Peanut dust

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This has probably been asked, so I apologize in advance. My wife and I just found out that our 3 yr old son is highly allergic to peanuts ( > 100). We knew he was allergic to peanuts at just over 1 yr, but when he was tested then, it was diagnosed as mild. We fly quite a bit and use southwest regularly and he has never had any issue on a flight. Since his exposure and seeing he is now highly allergic he is, we are taking more precautions. Unfortunately, we have a flight coming up on SW and we are doing all the steps we can (first flight out), but our flight home is the latest (I can switch it for an earlier flight also and I am in the process of doing so). My concern is I do not know if his highly allergic status means peanut dust is a concern or not. His last exposure was a chocolate chip cookie that was also made with peanut butter. He ate the whole cookie before we found out and that triggered the reaction. Does anyone know if there is any kind of test that can determine if peanut dust can trigger a reaction to him?

Thank you.

By rgcard on Dec 3, 2012

Hi. I am 34 and I am as allergic as your son. I have been dealing with this allergy all my life. I can tell you that peanut dust probablt does bother him if he is that sensitive to peanuts. I recommend giving him benadryl before boarding and having him wear a dust mask type of thing. I also recommend Jet Blue for future flights because they do not serve peanuts.

By Mler on Jan 4, 2013

Contact the airline and inform them about his allergy. You just need to fill in a MEDA form and they will not serve nuts snack on the plane. Mind you they will not be able to prevent other passenger from bringing their own food, but if your son is that allergic, the on board flight attendent can/may create a buffer zone for you to make sure no one eats around him.

I brought my own bedsheet to cover the seat and own blankets just so my kids don't use the airline stuff...but in general they are quite clean...but it did ease my mind a bit.

By headfirstfearless on Mar 1, 2013

Hi there,

I'm an adult with a severe allergy to peanuts like your son, and have generally done well with SW. The only issue I've had is their lack of cleaning the plane between flights, therefore resulting in more peanut shells/dust/etc. in the plane. I always take a Benedryl about an hour prior to boarding, preboard, use Clorox wipes on my seat, tray, seat belt, etc. Knock on wood, I haven't had an issue. I always try to fly on their first flight of the day when the plane in cleanest. Though I have flown many later flights without an issue, it definitely makes me more nervous.

Regarding whether he is sensitive to peanut dust, with a level as high as his, it would be advised to err on the side of caution and assume that he is. I am also >100 and my allergist has always suggested that I do not get close enough to peanut products to smell them, as I would likely react. What is difficult to determine is how severe this reaction may be.

Overall, SW is good at accommodating peanut allergies. United is awesome as well, as they do not even serve peanuts anymore. Frontier airlines are decent as they do not actually serve snack peanuts, though they do have snacks available for purchase which some contain peanuts. Also, I've never had an issue with Hawaiian Airlines either.

Good luck!