read labels and dont trust peoples homemade stuff cuz they always forget what they put in it. my son may also be fish now and he is sesame seed as well as nuts.

Posted on: Mon, 07/02/2007 - 10:47am
Sarahb's picture
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Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

Welcome. You are not alone. This site is a great resource of information and support.
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