Sibling of peanut allergic child trying peanuts for the first time...

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I have two sons, age 4 and age 2. My 4 yr old is severely allergic to peanuts and almonds and my 2 yr old has never had any peanuts or nuts of any kind. Several months ago my allergist suggested I have my 2 yr old (he was only about 18 months at the time) tested for allergies so I could know whether or not he's allergic and not worry about it like I have been doing. So we did just the skin prick test and the results were negative to peanuts and all the nuts we tested for. It's been several months and I still haven't let him have any nuts. One reason is simple, we have no nuts in the house because of my 4 yr old's severe allergies. But my second reason... I don't know if I entirely trust the results of the skin prick test. I don't have a reason to doubt, I just worry. My question is this, if my 2 yr old has never had any nut product, would he even have developed an allergy to them yet? My 4 yr old didn't react to peanuts til the second time he had them. If my 2 yr old is gonna have peanuts, I want to be around the first few times he has them to be able to watch him for a reaction. I wouldn't want it to happen at a relative or neighbor's house. What is everyone's thoughts on this?

By kate317 on Jan 20, 2009

Hi- I am in the same boat as you and trying to figure out how to give my almost 2 yr old some peanut products, while my 3 yr old is allergic. I will tell you what my allergist said- whatever you do, if you give them nuts, you NEED to do it regularly. He said one of the worst things you can do is have them try a little amount infrequently (what I did with my now allergic son)b/c it will increase their sensitivity. Also, if you give a small amount, give it often. If you give a large amount, it doesn't need to be as often. But he said the important thing is to do it regularly (meaning at least every few days or so). Finally, he said that sometimes waiting too long to expose a child to nuts MAY increase sensitivity in the long run. (there was that new study about this that came out)

My concern is bringing nut products into my home. My almost two year old is still a messy eater, so I am scared about the crumbs and cross contamination onto toys. Even if I wash her up really good, she can still transfer the proteins onto toys when she sticks a toy in her mouth after eating. I feel like I'd have to keep her in a bubble until after the proteins would be gone! I'm just terrified of bringing any nuts here...

And P.S. my daughter also had the skin prick test and it was negative.

By TwinsMommy on Jan 25, 2009

I treat both the twins as if they both have peanut allergy. I know she does not and he has severe...so I don't risk. I think it would be unfair to offer peanut products to one child and then deny it to the other. Plus you have that risk by bringing it into your home. I want my daughter to be a support for my son when they are out in the real world. I think it would be hard for her to understand or appreciate the seriousness if she were allowed peanut products. Not worth it in my opinion.

By NoPnuts4Ethan on Jan 25, 2009

Like I said in my first post, we don't have any peanuts in our house. But like someone else said, I agree that I need my non PA son to be able to try peanuts for the first time while I am there to watch him. I don't avoid feeding my non PA son peanuts to be fair, I do it to be safe around his PA brother. But one day when he goes to school or to a friend's house, there's a good chance he will eat something with peanuts. And if he's never had it before, could he have a reaction without me around? I've had him tested and so he supposedly isn't allergic, but until I"ve seen him eat it a few times, I guess I have a hard time really believing it. I just don't know how to go about having him try it while still keeping my PA son safe.

By 4mykids on Jan 26, 2009

When my son tried the peanuts, it was without my knowledge or permission. I wasn't there. The friend's Dad had given the kids a bag of airline honey roasteds that he had from a trip. My severly PA daughter wasn't there so he thought it would be OK, plus we knew he was NOT allergic from testing. The Mom stopped him as soon as she realized, out of general precaution, but he had already eaten two or three. (and loved them) No reaction, as expected because as said he was NOT allergic, so you can imagine our surprise when he tested significantly allergic 6 months later.

I would see if your allergist would be willing to do an in office ingestion trial and then repeat skin testing a few months later. He may think it is not needed but it would put you at ease.

We are just tremendously lucky that my son's ingestion experience was not a disaster. But again I truly believe it was his very first exposure.

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