Pediatricians

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A friend of mine's daughter, who is 2, has just had her first reaction to peanut butter... hives, swelling......She took her daughter to the pediatrician and I couldn't believe the advice he gave her. He said her daughter is too young to see an allergist because at this young age they get false results. Also, he said for her to go home and place a blob of peanut butter on her daughters back and see what happens. So the Mom did this and her daughter broke out in hives again. He also told her that this peanut allergy she has can go away as quickly as it came. I felt so bad that I had to contradict everything she said but I couldn't believe the doctor gave such advice. I don't want to come off as sounding like a know it all, but I would like to give her some proper advice. I was new to this once and was completely unaware of the seriousness until I saw the allergist and started reading these boards. Has anyone else come across pediatricians like this? Why don't they know better? (BTW, I'm not referring to all pediatricians, mine was very good about getting my daughter to an allergist at 17 months old)

On Aug 10, 2000

When my son was 16 months his eye was swollen shut and he had three hives. By the time I got to the ped his eye was fine, hives gone...I had given him benadryl thinking he was allergic to my cat. The ped told me "he's to young to have hives" he told me he probably had pink eye because "he is in day care"! So after asthma, febrile seizures, non stop upper respiratory infections, ear tubes,I DEMANDED an allergist. Gee, he's not too young to test extremely high to peanuts/eggs/mold. Thanks to this site and FAN and our allergist I know more than my ped! On our recent 3 yr visit the ped was asking about his diet and asked if I feed him egg? HELLO? Than suggested I make him a pancake and test him at home! We are battling for a referral for the allergist to food challange? DUH? This is our second ped, we fired the first one!THEY just don't seem to get it?

On Aug 10, 2000

My story about doctors that just don't get it is posted under DOCTORS NEED MORE EDUCATION ON ALLERGY. There is a thread called "Frustrating visit to Ped" by Tammy James. I think you'll find a lot of interesting stories in that thread. My doctor's nurse also told me my daughter was too young for allergy testing. I called the allergy clinic myself for literature on PA and was told they test very young children all the time!

I was surprised to hear you fired your ped, until I realized that you're American, and since you pay 'em, you can pick 'em. Up here in small town Canada, we don't even have a ped within 35 miles. We get our doctor to refer us, then we travel to him and if we think he's incompetent, well too bad. The good peds have waiting lists at least 4 weeks long, so we can never see the one we want to see in an emergency. Our allergist has been wonderful and supportive through all this, which I guess is the main thing.

On Aug 10, 2000

I understand the frustration that you have experienced with pediatricians. My son had several small reactions (coughing attacks) to very minute amounts of peanuts. He has always hated and dispised it and when we told her this she said to keep him away from peanuts. Never did we receive an Epi or advice not to give him tree nuts. Well, he was at a neighbors house and they gave him a peanut butter cracker...needless to say he had his first anaphylactic reaction and he didn't swallow the first bite. His second one was several months later with three small pieces of cashews. I called the pediatrician's office and waited 20 minutes (while he has hives, vomitting, diarhea, grabbing of his throat, and saliva pouring from his mouth) before I finally called back and said transfer me now. While talking to the 'nurse' she said to give him 1 tsp. benadryl and that he should not need to be tested by an allergist. His blood pressure ended up dropping but she never told us to call 911 or to watch for secondary reactions. Well, when the pediatrician heard about his reaction she referred us to one and now we finally have the Epi. The last time we were at the pediatrician's I showed her my son's hands because he gets a red splotchy rash on the palms of his hands about three times a week and her reply was that kids with multiple allergies often get unexplainable rashes. He doesn't have that long of a list of allergies...just nuts and dust mites and we have a nut free home.

On Aug 12, 2000

Alex's skin is different every time I look at him. Mostly his legs are always rashy, today he has what looks like little pimples around his ankles? Last week his legs felt like an elephant hide, rough and hard? Usually his eczema is bad behind his knees and his thighs get a red pin point rash when he sweats. If he plays in the grass he sometime gets covered with wiggly welts that look like worms?? The few times he actually still had the rashes while at the peds office they told me it's probably viral "since he is in daycare" that is the phrase I'd like to shove back down their throats! Sorry for going on a tangent! I never realized how lucky we were to have the luxury to chosing Peds, and firing them!

On Aug 13, 2000

When my son had his first reaction at 12 mos (hives all over his body), his pediatrician at the time just said to give him benadryl and watch for any breathing problems or tongue swelling and to stay away from peanuts. He said to wait 3 months and then put a dab of pb on his arm to see what happened. There was absolutely no mention of prescribing an epi-pen. So I waited 3 months and did just what he told me. Of course, he broke out in hives where the pb touched his arm and I gave him benadryl. He had a couple more small reactions (hives) to touch and then at 18 months he had an anaphylactic reaction which required a trip to the ER and a shot once we got there. When I called the pediatrician to tell him about the hospital visit, it was then that he thought "maybe" my son should see an allergist. DUH! I was so peanut allergy ignorant at the time that I didn't even know to question the pediatrician's judgment. Since he didn't think it was a big deal, I didn't think it was a big deal. We finally realized the severity of this allergy after we met with the allergist. I would definitely suggest you teach your friend as much as you can. I wish I would've had somebody who had been through it to help me at first. I think she's lucky to have you. Deanna

On Aug 13, 2000

By the way, we changed pediatricians. Our new one is great about it and asks us at every visit if our epi-pens are fine and reminds me to check the expiration dates!

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