reaction at birthday party yesterday


Feel so very sad today - Tom had a reaction yesterday at a friends birthday party after eating the cake. It was a beautiful sunny day and the whole family had been invited to a garden party. The mum had phoned me three times the previous week to check ingredients as she really wanted us to relax and have a good time. She had checked everything and had either bought products we were happy with or made things herself using safe ingredients. We all had a lovely afternoon and at the end she brought out the cake that she'd made herself. she told me what she'd made the sponge with, what the chocolate icing was made from, what oil etc etc. Tom was thrilled to be at a party where for once he could eat the cake and he swiftly scoffed a large piece down. Pretty soon after he started to complain of a bad tummy and started to scratch at his throat. His eczema immedietley flared up and he went very quiet. We gave him an anti-histame and got ready to leave. I tasted a bit of the cake and realised that it has a layer of mazipan. Drove the short distance home and Tom was sick on our door-step. Put him to bed and spend the evening watching him and feeling as if somone had kicked me in the stomach. i feel so upset and guilty about this. He hasn't had a reaction since last November and it is easy to get a little complacent somtimes but we are so careful. Don't know what to say to my friend - feel I will have to say something . it was such an obvious oversight on her part and she will be so upset and i feel so annoyed with myself for allowing this to happen. Don't want to let him out of my sight now and not to any of his friends homes where I'd previously thought he was safe. He is fine today thank God - just me that feels as if I've been dealt a body-blow!

On Jun 15, 2003

I am so very sorry to hear about this. Pardon me for saying: but your friend was an idiot for not remembering/telling you about the marzipan! If it is any consolation to you: I would have done the same as you. If a friend of mine had appeared to have been that careful, I would have trusted her cake. I am glad your son is O.K. right now. I feel bad for him because this may cause him some extra anxiety around food for a while. Try not to feel guilty; you did everything you could to try to make sure it was safe for your son. I agree that you need to say something to your friend. I guess you could say "is there any chance that there was marzipan in the cake?" or something like that. Good luck, and try to remember what a great mom you are that you tried so hard! Miriam

On Jun 15, 2003

I'm so sorry this happened to you. My son played at lots of friends homes but he always ate the same thing and never ventured out to other foods. He was able to eat birthday cakes as long as we knew the ingredients.

Please don't take this the wrong way but I'm wondering why you did not use his epi pen or go to the hospital? Is this his usual reaction? How many has he had in the past?


On Jun 15, 2003

I'm so sorry that your son's day was spoiled.

Your friend did seem to try to make sure the cake was safe but I really don't expect people who don't live with PA to be able to do a proper job of creating peanut/nut free foods. There are just too many possibilities for accidents.

My son always brings his own cupcakes to birthday parties, which often look better than the cake and does leave some of the other kids envious.

Baked goods are very high risk foods.

On Jun 15, 2003

Sorry this happened to you and your son. I hope he's feeling better.

If I had a good friend and we discussed ingredients and preparation of the cake in detail, I would probably let my son go ahead and have some. I would have done the same thing. 99% of the time it would most likely be fine. You just got caught in the unlucky 1%.

On Jun 15, 2003

Sorry to hear about the reaction. I guess one possibility is that your friend did not know that marzipan contains nuts. One of my reactions (the worst one I had excluding my first bite of a pb sandwich at 2 years of age) was from marzipan on top of a birthday cake.

Baked goods are really a hazard as they cause the majority of reactions (in my case anyway).

On Jun 15, 2003

I am so sorry to hear this. I know that when DS has another reaction, I will be devastated. I just hope I am around when it happens. His last reaction was 2 years ago now. His rule is that he only eats food from home. He will be 5 in August. He knows that rule and follows it. Even when we venture out and do not eat food from home, baked goods will always be off limits for him. Even if a friend seems to get it, I know that they don't because I didn't get it even when we first learned about his food allergies. It took a while and then some. Even his school teachers who seem to get it, don't. He did not have a reaction at school but we saw the teacher serve cake to the other students using a spatula and her hand and then pick up his cake from home with that same hand and put it in his plate!!! We would never do that!

But this is a learning experience for all of us. The good thing about this reaction is that he will remember it and he will learn from it and it will help him be more careful in the future and this is the good part of it all. Hang in there. We need to be strong for our children, even when it isn't easy.

On Jun 17, 2003

Thank you all for your replies - we were all feeling a little better today (until something else occured at school) Peg541 - Tom has had about 3 reactions since his first a year ago. They have been facial swelling (eyes) and hives all over. The first time was when we were an holidays in France and I had no idea what was happening. The second was a flair up of his excema after picking up a peanut at his grandparents and the third was last November on his sister's birthday and to this day we still can't think what caused it. This was probably his worst - hives all over his body that didn't go for a few days. We took him to the hospital where they gave him an antihistamine and he was admitted for 48hrs for observation. no adrenaline was given. The reaction on Sunday was different in that Tom has never before complained of a really bad tummy ache and has never been sick.I don't take your question the wrong way at all - i still don't really know when to give the epi-pen - scared stiff to be honest, that I will be on my own with three children and not know what to do. I have so many questions and feel very lost and bruised at the moment and need to get on top of it all again. Tom has been tested for peanuts but we have always avoided all nuts. Does this reaction to marzipan mean that he is now tree nut allergic? we were told by our doctor that the epi-pen would only be neccessary if there was swelling of the lips and signs of breathing difficulty. I apologize for the rambling nature and length of this post - my head is all over the place today and as I type I can hear Tom playing in the garden with his friends and I'm sobbing. Spoke to my friend today - she asked if Tom was ok after the party - i said no and that I think it was the cake. She said that it couldn't have been and she again told me how she'd made it. I asked her if there was marzipan in it and she gasped in horror. She was so sorry she hadn't thought about it as being nuts. All my fault for not being careful enough. Just briefly end with my other problem today. Took 3 year old daughter in to Tom's school today for her pre-school visits. As I stood in the yard at breaktime a little boy came up to the bin with his hands covered in chocolate - Toblerone (almonds). I mentioned it to the teacher, who thought I was just commenting on the size of the bar. When she realized what I meant she said " Some parents just don't listen do they, someone sent in peanut-butter sandwiches yesterday, but it's ok, they were no where near Tom" Really don't feel up to the visit to see the headmistress tomorrow but I know I've got to address this soon. Things seemed as if they were going so well regarding the pa lately, now they have crashed around me in the space of three days

On Jun 17, 2003

Tom's mom,

Thanks for your kind reply.

I think I would have used his epi pen. When you have hives all over your body then you probably have hives inside your body as well.

That means inside the mouth, throat, and breathing passages.

The hives will block the airway and epinephrine is what is needed to stop the reaction in it's early stages until you can get further help.

I think I would have used the epi pen immediately at the party and called 911. I do not know how you access emergency services on Wales but I'll bet you know!

I know you are afraid to use the epi pen and also afraid to not use the epi pen but your fear is going to be transmitted to your son and pretty soon you will have to chase him down to use it.

We taught our son that the epi pen IS going to hurt but that it would save his life. He's known this since age 4. The first time he needed it he sat in one place while we used the pen. He was in 7th grade, maybe 13, so this makes a difference but he was ready to use or receive the epi pen way before that.

Also remember that you go through some sort of post traumatic stress after a reaction and give yourself a break from big activites or big decisions for a few days till things start to feel normal again.

Good luck to you! Peggy

[This message has been edited by Peg541 (edited June 17, 2003).]

On Jun 17, 2003


On Jun 17, 2003

Wrote a very long reply an hour or so ago but it doesn't seem to have appeared on the board - not quite sure what happened. Thank you all for your replies. Even though there were lots of questions in my previous reply I'm not really up to asking them all again tonight - (the one year old is crying in her cot - we are in the grip of chicken pox in this household)

On Jun 17, 2003

we have used the epipen once in July 2001 and our little guy was much better within 30 seconds after using it. His reaction had only been going on for about 5 minutes. I would never ever hesitate to use it again. If two or more systems are involved (skin and scratchy throat), I would give Epi. Why shouldn't I? I wouldn't want to wait for breathing problems, then it may be too late. After having used it once, I would not hesitate to use it again because it made SUCH a difference.

On Jun 18, 2003

Tom's mom, I just wanted to say that most of us here have felt that world "crashed" around you feeling. The other day, another member referred to it as "swings." There will be times that you will feel overwhelmed and that the world seems such a brutal place. Brace yourself. Remember that this is just one more thing to get through and that it also will pass. There's always a little sunshine around the bend. [img][/img]