Tootsie Rolls and other frustratons...


We threw a Halloween party so that I could control the food for my PA/TNA son. All went well until, after dinner, we let him eat one tootsie roll from trick-or-treating and he clutched his throught and turned red. He was fine, thank goodness! This has happened before with random foods we have eaten before, but it happened again the next day with the addition of hives all over his face and neck. I only let him try it again because I had personally researched Tootise and called them and bought the bag to read the label, etc. and it is a totally nut free facility.

He has a rash on his face at some point almost every day. He was re-tested for soy and it is negative. However, that is pretty much the only ingredient in tootsie rolls. And, when I remove soy from his diet, he is happier, sleeps better, has less poop trouble (he is 2), has no excema, and has no rash on his face.

I am getting tired of experiementing all the time and the tests turn up no new info. I make a lot of food from scratch because I just don't want to take chances, but I don't know what I am working with anymore, so I make things sometimes that make him rashy and crabby.

Does anyone have any insight?

By jenniferbfab on Nov 30, 2009

I am sorry to hear about your son's rash and eczema. My son had similar mysterious hives and rashes as an infant and toddler. He was 3.5 y.o. when we learned he was allergic to peanuts! Still, sometimes he gets hives for no known reason from foods that are from peanut-free facilities. He has no other food allergies that we know of either.

Everyone is so different(and I'm not a doctor, just a mom), it is difficult to say what's going on with your son...

What does your allergist advise? Have you tried getting a second opinion? What are you doing to treat the eczema?

The thing that really calmed the eczema down for my son was desonide ointment. What a difference it made! I was reluctant to use it but it has been wonderful. He looked like a different boy once we began using it. Sometimes we have to use zyrtec and benadryl if he is persistently itchy with hives also.

If you have noticed he seems better without soy, my gut feeling is to keep him away from soy, even if the tests are negative. Maybe he won't react the same way when he is 3 or 4. I had to just keep eliminating every food that caused my son to get itchy; sounds like you have a similar situation.

I know it is nerve-wracking. I am a big fan of getting 2nd and 3rd opinions. Another allergist might have different insight for you and it could make all the difference for your little guy.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

Jennifer B

By lalala on Dec 5, 2009

Was the candy in the same bag as peanut-containing candy?

By lakeswimr on Dec 5, 2009

I would take tootsie rolls to the allergist and get your child skin tested to tootsie rolls. I'd buy a fresh bag to rule out the idea of the tootsie rolls having been touched by others who touched pb on Halloween. That can happen. Think of children eating Reeces, etc and going around house to house reaching those same hands that have some pb on them into bowls of 'safe' candy such as tootsie rolls and getting some seemingly invisible pb on the outside of the tootsie roll, etc wrappers. Then your child comes and touches the same wrapper and gets a bit of pb in his mouth. Can happen. It is also very possible your child has a yet unknown food allergy.

You must figure out what this is. Not wanting your child to have any more food allergies won't make this go away and the reaction you described is serious. Our plan calls to give the epi for a reaction like that. Do you have a written plan from an allergist of when to give the epi?

You can have the allergist test the components of the tootsie roll as well. A good allergist will help you figure out what caused this reaction.

I'd be very careful with any possible suspects until you figure this out.

Yes, pulling soy would be a pain but not as much as having your child have anaphylaxis. My son is allergic to way more things than you are dealing with and it sometimes is hard but I am very used to it now and whatever this is you will adapt, too.


By mj mom on Feb 10, 2010

I believe Tootsie's also contain milk. Any milk allergies? I had suspected soy and milk in my son, but the skin test came back ok. He would have a HORRIBLE diaper rash and bowels and stomach cramps after drinking milk and soy milk....moms know best. My pediatrician fought with the allergist for me and I had to SCREAM at the nurse to have my son's blood tested for soy and milk. He came back positive for both after the blood test. I know there is still something else that bothers him--I think wheat but we keep hitting dead ends.

Don't stop fighting for your child--I, too, thought of cross contamination of Halloween products. I let my son go out, but we don't use any of the candy. We buy candy ahead of time and replace it or trick-or-treat in the house too with safe candy (we hide behind bedroom doors and he goes back and forth 2 year old and 4 year old loved it and it's controlled).

Good luck with everything--I totally feel your frustration!!! And, according to our doctors, kids have to be tested regularly (every year or so) to see if the allergy has gotten worse or better, or new ones popped up??

Good luck!!!! Go with your gut!!