Scared Mama with PA toddler


Hi there! First, I'd like to say what a relief it is to find this discussion board with others in the same boat as me and my family. I just confirmed yesterday that my 16 1/2 month old daughter is allergic to peanuts. The lower part of her face broke out in hives and her upper lip swelled after consuming a small handful of peanuts. (About 2 months prior to this, she had consumed the tiniest amount of peanut butter and her whole face broke out in hives much worse than yesterday, and her eye swelled. The following day, my husband and I rubbed a small amount of peanut butter on her cheek to try to recreate the reaction, and nothing happened. We weren't sure if she had gotten a bit of Tabasco sauce on her face or if it had been the peanut butter that had caused the hives. So when no reaction occurred from the skin test, I just assumed - wrongly - it wasn't the peanut butter after all. ) Anyway, yesterday, the doctor had us rush her to the hospital in case she went into anaphylactic shock, which thank goodness, she did not!

Needless to say, like everyone else who has found their child is PA, I'm frightened and confused. We're vegetarians and my daughter eats other seeds and nuts and nut butters without a problem. She eats products without a reaction that may contain traces of peanuts and products that were manufactured on equipment that also manufactures peanuts. Will the allergy get worse if she's exposed to peanuts again??? Do I need to be concerned now about almonds and walnuts? I don't understand if she has a severe allergy or if this is a mild allergy? Can anyone share their thoughts on this?

Thank you for your input! I'm so happy I found this group.


On Nov 22, 2003

Our allergist and ped said that reactions tend to get worse upon additional exposures. We are not taking any chances - we do total avoidance of peanuts/nuts and any may contain products.

On Nov 22, 2003

I have read somewhere that almonds, pecans, and wlanuts can carry peanut residue and or peanut dust. I keep my child away from all nuts just because I don't want a servere reaction. Ask your allergist if some nuts have this.

On Nov 24, 2003

Welcome Jolea! Glad you found this site. Your DD's reaction sounds very much like my DD's. Not anaphylaxis, but still frightening all the same!

From what I've heard and read it can be very difficult to be a vegan/vegitarian if you are either peanut or soy allergic. As I recall from my vegitarian days, peanuts were one of my main sources of protein. PA is not why I'm a relapsed vegitarian, mind you, but it's part of the reason I don't consider it at this point in my life. My son is also PA. (My DD got hives, my son reacts with extreme respiratory reactivity and has horrific asthma... peanut free, no asthma!)

Anyway, I'd do whatever necessary, be it lifestyle changes for myself or JUST for my child, to ensure there is no exposure. Like many people have said here before, it's like playing Russian Roulette. You do not do that with your childs life! Strict avoidance is the only way to ensure she never reacts again. And peanuts are everywhere. No nuts are safe - they have cross reactive issues and are frequently not labeled that they were processed in a facility with peanuts. But, they are. Many children have also reacted to things like "Soy Nut Butter" and the like. I do not trust them. I also am horribly afraid, given the propensity for allergies (early and adult onset) in my family, that overuse of soy could lead to a soy allergy, which is every bit as scary as peanut allergy.

I am not insanely overprotective. In fact, compared to some mothers of PA kids, I'm a bit on the lax side. I still read all the labels. I still always, always ask for ingredients at any restaurant and after two long years with PA, I'm still here.. everyday. Looking, learning, posting my experiences and reaching out to others both to attain and give support.

It's not going to be the easiest road you've ever tread, but it's not so bad, either. Just takes some adaptation and creative thinking. My kids (and me) don't miss peanuts. Yes, it kind of sucks when we have to read every label and do special things for halloween and question every item some sweet intentioned person gives either of my children. They don't seem phased by it negatively. And I don't even LIKE peanuts anymore!!!

We haven't ever experienced anaphylaxis. My son did spend over 5 hours in the after hours care over 2 years ago being pumped full of medications because he couldn't breathe due to exposure to peanuts, however. That was as close as I EVER want to come and by God, I was sure he was going to die and I never want to be there again. I cannot imagine the horror of watching a child in full anaphylaxis and I will not take those risks with their lives. I hope that after you've read what some of the people on this board have been through you will do what we've all had to do. Change our lives entirely, eliminate peanuts entirely and NEVER second guess that choice!

We have one real objective/goal as parents. To ensure our children survive until 18. After that, it's out of our hands. In the meantime, that's the lowest expectation I have of myself. Just that they MAKE IT.

Good luck and welcome to the board. ~Melanie