What led you to have your child tested for allergies?

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 12:50am
cath127's picture
Joined: 02/05/2002 - 09:00

I'm curious if most of you discovered an allergy after an anaphylactic reaction or if you had your child tested before that could even happen. If you had your child tested, what was the basis for that decision? Neither my doctor, my son's pediatrician, nor the ER doctor has ever recommended either of us be tested, although I now plan to ask for a referral to an allergist for my(PA) son.

[I suppose I am trying to allay some guilt--my family has a history of environmental allergies, eczema and asthma, but only one family member has ever had a food allergy (sesame and shellfish).]

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 1:21am
booandbrimom's picture
Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

We discovered all my son's allergies the hard way - by experience. Honestly I don't put that much stock in scratch testing...my son tests allergic to virtually everything by that means.
We are going to do some "questionables" via scratch and CAP-RAST this spring because my son is still having some mystery reactions. I don't expect this to track much down, but the dr. offered so we'll do it.
I guess the only exception was fish. My son demonstrated an allergy to tuna and the dr. tested him for "mixed fish" and unfortunately he was a level 4 so all fish are currently off the menu. The doctor indicated that some fish may be o.k. but there's no way to know without trial and error and we're certainly not going that route! He really enjoyed fish sticks and canned tuna up until the allergy developed so this was a real loss for us. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 2:54am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

cath127, welcome! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I didn't have my PA son tested for allergies until he was just 5 years of age, after three PA reactions, two of which were anaphylactic.
At that time, I didn't have him tested for PA as I already knew he was and don't feel the need, after two anaphylactic reactions (and him almost dying) for a particular test score.
When he had his first reaction at 18 months, it was simply gut instinct on my part. I just knew that he was having an allergic reaction, although there are no food allergies on either side of the family. We took him to emerg and we prescribed an Epi-pen Jr. as peanuts were the only new food he had ingested that day and the reaction was immediate.
As far as my daughter, who is younger, I did have her tested for PA and other allergens before she entered the school system so I would know if she was or not and could begin working with the school for a "peanut free" classroom. Although she tested negative on a skin prick test, it's still unclear to me now whether she is PA or not because she has never been exposed to peanut products (I found out our son was PA when I was pregnant with her).
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 5:00am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Welcome Cath,
My son had really bad eczema as a baby, as well as a "reactive airway", so he was initally tested for milk, soy, eggs and a bunch of environmental stuff when he was about 9 months old. I don't know why they didn't test for peanuts at this time; I guess since he wasn't eating them they didn't bother (although I was eating them, and breastfeeding). When he was about 14-15 months old he grabbed a PB sandwich out of my hand and put it up to his mouth. He immediately got a large, red ring around his lips, so I grabbed it away. Called the allergist who merely told me to keep him away from peanuts until he was two, and we would test him then. Sure enough, he tested positive. Unfortunately though, they didn't test him for tree nuts at that time (don't ask me why) and we found that one out the hard way, just 20 minutes after getting a lecture from the allergist about how peanuts were not really nuts, but legumes, and he could probably eat nuts!

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 8:09am
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

Severe, persistant eczema led us to have our oldest son allergy tested. The eczema has improved a lot since we've been able to eliminate most of the allergens.
We haven't had our youngest tested because he's never seemed to have any problems.
Cheryl, mom to Jason (4) and Joey (2)

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 11:34am
mharasym's picture
Joined: 04/20/2001 - 09:00

We discovered our son was allergic to egg when he was 7 months old. Although I thought I was a very well read expectant mother, I must have missed the chapter on "don't serve eggs to kids under 1 year of age!". Anyway, he ate supper that day, a mixture of egg, milk and bread and promptly got rid of it. He was coughing, raspy in his breathing and really red in the face. I called the hospital to see if there was such a thing as an egg allergy and they confirmed that we should probably bring him in. No ambulance or anything was recommended, so we just drove the 5 minutes to hospital. He was passing out the back seat of the car and I kept shaking him to keep him crying, cause I figured if he was crying, he was breathing. Eventually they got him stabalized and we went home. We had him see an allergist shortly after that and they confirmed the egg allergy and recommended that we avoid the top 5 - eggs, nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish. U breastfed for the first 5 months and he was dealing well with milk, so there was no reason to avoid that. We stayed away from everything. Then on a trip we confirmed he had a peanut allergy. I had prepared food for the return airplane ride (2 hour flight) and had borrowed an old plastic container from my mom. About 1/2 an hour into the flight I gave him a few pieces of pasta that were in the container. His lip swelled, his face got red - oh my God - it was an old peanut butter container! We gave him an antihistamine (which was the recommended action at that time) and watched him very carefully. We had an Epipen, we were just afraid to use it 25,000 ft with no where to go! Needless to say it was a long 2 hours flight. We know now that the Epipen is the only way to go. Don't hesitate - just use it. We have had NO anaphylatic reactions in 8 years (Alleluia)! I NEVER use "old plastic containers" for anything. We have green tupperware for all safe food (green for go). If on the rare occassion we have something he can't (ie with eggs), we put that in a disposable container so there's no chance for mixup. Surprizingly enough, I find the peanut/nut allergy easier to deal with than the egg. Maybe cause it gets more press or has higher visibility or because it's not in EVERYTHING! But, after 10 years of dealing with it, it is really just second nature. I'm kinda sad I re-lived this today. I guess I'll give him a extra squeeze before bed today.

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 2:17pm
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I found out my daughter was allergic to milk at 17 days of age when she had a small amount of regular formula. She got two or three welts. I gave it again and same thing happened, so I never gave it again. She was too young to be skin tested, plus since it happened twice it was pretty obvious she was allergic to milk, so I knew to avoid it. I didn`t give egg until age two and a half because of her milk allergy. She skin tested negative to egg, so three days later I gave her two bites of scrambled egg, and found myself using the Epipen. Very astute allergist for prescribing an Epipen to a patient who at the time was only allergic to milk. I don`t think most allergists would have done that. She got skin tested again for egg after the Epipen incident and was very positive. I asked him what happened and he said that the first skin test to egg sensitized her. Who knows? I`ll always wonder. Anyhow at age 5, she was skin tested again and this time since they do eight at a time, I requested peanut. It lit up within seconds, in fact they had to give her oral medication to reverse it. I had never given her peanuts, except I ate PB while breast feeding before anyone knew it was excreted in breast milk. Anyhow, the day that she became skin test positive to peanuts changed my life forever. Unlike the above post who said she found egg allergy more difficult than peanut, I feel the reverse. I was just commenting to my daughter`s first grade teacher this morning, my stress level was so much lower when she was only allergic to milk and eggs. I only had to worry about reading every label and bringing her food everywhere, but I never had to worry about what everyone else was doing. I didn`t have to approve birthday party treats that my daughter wasn`t going to eat anyhow, like I do now with PA. I didn`t have to look at what other kids were eating at the park to see if we had to walk away when it was only milk and egg allergy. I didn`t have to take my daughter out of a ballet class, because they were having a cooking class in the room next door and were cooking a peanut product when it was only milk and egg allergy. I don`t have a problem with watching every thing I send my daughter to school with as I did for milk and egg allergy, but the thing that makes PA so much worse is having to worry about what everyone else is eating and having to request cooperation from so many people. When my daughter was only allergic to milk and egg, I didn`t need a website, and I didn`t need people`s advice on how to handle situations like I do now. I didn`t have to avoid family meals where the wrong foods were served; I just brought my daughter`s. I didn`t have to have the teacher send home a letter telling other parents what they could not send to school when my daughter was only allergic to milk and egg. Sorry to ramble, but the past few days we have had three incidents of peanuts being present in places where they were not supposed to be, and life was SO much more simple when she was only allergic to milk and egg. As far as tree nuts, she has never had any, and same thing for shellfist. Allergist doesn`t want me to give them EVER (I think he means for her whole life, which is okay with me).

Posted on: Sat, 02/09/2002 - 8:33am
DMB's picture
Joined: 02/22/2001 - 09:00

Evan reacted to his second pbj sandwich when he was 12 months old. He reacted with hives and some facial swelling. The pediatrician at the time, said to just give him benadryl and wait 3 months and put a dab of peanut butter on his arm to see what happened. Obviously, he broke out in hives where I put the pb on his arm. He had a few more contact reactions and then he had an anaphylactic reaction at 18 months. My MIL gave him a piece of plain chocolate that apparently had traces of peanuts. We did not have an epi then, so we had to rush him to the ER where they gave him a shot.
Obviously, we got a new pediatrician and a referral to an allergist. The allergist felt he was a little young to do testing and it was quite obvious what he was reacting to. When Evan turned 3, the allergist ordered a cap/rast. He said he wanted to do the blood test every couple of years to check Evan's levels.

Posted on: Wed, 02/13/2002 - 10:38am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

A sample of a frozen PB&J by smuckers called "uncrustables" gave Jacob his reaction.
By the time we reached the checkout he was red from ear to ear and nose to chin. It went away in a couple hrs. We had a RAST test done a couple days later.

Posted on: Fri, 06/28/2002 - 6:14pm
MattsMom's picture
Joined: 09/17/2000 - 09:00

I have two kiddos. Matt is 3.5y and Meagan is 4.5y. At 6mo of age, we discovered Matt was allergic to peanuts. Life went on. When he was about 22mo old, I stumbled onto this site while looking for some unrelated info. After reading for about two days straight (lol), I did some major juggling and got both kids health insurance (hadn't had any in awhile...since Medicaid ran out), and appts with a new pediatrician. Went in for Matt's intitial appt with the new ped and asked for a referral to an allergist for testing for other allergies, because by then I knew that it was, if not likely, very possible he had other- unidentified- food allergies. (He did.)
Once we'd gotten testing done on him (and I'd done a lot more research) I became aware that eczema could indeed by caused by allergies. It was then that I realized unidentified food allergies could be causing my daughter's eczema. I suspected milk and made an appt with the allergist. (I was right, btw, and was also surprised with a couple of others.)
So, the intitial jump into the world of allergy testing was a direct result of this site and the further reading/research it spawned. Thanks again, Chris!!!!
[This message has been edited by MattsMom (edited June 29, 2002).]

Posted on: Sat, 06/29/2002 - 3:02am
5boysrus's picture
Joined: 06/06/2002 - 09:00

My son, now 14, was not tested for allergies until age 11 or 12. He tested positive to many environmental things, dust, mold, and foods. (peanut, rice, walnut bein ghis 5+). I had him tested because he was sick all the time--ear infections, sinus infections, always congested, and SNORED terribly!


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