Pediatrician or Allergist?


I have been reading some of the posts on this website and it is freaking me out!! Saturday I gave my 14 month old a peanut butter cracker. He took one bite and spit it out within a second but almost immediately started rubbing his right eye. Within a minute his eye was swollen shut and broken out in hives. Somehow I knew it was an allergic reaction and gave him Benadryl and called is Ped. The hives went away with one dose and the swelling went down with two.

No one in my family or my husband's family has an allergy to peanuts/nuts. My husband and I both have environmental allergies but have never been tested so I am at a loss. Any suggestions? Do I take him to his Pediatrician or to an Allergy/Immunologist? Anything I need to do immediately? I did take the peanut butter out of the cabinet he likes to play in...anything else?

On Mar 20, 2006

There were no known food allergies in our family until DD was diagnosed PA/TNA. DH has some environmental allergies, but that was all. Yes, keep your child away from peanuts and all products made from peanuts. Stay away from nuts too. Ped or allergist? Depends on your health plan. Are you in the US? YOu may need a referral to an allergist, so you'd have to see the ped first. The ped office could draw blood for the RAST test and prescribe an epipen. Ask for it. There is some scary stuff on this board, especially if you are taking it all in right away. But this is a great online community. You will get lots of good advice. Take a breath- hugs to you as you begin the journey! It's not all awful- my DD is almost 10 and a happy, normal child who just doesn't eat peanuts/nuts/peas.

On Mar 20, 2006

[b]LandonsMom[/b]Hi and welcome. Sorry you have to be here. But you've found the right place.

[b]First, call your Ped tomorrow and get him to call in an Rx for a couple of Epi-pens.[/b] BTW, what did they say when you called? You did the right thing with the Benadryl, but remember it can get worse with the next reaction. You have great instincts! Good job. [img][/img] Second, get a referral to a Pediatric Allergist. See the [i]Doctor[/i] section of this site if you don't know someone with an allergic child. Or call your Ped for a referral (they should have already suggested this when you called about the reaction). But Docs are very short on time these days, and some do very little patient training or explaining. An Allergist is really the best to monitor his condition. You need to establish a working relationship with one now...for info and testing and so that when your son starts school he(the Allergist) can be your advocate if there are any problems. Lastly,remove all peanut products from your home. Make your home a safe haven for your son. He will be more comfortable having a safe place to eat, and you will avoid possible slip-ups from babysitters or visitors accidently giving him something he can't have. There are several recent posts on removing peanuts from your home (and life). Many parents still eat "may contains" but most give up peanuts even away from home. You have seen first hand how quickly a contact reaction can occur. This can also happen from lip balms, soaps and many facial products. Good luck at becoming an expert label-reader. And how wonderful you found out [i]without[/i] a major ER event. Daisy

On Mar 20, 2006

I encourage you to go to a pediatric allergist. He or she will be attending conferences and reading journals that deal specifically with food allergies--and will be able to tell you more about research, etc.

And if you don't like the one you go to, after a while, it's fine to switch. It's important to get what you and your son need. Our first one was not even going to prescribe an Epi or do a blood test for peanut, but his partner did one day when we saw him when our doctor was out. Then our doctor took DS' allergy seriously. The partner told us where to not go at all with DS: Asian restaurants, ice cream parlors, to be careful in Mexican restaurants, to read labels carefully, etc.

And we love our current allergist (we've moved).

Your child will be far more likely to get what he needs from a pediatric allergist.

I would spend some time in the Manufacturers Board. There are some you can trust and some you can't really--but things are changing all the time.

Good luck--and welcome.

On Mar 21, 2006

Welcome to the boards (and sorry you have to be here, I know this is a scary time).

I would definitely go to a pediatric allergist. Our pediatrician completely blew off our son's first reaction to peanuts (which was around his 1st birthday - he had hives and flushing). She casually told us to avoid peanuts and that we'd test him when he turned two. We were not prescribed an epi-pen. Then, he was accidentally exposed to peanut butter in our house (I gave it to him!!). He already had a bad cold and with the reaction on top of it, it was very scary. Had I know then what I know now, I would have called 911. I self-referred to an allergist the next week, my son was blood tested (RAST) and confirmed to have a severe allergy to peanuts (this was last month, he is now 18 months old).

I am thankful we went through with the testing. We know his "levels" for comparison down the road, and he was also tested for allergies to other tree nuts, coconuts, etc. We also removed all peanut products from our house - so there is no way he can be exposed at home. My husband and I also refrain from eating peanuts/nuts away from our house. We also sent out a letter to all our friends and family informing them of our son's allergy, the dangers of it, how to recognize a reaction, what to do, etc. The support we received was incredible. It is amazing how much more at peace we are now that we know and now that we are prepared in case an accident does happen.

Although the information on this board can be very scary, it helped me to see both how potentially dangerous this can be, but also how manageable this can be. There are many people here who have lived happy and healthy lives with these allergies (and more!) and also moms and dads who have successfully managed this condition in their children. Good luck to you.