Weekly allergy shots for infants?

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 6:17am
Marlowe's picture
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Joined: 03/13/2007 - 09:00

Well, after waiting for MONTHS to get in for a 2nd opinion for my 14 mo. old DS' allergies, I must say, I think I'm MORE confused than I was before!
I wanted 2nd opinion, cause current allergist is a pediatrician specializing in allergies, NOT board certified, and he performed Intradermal skin testing on my then 9 mo. old son for environmental allergies...and had us start allergy shots for his airborne allergies. Then when we did the RAST testing for foods, the doctor did NOT immediately prescribe Epi for peanut allergy, and told us since wheat was only moderate, to do rotating diet of wheat, to NOT avoid milk(son is VERY allergic to milk) although testing only showed Class 1...

Anyway...after finding this website, I'd seen that this guy was kinda off base on alot of his food allergy thinking, and I was questioning the validity of giving an infant allergy shots weekly.

Yesterday, the 2nd allergist told me to immediately STOP the allergy shots, and that with the RAST testing, it produces alot of false positives? I KNOW I've read here before that the skin testing produces more false positives, isn't that right?
He also told me that even though my son's RAST testing showed allergic to egg whites Class 5, that unless he's had an anaphylactic reaction to eggs, there's NO NEED TO AVOID FLU vaccine? Is that correct?

So, long story short, I have a couple of questions for you guys...1st, is there anyone out there that has heard of giving infants allergy shots? Anyone currently going through that? Doc said that infants and children do NOT have nasal allergy symptoms til at least the age of 3, do you all agree?

2nd, if there ANYONE in the Kansas City area that has a board certified allergist that they're pleased with? I just thought for sure by going to Children's Mercy Hospital, they'd have THE BEST AROUND...but apparently all docs seeing patients were "fellows" and had to discuss our cases with the supervising doctor, then develop a plan, and come back with that? I just was NOT pleased or comfortable with that process at all!
3rd, his suggestion for follow up to this visit was to make an appt. in 2 years? Is this normal? Basically, he seemed to think we were NUTS for having had my DS food tested in the first place, and to come back when he's 3? We had him tested initially cause he had horrible eczema and was on hypoallergenic formula due to MANY other formula issues!

So now I have two VERY different opinions, that not only clash with each other, but a little of what both have said clash with ALOT of things I've read here on this website, and other food allergy websites!
HELP!!!

[This message has been edited by Marlowe (edited March 29, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 6:50am
saknjmom's picture
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I have NEVER heard of giving an infant shots for environmental allergies. My son's allergist cautiously started my son on shots when he was 3.5. He said that he doesn't prefer to start children until they are 4, but the benefits far outweighed the risks for him. The ea's were very severe and triggering asthma attacks.
I would not allow any more shots. It was 4 years ago+ that I had the discussion with my son's doctor, but i remember him saying that we were starting younger than normally advised.
Also, I am not sure about giving flu vaccine. my son tested positive for egg and they would not give it until the test was negative. He also was not anaphylactic to eggs.
Maybe do some searching for a pediatric allergist...

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 6:58am
ajas_folks's picture
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Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Marlowe:
[b]
2nd, if there ANYONE in the Kansas City area that has a board certified allergist that they're pleased with? I just thought for sure by going to Children's Mercy Hospital, they'd have THE BEST AROUND...but apparently all docs seeing patients were "fellows" and had to discuss our cases with the supervising doctor, then develop a plan, and come back with that? I just was NOT pleased or comfortable with that process at all!
[/b]
Hi Marlowe --
I just wanted to pull this question out of your post & highlight it and also suggest you click on the "Doctors" section of the boards to post this specific question separately there too. It may catch somebody's eye who is in KC area.
I will say as far as other concerns you have -- that if you do NOT have full confidence in doctor(s) treating your child for allergies, you just have to do what you are doing & keep looking. (If part of the problem is getting insurance to do another referral, you will have to keep pushing for that.)
I have zero experience with allergy shots for myself or kids, so cannot help there.
Our 8 year-old had SPT (skin prick test) for peanut at 13 months. The physician diluted the standard serum 100:1 & child still had rapid, large welt with rapid-onset coughing & clawing at neck; doctor terminated test early & administered Benadryl immediately; said at that point in her career, worst SPT reaction she'd ever seen. -- Child had originally had anaphylactic reaction to small amount of ingested peanut butter when 11 1/2 months old. -- Doctor did not order bloodwork testing as then (1999) she was not confident in tests' reliability.
(We've moved to different parts of country 3+ times since then.)
Going from memory here, child had bloodwork for PA done about 3 years ago & the numbers put him in class 3 to 4. We declined any SPT & have NEVER repeated the SPT for peanut since the first one.
We move a lot (military) so we have issues with lack of continuity of physician's care, so we may be unusual in that we do not have child in to see regular allergist annually nor test annually. Plus, getting referral to civilian docs is not always easy or practical, depending on where we live.
Not a whole lot of help, but just wanted to reply to your post. With varying spring breaks for many of our members, these boards can be a little quiet (or crazy) in the spring!
------------------
~Eli[b]Z[/b]abeth,
Mother to 2:
DD age 5, NKA, treated as though PA/TNA
DS age 8, PA, possible TNA, Latex, legumes?
(PA diagnosed & ana reaction 1999)
Member here since 2000

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 7:02am
ahensley's picture
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Joined: 08/23/2005 - 09:00

My older son had/has environmental allegies big time at 1 yo. He had a red nose all the time. He looked like Rudolph. In his allergy report from the allergist stated that my child at age 1 had many many allergy symptoms (more than most people) and of course it correlated with the red nose. He is now 7 yo, hasn't needed zyrtec or anything for allergies for years (he is on many supplements) and grew out of the red nose by the time he was 3. He never ever mentioned allergy shots.
We follow up with DS allergist (different son, PA son) about every 6 months to a year so to follow up in 2 years seems like an awfully long time.
If there is egg in the flu shot and your son is allergic to eggs... if it were my son, I wouldn't give the flu shot.
It sounds like you should go to see a pediatric allergy specialist (if neither one of those docs were). We have been very happy with our allergist and has only given us sound advice I believe. He prescribed us an epi-pen jr. when DS was only 9 months old. We had a full training in anaphylaxis and treatment on the same day we did a spt and the huge hive showed positive for peanut. I am very thankful I found out he was PA in that way, but I was blown away by the result.
HTH,
Andrea

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 7:12am
chanda4's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

I will share my opionion because I too have several children with environmental allergies effecting them at young ages. We started Jake on Zyrtec at around age 1, Carson on Zyrtec around age 6 weeks, and Savannah I never did. I was never given the option or information about allergy shots. When they did start the Zyrtec they did say once the child hits around age 4, they may need something stronger or in addition to the Zyrtec to handle the season stuff as well. So far, Zyrtec during the spring(adn occasional during the year) is all they've needed. If someone suggested I do allergy shots, I would really need to research that one and probably get a 2nd or 3rd opinion....before making any decision.
And to comment on the flu shot, it is incubated inside an egg and not everyone egg allergic will have problems. My son has gotten a flu shot for the past 5yrs( he is for sure anaphylaxic to eggs)...his brother, the last 3yrs and my youngest the last year was her first....never a problem, honest. They've never had the flu either, just wanted to share that with you.
------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 7:15am
Marlowe's picture
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Joined: 03/13/2007 - 09:00

Thanks for the quick responses, guys...
saknjmom...thanks for suggesting the post on the doctor's section...I'll do that..GREAT idea!
I was leary of the allergy shots at first, but the doc's main intention was to start early in hopes to ward off DS EVER developing asthma...probably far fetched, if he's not supposed to be giving shots to infants in the first place? I just don't know!
And as for searching for a pediatric allergist, I "assumed" that by going to the "children's" Mercy Hospital allergy clinic, they'd ALL be pediatric allergists...they probably are? I just think some things he said made me NOT feel him compitent enough for me...

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 7:19am
Marlowe's picture
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Joined: 03/13/2007 - 09:00

chanda4...what symptoms were your little ones experiencing to lead you to start using the zyrtec? runny nose, red/watery eyes?
were they tested for seasonal allergies?
thanks for the flu shot information...it helps to know all experiences, thanks!

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 7:32am
chanda4's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Marlowe:
[b]chanda4...what symptoms were your little ones experiencing to lead you to start using the zyrtec? runny nose, red/watery eyes?
were they tested for seasonal allergies?
thanks for the flu shot information...it helps to know all experiences, thanks![/b]
my boys were stuffed up from the time we brought them home and would often have random hives(also red eyes, or puffy under-eye areas), lots of sneezing. The Ped tried to blame the stuffiness on newborn nose problems, "just suction it out, it will go away"...it never went away. And would often make it hard for them to breath at night(waking lots because they didn't know how to breath out of their mouths). The hives, we think were from milk(or the cats), they did test a few foods at first, but waited until about a year to test and environmental(turned out to be cats and dogs, we had both!). And now that they are older, we have a bigger list yet(see below).
Jake first saw the allergist around age 1, Carson saw one around age 6weeks and Savannah around age 3 weeks. Savannah had the same nose problems, but not near as bad as the boys, and once I cut out milk her hives went away, so I had her under conrtol for the most part, I skipped the Zyrtec with her.
As for the seasonal stuff, Jake didn't test positive(but had symptoms) until he was 4...we tested Carson(at age 3) and his are negative so far as well(although he also has spring symptoms), Savannah hasn't been seasonal tested yet(just the 8 foods, cats, dogs and guniea pigs, only positive to the milk and eggs so far)
------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 7:41am
Marlowe's picture
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Joined: 03/13/2007 - 09:00

thanks for responding, Chanda4...i think, like most of my friends have told me, as mothers, we just need to go with our guts ALOT of the time...
seems you did with your children's nasal symptoms, despite doc telling you it was something else...
my 14 mo. old has been sneezing his head off, his eyes just water and water and has red undereye circles...COULD be a cold, but i don't recall him EVER having red watery eyes with a cold...
guess if i try zyrtec and it works, i'll know, huh?

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 8:21am
chanda4's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

deff follow your gut, my youngest was having horrible problems as a new born and I just new it was milk, if I had listend to the Ped...they wanted me to try diff formulas...I just went straight to the allergist, had her tested and had my answers! Now at our Children's Hospital they also have students that do the initial appt, do the testing, but then at the end we all meet with the head-guy and dicusss the test results, findings etc... for routine care, they suggested coming in every 2 years, but when things aren't *under control* or *new* sypmptoms or worsening symptoms keep cropping up, you go in sooner. I would go ahead and maybe see the 2nd guy(the 1st guy sound terrible, honest, stop the shots...how can you give shots when you don't know what the allergies are, I don't get that). I would see about starting a Zyrtec(or something, discuss it) and see if it helps, if it does, you have your answer. Then as he gets older(like 3 or 4) you can re-skin test and see if things start *showing up*. My 2 oldest have a ton of seasonal- stuff
HUGS [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:26am
pitterpat's picture
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Joined: 02/04/2006 - 09:00

Just to toss in our experiences in case they help....
I told peds that dd#1 had allergies since she was about 10 months old. She was continuously congested and coughing from late February until November. They insisted that babies don't have allergies. At 3, we visited out ped allergist because I had a gut feeling that dd was allergic to pn. Yes, pn and everything growing outside. Allergist said it was extremely rare to have such a young child with so many allergies. Started Claritin. At 4, started allergy shots. Allergist says he likes to wait until 6, but not for any safety reason, just for the child's mental health -- getting shots 2X/week is stressful.
Now, dd#2 got to the allergist before 2 because of the experiences with #1. She was also continuously congested and coughing, plus had a little ER visit after swiping a mac nut cookie. I just by-passed telling the ped she had allergies. Did the SPT. Now, the allergist said he has NEVER seen a child so young with such severe allergies and wants to take some real action. She takes the new children's allegra and is doing well. We were considering starting shots with her if we couldn't get things to calm down.
I think our allergist is fabulous. I think both of our girls are doing very well, too. Better this year than last -- that's my only real judge. Considering the terrible season we're having and no rain in GA, I feel like we're successful. As far as how often we see him.....we go in every 2-3 months when we're working on a problem, but yearly otherwise....or so I hear, we haven't made it to that point yet with either of them....I'm still hopeful!
Good luck. None of this is easy and I think it is very subjective.
Patty

Peanut Free Store

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