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I was wondering what have you guys done with your younger children when it comes to finding out if they have a PA also? I ask this because I have two children younger than THomas and I have a daughter older than him that is not PA We have avoided all Peanut products with our whole family for two years now, but I don't understand how, if, and when you find out if your other children are PA also. It seems unsafe to challenge them yourself but I still have the fear that one day they will be away from me at a friends and have a first reaction to something given to them that we avoid like M'M's. Is it a wait and see approach or do you have the idea that they are PA until proven otherwise? Just when I feel like I can keep Thomas safe and happy, then I start worrying about the other kids. Any info you can give me would be great!! Thanks

On Nov 12, 2002

When I had my fourth child I was very concerned that she would have allergies like her brother. However it was easy to see that she displayed none of the early signs of allergy, that William, with hindsight clearly did. Emily did not develop eczema , had a good sleep pattern, and gained weight well. Allergic infants often display these signs before the age of three months. Unfortunatly Emily did have severe colic, ( another western disease , like allergy) her crying spells lasted for hours, one day 11 hrs, a osteopath sorted her out!!!!! Emily has had tree nuts in chocolate bars,but has not, at the age of four eaten peanuts. I dought if she is allergic, the latest advice seams to be wait until the child is 7 , and its easy to avoid peanuts until that time. Out of my four children, only one has multiple allergies, the other children had mild hayfever before the age of five, 2 of them had v. mild eczema as well, that too disappeared at five years. good luck . sarah

On Nov 12, 2002

This is a great question! I have three kids. The oldest is my step-son, who is not PA. My son is the middle child (PA) (but a LOT taller than my step-son) and my new husband and I have a daughter together. I found out about my son's PA 1.5 years ago after battling what we thought was asthma for 5 full years and it kept getting worse and more uncontrollable.

I didn't know my son was PA while I was pregnant with my daughter, but did find out before she was eating solids and vowed not to introduce her to peanuts or peanut products until she was at LEAST three. In all ways, she is a very different child. She has never had asthma, but she has had the occasional rash. They both slept through the night from about 4 months old on and were/are excellent babies.

Anyway, my daughter was given peanut butter crackers by my husband and the doctor on a recent week long stay in the hospital (badly infected lymph nodes). She got a localized facial rash, whose origin I thought might have been from the new antibiotic they were giving her.

Later, when I was considering eating some peanuts my mom had brought me while Lira was in the hospital (my son was at his Dad's, and I can't help it... I love peanuts, evil little things!), my husband said, "Go ahead. Lira had some in the hospital and didn't react." I gave her two little peanuts, and she chewed them up, said loudly "NUMMY" and started to scream for more (before she swallowed) and I said, "No more, chew what you have" and so she screamed and the peanuts came out and dribbled down her chin. Within one minute the skin on her face where she dribbled began to swell and turn angry red! I lifted her up, said to my husband "Looks like she's allergic to peanuts! Get the Benadryl!" and rushed her upstairs to the bathtub to wash all the peanut ick off of us both. The rash went away in about 10 minutes from the time I got her in the tub and the Benadryl got in her system.

It wasn't exactly the way I PLANNED to go about finding out if she was allergic. I had PLANNED to wait until she was three and then do a spot test on her lower middle back with some peanut butter (with an EpiPen handy!). But, things don't always work out how you intend.

I took my daughter to the allergist a couple weeks ago and had her tested for peanuts (and a few other things, all negative) and she was 4++ on the peanuts. Using hindsight, I'd say... if you have a child with PA and younger siblings, I don't see how it could HARM anybody for you to take them in for the test! It will ease your mind and possibly save your childs life.

I would hate to burden another person with the guilt and horror of not knowing how to treat an anaphylactic situation concerning one of my possibly PA children, when it was a simple test I could have had done any time! Knowing that one of your children is PA isn't a guarantee that any of your other children will be, but for the sake of peace of mind, finding out is the best course you can go.

Good luck! ~Melanie

On Nov 12, 2002

I have a 2 1/2 year old with Peanut & Tree Nut allergy and a baby on the way. I plan to treat the baby as peanut & tree nut allergic until he/she is old enough to be tested by our allergist.

I do want to comment that Jamie had no "symptoms" of being peanut allergic until we gave her a taste of peanut butter at 18 months. No one told us to avoid peanut products until 3. They just said not to feed her peanuts because of the choking hazard. She was a very healthy baby. No eczema at all. No signs until her lip swelled up & she had a rash after eating a small amount of peanut butter.

Keeping the new baby peanut & tree nut free will be pretty easy because our house is peanut & tree nut free.

Stay safe & don't take any chances with your other children until you know for sure they are not PA or TNA.

Lea (mom to Jamie - 2 1/2- PA & TNA & to "Sequel" due 4-10-03)