when to test younger sibling

Posted on: Thu, 12/05/2002 - 5:22am
amy2's picture
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Joined: 09/02/2000 - 09:00

Hi everyone, I have a question about my daughter. My son, who is now 5, and has been PA since 10 months of age. My daughter is 2 1/2, and we have been treating her as if she is also PA. We have never had her tested, and I am just wandering, are we supposed to wait till she is 4? And, if she has never tasted peanuts, will she show as a false positive? Should I have her take a taste challenge test? I am just preparing for what to do at this point. Thanks again for any input. Amy

Posted on: Thu, 12/05/2002 - 9:33am
BS312's picture
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Joined: 09/05/2001 - 09:00

Amy- We skin tested our younger kids when it became likely that they might be accidentally exposed to peanut (i.e. before they started Sunday School) at age 36 months. Luckily they were negative. I wouldn't worry about false positives (meaning the test is positive but your child is not actually allergic) if your child has never been exposed, but it is possible (but unlikely) that you could get a false negative result. That is, the test is negative but your child is actually allergic and reacts when exposed to peanut. We were told that the skin test is highly sensitive, that is, if the test is negative, it is very unlikely that the child is allergic. It is also possible to have a positive test if your child has never been exposed to peanut. This would not be considered a false positive. Despite their negative tests, our younger kids have never been exposed to peanuts or tree nuts or "may contains". I don't know when we'll have the nerve to let them eat peanut or tree nut...probably before they start kindergarten (although our school is peanut-free). HTH.

Posted on: Thu, 12/05/2002 - 10:59am
samirosenjacken's picture
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Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

My first two kids are PA... my 3rd child has never had anything with peanuts. We treat him as if he was pa too He will be tested when he's 3. My allergist feels if he reacts positive to the skin test, that is not conclusive that he is allergic. He will want to do a food challenge to be sure. Fortunately, the hospital is right across the street from his office so I may agree to do this. Plus, this doc knows how sensitive my girls are so I am confident he won't give Jackson a tbl of peanut butter!

Posted on: Thu, 12/05/2002 - 9:40pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

This question has been asked before, so if you'll do a search, you'll find more opinions to help you out.
I am of the 'school' that believes someone cannot test allergic to something he's never been exposed to. The body needs at least one exposure to build up the antibodies that react to it.
That said, our youngest is 4 and hasn't eaten any P/TN products, and wasn't exposed in utero or through nursing. He was tested a couple years ago, only because he was having difficulty eating - we later found out he has oral motor problems. He tested negative - I'm not surprised. We don't consider him "not allergic" though. We won't feel sure of that until he's been exposed (eaten something P/TNutty) at least once, then tested again. This will have to be done before he enters preschool or Kindergarten.
HTH.

Posted on: Thu, 12/05/2002 - 11:07pm
robinlp's picture
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Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

Lam...your theory seems right for my DS. My son recently had an anaphylaxic reaction to Kiwi (he also is allergic to nuts) and we were shocked since he had safely eaten kiwi one other time.

Posted on: Fri, 12/06/2002 - 2:21am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My PA and TNA son ate handfuls of cashews the first time. The second time he ate four small pieces and had an anaphylactic reaction. I don't recall it being the same for peanuts though.

Posted on: Fri, 12/06/2002 - 8:53am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Hi Amy. I know this is a little off topic, but I thought I'd share with you my experience in the hopes that you might learn from my error.
When my younger daughter was allergy tested at age 4, I combined that appointment with one for my older daughter's check up with the same allergist. I often will bring both girls in to the pediatrician or dentist at the same time (or back-to-back appointments) just as a time-saving convenience for myself.
It was a bad situation to have both children there. The experience was traumatic to my older (8 years old) PA daughter. After a second negative skin test to peanut, the allergist wanted to give her a challenge. My older daughter freaked out and begged me not to let the doctor give her little sister any peanut butter. It was very sad to see her so frantic and trying to protect her sister. It took her a long time to deal with it all. Very trumatizing.
Just a word of warning that you might want to schedule an appointment for only your child who is being tested.
Gail

Posted on: Fri, 12/06/2002 - 9:22am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

What about my last child? He has never eaten peanuts, but was exposed through breastmilk. I remember eating an apple with PB and raisins on it while breastfeeding him at 5 mos. (right before other son had a positive skin test). So theoretically he was exposed, but not through him actually eating PB or something with peanuts in it. He'll be getting a skin test and blood test. He'll be tested next summer after he turns 4.

Posted on: Fri, 12/06/2002 - 9:32am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hi Amy2. My allergist, Dr. Wood at Johns Hopkins, has advised us to have our daughter tested when she turns 3. He will do a CAP-RAST test on her at that time. I asked him if a test could really show if she's allergic since (we hope) she's never been exposed. He said that prior exposure is not necessary -- that a CAP-RAST would indicate if she was allergic as long as she is at least 3 years old (prior to that age, such a test would be meaningless). I have the utmost faith and confidence in Dr. Wood's medical opinion.
You might also be interested in knowing that Dr. Wood told us that if our youngest absolutely avoided all peanuts (and tree nuts for that matter) -- this means all trace amounts, peanuts during pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc), that our youngest one's chances of developing a peanut allergy would be less than 1%.
Good luck.

Posted on: Fri, 12/06/2002 - 11:13am
Codyman's picture
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Joined: 08/14/2002 - 09:00

My daughter 5 years is allergic to peanuts and will be retested in February, at the same time my son 3 years will be tested for Bee stings as well as peanuts. He has never been tested before for either bee stings or peanuts. He has already had severe reactions to bee stings so we just assume that he is allergic regardless of the testing. But we do not have an epipen for him which is something I want. I plan on exposing him sometime over the christmas holidays to peanuts. Our previous allergist had suggested he be exposed before the testing.

Posted on: Sun, 12/08/2002 - 2:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I had my daughter allergy tested, and specifically for PA when she was 3 years old so I would presumably know if she was PA before she entered the school system. Her skin prick test came back negative. The allergist concluded that she was not PA.
However, I did post the results of both her's and Jesse's allergy testing here at the time it was done and you know what? I really don't know if Ember is PA or not. Why? Because she has never been exposed to a peanut product except on rare occasions in utero.
Because I found out Jesse was PA when I was 7 months prego with Ember, she has never eaten a peanut product or even a "may contain" product. She is *allowed* at school, should a baked good come in for the class to share to eat what may be a "may contain" product.
She is not allowed to eat products that are brought in labeled "may contain" and last year we did provide her with a special treat box should something like this happen (which it did).
Bottom line - I don't know if Ember is PA or not because I would not consider her limited in utero (that looks wrong [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] ) exposure to actually be exposure to a peanut product.
She is treated as though she is PA at home. I actually don't want her eating any peanut products anyway because of the potential risk to her brother (she is still the messiest eater I have ever seen).
Should she somehow be exposed and react, obviously we are prepared with our Epi-pens and antihistamines (and asthma puffers).
I strongly feel that she isn't PA. Call it just gut instinct.
Only should she have some type of reaction at school would I consider having her re-tested or first exposed *properly* and then tested.
Not much help at all. I'm sorry. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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