Please excuse the lengthy story to my question. My 3 yr. old son is allergic to peanuts, wheat and milk, in addition to environmental allergens such as grass, trees, dust etc. Yesterday, we went outside and his nose and eyes were itchy soon after. We were out for a few hours. After a couple of hours of playing in the sprinkler and backyard, he complained of his chest hurting. (the forth time this summer). We went inside and then I noticed the rash on his face. He was very itchy and it was spreading. After 10 minutes after administering benedryl, we called the doctor saying he was still complaining about the chest and the rash wasn't getting better. She said as long as he wasn't having trouble breathing, just watch him and give him benedryl every 6 hours. After his two hour nap, he woke to a "rash" all over his body. It looked like a sunburn (not the typical hives we are used to). He was fevorish and somewhat itchy especially in his bottom and groin area. We gave him tylonol and wondered if it was a virus or a sunburn (though it never hurt, only itched) . While he felt better by dinner time and the "rash" was also diminished, he complained of the food hurting when he swallowed, so he only ate some soy ice-cream. At 8:00, bedtime, he had his usual zyrtac, singulair and eye drops. He awoke at 1:30 itchy and again covered with the red flat sunburn-looking rash, but no fevor. I put some aloe on and gave him more benedryl. The itching never subsided and by 3:00, he had foul diarrhea and was crying so much from the itching all over from head to toe literally. We gave him a bath, tried calamine lotion and called the pediatritian again. She said to give him tylonol. Between the bath, tylonol and the jungle book II video, he was able to relax, eventually falling back asleep. This morning, he was totally fine. No fevor, no "sunburn rash", nothing. Has anyone had a reaction that affected the whole system like this? Was it an allergic reaction, a sunburn, or a virus? Could this have been from an environmental allergen like the smell of citrinella candles from a party we had the night before. Or does it sound like a food reaction, possibly a cross-contaminated food. We're totally perplexed!
On Aug 4, 2003
glad your son is now feeling better!
i'm no doctor, but if i personally had a rash and other symptoms like your son's, i would definitely suspect an allergic reaction (although i have gotten a rather itchy rash after being in the sun myself). i would also have considered going to the ER. obviously that would have been overkill in your case, since your son is now okay. but if you do start to have trouble breathing, there's not much time to get to the ER then. do you have an allergist you can contact about this? sometimes pediatricians don't zero in on these things well enough. (when i was a kid, puking my guts out after eating some cookies with nuts, the pediatrician told my parents that as long as i was throwing up, i was okay. whatever.) anyway, best of luck--hope you're able to find the cause!
On Aug 4, 2003
Glad to hear your son is fine now. It sounds like an allergic reaction. It could be the chemicals in the citronella candle since his chest was hurting also from the inhalation.
Maybe Roseolla, (even though it is a baby disease,) little kids under 5 can get it too which can last for 24 hrs. Has the same symptoms.
Did you use sunscreen and deet the same day? It can cause serious problems, from rash, fever, and vomiting and possible death. (Not trying to scare you, just letting you know what the news said last week.)
Maybe someones sunscreen has nut extracts?
Maybe poision oak? Were you around a wooded area?
Maybe parisite rash from swimming in lakes. (my son has the same kind of reaction as you mentioned.)
Maybe laundry detergent on a towel that was to harsh?
Hope this helps.