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Posted on: Mon, 09/11/2006 - 2:49pm
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i had an incident happen just hours ago that put me in the position of having to decide what to do. we attended a PAl meeting (similar to PTA, maybe....a parents assistance league grou that helps out the teachers and our school...).
anyhow, it was their first meeting of the schoolyear and they served dominoes pizza, chips (safe ones), and cookies (not sure so we avoided them completely) and drinks.
my two PA daughters each took 2 slices of plain cheese pizza and a sealed bag of chips (doritos) and a coke. we were seated at tables that are used during the day as tables for the lunchroom.
within minutes of sitting down and eating a few bites of pizza, one of my daughters (the youngest) developed three hives on her face...very small, whitish ones as opposed to what our "usual" are....large, red hives.
she also developed a hive on her shoulder, neck, arm and a rash on her leg about the same time.
she complained of her eye itching after i pointed out the hives to her. before i mentioned the hives, she was completely unaware of any symptoms at all.
i couldn't decide what to do. if i gave the epi there would be a good chance it was premature and/or unnecessary.
sidenote...i had forgotten, for the first time i can remember, the benadryl!!!! i had changed bags just today because one of my girls had played at a friends across the street....
after just a few minutes had passed, the hives completely disappeared (almost as fast as they had appeared) and my daughter seemed fine.
was a bad mother for not giving epi immediately? maybe. was i scared to death that a reaction was going to rapidly progress right before my eyes? you bet. did i do the right thing? who knows.
incidentally, i don't know if it was cross contamination of some sort, a different allergen that caused the problem (she had mild allergies to egg, wheat, soy and a few others....but they've given us NO problems in recent years). it looked very similar to the aerosol and skin contact reactions she's had in the past. i noticed that the table surface was not really very clean and the cracks where the tables are meant to fold in the center were caked with food from past lunches at that table. GROSS!!! so...my guess it was a contact reaction of some sort from the table; but i will never really know.
it was one of those situations where you just hate like *^@% to "wait and see" but it seemed like the only thing i could do at the time. would i want a school employee/teacher waiting like i did? not sure. it was such a bad spot to be in.
this probably required it's own thread...and maybe i'll do that. it just seemed oddly applicable to this topic. what a coincidence!

Posted on: Tue, 09/12/2006 - 1:21am
bethc's picture
Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

It is extremely helpful to get a Food Allergy Action Plan from an allergist. They can go down and check the action required for each symptom based on your child's reaction history. For us, it's any symptoms from peanut ingestion require the Epi and Benadryl, then ER. Ingestion without symptoms (if that should EVER happen) requires only Benadryl. But the trouble comes when you don't believe they've eaten anything with a trace of peanuts in it but they get a hive or 2. I've asked our allergist about this situation, and he said it would be fine to just wash the spot, maybe give her Benadryl, and keep an eye on her for any further symptoms. People do get mystery hives, and my DD is one of them. Now, more than 2 spots, I'd go for allergic reaction, I think, even if I can't come up with a reason. But that's just me knowing how things have gone in the past.

Posted on: Tue, 09/12/2006 - 1:33am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I feel that you should discuss this with your doctor and you should think about how your child "typically" reacts.
My son has always been a "hivey" kid. He has a lot of environmental allergies which cause hives. He had one ana reaction (first time allergy was diagnosed) and his symptoms were pretty clear sudden tiredness, difficulty breathing, hives, coughing, etc.
So, for him I prefer benadryl be given first, that he be watched closely until the hives are gone. If he shows any other signs of ana. shock epi pen.
Seems that there are so many different circumstances and ways people react that it is impossible to say which way is right.

Posted on: Tue, 09/12/2006 - 2:35am
maphiemom's picture
Joined: 12/01/2005 - 09:00

I did have her allergist suggest that if there were any symptoms of breathing trouble to administer EPI, I instructed the school in case of just hives , give benadryl and I will come get her , and then it was at their discretion to determine weither Epi is needed if any other symptoms appear.They of course can give it at first signs if they so choose, and accompany her by ambulance to hospital in such a situation, we managed last year to not have any problems, lets hope this year is the same, the school is much more proactive than last year which is a move in the right direction.Thank you for your thoughts.

Posted on: Tue, 09/12/2006 - 2:45am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Our allergist says each person is different, and you need a plan that YOU AND YOUR CHILD feel comfortable with. My son is at the age now when he KNOWS exactly when he needs epi verses benedryl and wait.
Talk with your doctor, don't take other people's situations as your own.
mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

Posted on: Tue, 09/12/2006 - 3:30am
Sharonagain's picture
Joined: 08/13/2006 - 09:00

My son (14 months) is allergic to peanuts. We don't know HOW allergic. He ate peanut butter 3 times and each time he had a rash/hives around his mouth. These hives didn't bother him and they went away within 45 minutes. We went to 2 allergists and they said he was PA and prescribed Epis. I wanted to know regarding Benadryl...I've read that you SHOULDN'T give Benadryl because the medicine could mask the symptoms and you wouldn't know how severe the reaction is? Any suggestions?

Posted on: Tue, 09/12/2006 - 3:38am
k9ruby's picture
Joined: 03/25/2004 - 09:00

My home plan is:
Any known ingestion- watch
Injestion and any reaction (apart from one situation we had in the past i ate traces of hazlenut in milky way. mums a medical proffessional! without us knowning (thought it was fine cus it was before) hives on leg. cream and antihistimine, gone, very lucky, others,epi +999.
Contact/other- hives, mild non facial swelling, redness, mild gi symptoms, ANTIHISTIMINES
Anything else, EPI
We have said to school, If hives, contact parents and watch. anything else, epi 999 ,parents.

Posted on: Tue, 09/12/2006 - 4:22am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Sharonagain:
[b]My son (14 months) is allergic to peanuts. We don't know HOW allergic. He ate peanut butter 3 times and each time he had a rash/hives around his mouth. These hives didn't bother him and they went away within 45 minutes. We went to 2 allergists and they said he was PA and prescribed Epis. I wanted to know regarding Benadryl...I've read that you SHOULDN'T give Benadryl because the medicine could mask the symptoms and you wouldn't know how severe the reaction is? Any suggestions?
We were told the same thing, but I think it really depends on the child. I personally would not give my dd age 11 antihistamine if I think she is having an allergic reaction. There are some on this board who do.
About the hive/hives, I always look at the timing. One morning dd woke up covered with hives, but she had not eaten in over 12 hours. I assumed it was not an allergic reaction, did not epi, took her to the allergist and he agreed. He did a blood test which proved it was not an allergic reaction. On another occasion, she developed one hive while eating. I had her stop eating, checked her carefully, no other symptoms, did not treat. I figured it was an allergic reaction due to the timing, and it turned out I was right. It was shared equipment, the manufacturer had lied to me when I called before giving the food. Anyhow, I chose not to epi for one hive, even though I figured it was an allergic reaction. Allergist agreed with this also. I think you really have to look at the timing of the hives in order to decide if it is an allergic reaction to food or not.
When she had the one hive, I would not have used antihistamine because the hive can go away while the other symptoms of anaphylaxis are developing. I personally would do epi or nothing---our instructions from the allergist are the antihistamine is to be used after epi, not in place of.

Posted on: Tue, 09/12/2006 - 6:21am
ceross's picture
Joined: 01/27/2004 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Carefulmom:
I personally would do epi or nothing---our instructions from the allergist are the antihistamine is to be used after epi, not in place of.
We have the same instructions from our allergist. We are to administer Epi if there has been a suspected injection, then Benedryl, and call 911. If there is no suspected ingestion, then we can administer Epi and watch for additional symptoms before administering the Epi. DD often has contact reactions (at the mall, for example) for which the hives are localized and for which I administer only Benedryl. However, when she had an anaphylactic reaction, her hives were diffuse (and present on her torso which they are not for contact reactions), she had edema, and coughing.

Posted on: Tue, 09/12/2006 - 1:42pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Carefulmom, what kind of blood test can they do to determine if it's an allergic reaction? Do they look if your total IgE is elevated? This seems like good info. to have if we ever end up at the ER uncertain whether it was an allergic reaction. I'm also thinking back to Mistey's situation with her son where they didn't know what was causing such severe symptoms.


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