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19 Month Old with Food & Environmenal Allergies- Help!

I finally had my daughter allergy tested and found out she is allergic to milk, eggs, nuts, dogs, and cats. Just to name a few. She even had a reaction to saline. Out of 18 prick tests, she was allergic to all but 2. So now I know she can have Soybean and Wheat. What now? She has severe eczema as well. She breaks out if we go swimming. Her skin has to be completely covered if we're playing outside, as she reacts to the grass. Sunscreen irritates her skin. My allergy doctor told me to bathe her everyday for at least 15- 20 minutes so that her skin can absorb the water it needs and she takes Zyrtec before bed. Other than that, which isn't improving her skin, I don't know what to do. Is there a sunscreen for sensitive skin? Should I keep her out of the pool- is that fair to my two older boys that have season passes to Roaring Springs (gifts from grandpa)? Is there anything I can do? Can she still live a normal life? Our next step is to try Rice Milk and Rice Pastas. Any suggestions on where to buy these or which ones taste better? My older kids' favorite foods are PBJ sandwiches and Mac N Cheese. Both of which she cannot have. Do I make her a different meal or eliminate items from our home that she is allergic to? Any advice at this point is helpful!

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My son has the enviromental allergies as well as the eczema. The zyrtec has done wonders, but I also have noticed that it seems to help more if I give it to him in the morning, vs the night. Also, for his Eczema his dermatologist reccommended CeraVe lotion. I can only find it at Walgreens but it has done amazing things for his skin. It is worth a shot. Good luck

I only have a little suggestion on the bath water and hopefully she isn't sensitive to it too, but my daughter had a bit of dray patches (it was never so bad to go to the doctor specifically for her skin so I don't feel comfortable calling it eczema) but doesn't like to have lotion put on (I think sometimes her skin would 'drink' up so much lotion that it would feel funny/sting) and I remembered that my mom used to put baking soda into my bathwater when I was a kid. We buy baking soda in bulk (12# bags from Costco) and have it next to the bathtub. I put about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup in her bath, and it soften the water and her skin is soft without lotion.

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I'm sure you will get a ton of advice. . . . and I could go on and on about my son. But, here are a few things:

Get peanut butter out of the house and get Sunbutter. Your boys won't even notice. We buy the 5 lb. buckets on-line for a great price (I supply my son's preschool with Sunbutter for everyone). You can even bake with it, but you have to tweak leavening, or the green in sunflower seeds will come out (tastes fine, just looks strange sometimes.)

This is a bit controversial, but some folks gave me this advice and I followed it, and while there's no way of knowing whether it worked or not, my son's severe reaction to pollution is gone, his asthma is gone and his allergies to dairy and egg are gone. . . . two things we did, that are healthy anyhow:

We beefed up his exposure to good fats in Omega 3-6-9s. There is evidence that it helps a kid's immune system "calm down". We did a simple supplement with our son, Nordic Naturals omega supplement. It came in a capsule and we just squeezed it out into juice. Don't buy fish oil at Walmart, the quality is nowhere near what you'd want. We also put ground Flax seed in alot of stuff.

The other thing we did was put him on a great children's supplement called Usana. Again, some research shows that it helps those little allergic bodies settle down and give up their fight against normal things like food, etc. Check out Usana on the net, the kid's vitamins are Usanimals.

And, if it turns out those things didn't work, well, then you've got your kid on a great supplement of good fats and vitamins, which is especially needed when there are alot of things your kid can't eat.

We did this for 2 years and when my son was 3 and we took him to the allergist for more testing, I started to cry when they said "all that he's allergic to is peanut and cat!". Again, I know there is no way to know if this worked, but we're believers!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My son has the enviromental allergies as well as the eczema. The zyrtec has done wonders, but I also have noticed that it seems to help more if I give it to him in the morning, vs the night. Also, for his Eczema his dermatologist reccommended CeraVe lotion. I can only find it at Walgreens but it has done amazing things for his skin. It is worth a shot. Good luck

Hi, H. - I do have a suggestion for skin products. I am a consultant for Arbonne. All products are vegan (no milk products) and botanically based. We can provide a list of ingredients for every product, just to make sure there are no allergies. Arbonne has a baby sunscreen that is great for sensitive skin of all ages. Plus, there are baby products (hair and body wash, diaper rash cream, and oil). There are even vitamins for little ones. All products have a 45-day money back guarantee. If I can provide you with any information or even a sample, please contact me through our website: www.feelpure.myarbonne.com, and Contact Us (at the page bottom). I hope this helps!


I would suggest using All Free & Clear laundry detergent and no fabric softener on your daughter's clothes & bedding. My girl also has food/pet/nut allergies, along with asthma & digestive problems that necessitate a restrictive diet since she turned 1. My daughter, now 4yrs old, drinks Rice Dream rice milk either the plain or vanilla but I usually try to get the enriched kind. I found ricemilk in all the grocery stores, walmart, but found it to be the most cost effective at Costco. Your little girl can live a normal life, its the change you have to get used to. soon it will become 2nd nature. I too make MacNcheese with soy cheese. & I get mozzarella flavored soy cheese at walmart to make homemade pizzas. Probiotics may help too, they can be found at a healthfood store. Once I went to ricemike and tried to switch my girl back to soymilk, it aggravated her eczema. I also use cetaphil cream on her skin, any heavy cream will act as a barrier against outside allergens to help your daughter's skin. I use Aveeno baby products for bath and aveeno baby sunscreen. Also my girl likes to drink peppermint tea, and water. Peppermint tea is naturally decaffinated. I would also like to suggest seeing a nutritionist. There is also a wonderful pancake mix, I think the brandname is Arrowhead Mills or something like that blue & red bag. Its egg free and I like the taste, I think I found it at an Albertson's grocery store and at health food stores.

There are a lot of options, especially since she can have wheat. I'd stick to normal breads and pastas, but read labels. I had a bread maker and made my own. Very cheap, and I knew exactly what was in it. Zyrtec never worked for our son. He does great with Allegra. We also use Nasonex as he was snoring. For swimming, we rinse completely as soon as possible and then bathe 10-15 minutes at home. We do the daily baths with Vanicream after towel drying. Chlorine is the worst for his skin. We prefer almost any water other treatment for the eczema. It does seem to take a treatment of steroids ever so often after swimming, but we haven't had to do that in a while. It does seem to get better with age. There are alternatives to PB&J. Almond butter, sunflower butter, etc., so she would still be able to have that. We did a lot of red sauce. Is it a cow milk allergy? It goat's milk is okay, you could still make her mac and cheese with that. We always use Paba free sunscreen. Colorscience has some nice sunscreens. They're really expensive, but we're happy with them for the needs we have (other than allergies). Hope thise helps. At your daughter's age, my son was also "allergic to the world", as we used to say. He now leads a normal life with no food allergies, although he does still have sensitivities. Are you seeing an allergist, or someone who's done some training? We got much better help when we went to National Jewish as opposed to our small town doctor with some allergy training.

I know that you have already gotten tons of great advice but I figured I'd add mine anyways...haha! My youngest son was diagnosed with egg, soy, dairy and peanut allergies when he was two. It was a horrible time for me. I completely removed peanut butter from the home and became a very avid label reader. I found that Fred Meyer has a ton of great affordable products. He really liked rice milk and goats milk and did well with both. They also have some rice pastas. You are lucky that she can have soy because that is one of the hardest ones to avoid! I always cooked a meat and vegetable that we could all eat and then if I made pasta for the reast of the family I would make a special side for him that he could eat. Anyways, I had him retested about six months ago and he has outgrown all of his food allergies...even the peanuts that they said he never would!!! Good luck, I know you have a difficult journey ahead but it does get easier with time.

Dear H.,
Wow! you must feel that you are on information overload and also be feeling frustrated. These sensitivities are tricky and hard to deal with. One of my sons was also diagnosed with environmental illnesses, multiple allergies and was, for some time, a universal reactor. Here's what we found worked: filtered water (no chlorine on the inside, minimal on the outside); probiotics; simple rotational diet (which I found drove me crazy to first compose, but it helped him immensely...from that initial hair-pulling investment of time we were able to more clearly find out what worked food-wise and come up with a more consistent diet); a lovely acupuncturist who worked with moxa sticks to help him build up the healing energies in his body, particularly in his digestive tract; air purifier; cleaned house (meaning natural fibers, woods that he wasn't allergic to, no wall-to-wall rugs, etc.). If your daughter can tolerate sunflower seeds, there is Sun Butter made from those seeds. She could have that with jelly. Also, Mac N Cheese becomes rice noodles with soy cheese. Sun hats, umbrellas and the clothing will have to substitute for Sunscreen for awhile. The Body Ecology Diet developed by Donna Gates is a great diet. Donna also has available information about her diet, support products, and healing on her web site. There is actually a lot of information available currently and many food products for different types of allergies. Best of luck to you and your family. Your daughter will so appreciate all you do. (Also, my son is able to eat almost everything now. Just stays away from cow dairy and some citrus)

My sister's children had lots of allergies. The best thing she ever did was chiropractic. It is amazing. I can testify myself because once when no doctor could explain my daughter's illness I happened to go to my chiropracter myself and desperately asked him if he could help. Within minutes of an adjustment, her high fever disappeared and by the time we got home she was well. A chiropracter has helped my sister's son with bedwetting and has eliminated his wheat, tomato, soy, dairy, and corn allergies. Her daughter can tolerate wheat and sun now in small amounts so it works differently with each child. I'd get a one piece long sleeve/pant wet suit, try the Swim and Run shop on Fairview or online http://www.triplejsportswear.com/Kids/New-in-Kids/Boys-To... and get swim socks. They even have gloves if you want to go that far. That should help with both exposure to sun and water at Roaring Springs. My daughter and I eat gluten free and to be honest once you get used to a special diet, it's not that bad. There are lots of foods available for a better price than the specialty shops in the health food department at Fred Meyer and lots of recipes at www.allrecipes.com. Get your boys involved with your new adventure and I bet you will all not only start to enjoy trying new foods but find some favorites that your whole family can enjoy.

First, don't stress too much. Kids' immune systems continue to develop till they're about 5, and it's really common to grow out of allergies. Second, take it all in baby steps. Don't try to do everything (make changes) all at once or you'll go nuts.

My son has lots of allergies and also the eczema. We've worked with an allergist and also with our pediatrician and we're finally getting a handle on the eczema and he's 2 1/2. Had it since birth and it took this long to get the right treatment. The latest treatment was triamcinolone, which did wonders. We also keep kids' benedryl on hand at all times and he gets zyrtec every day too.

There are some natural sunscreens out there - ask at your local health food store. They should be able to help with something with fewer chemicals. You can also look online to see what people who are allergic to the sun do for ideas.

Good luck!

Allergies are not fun - especially when there are several. We have some similar issues with my 16 mo. old. He also takes Zyrtec and is allergic to pollen, grass and milk... and has exema. I think his may be more mild and not quite as many. However, I have a learned a few things for what they are worth...
* Rice milk has done wonders for him. Less cranky and snotty. The chepest place I've found is Wal-Mart - cereal isle (not refregerated until opened). Get the original - fortified w/ vitamins A&D, organic.
* You can also cook w/ it and make smoothies with fruit etc - for a nice treat in the summer - non/dairy
* Cheese is a tough one... skip it, and don't disallow your sons the cheese. Maybe make pasta w/ red sauce for her. My daughter (almost 3) and son often eat different foods. SHE LOVES DAIRY (of course).
* Find a really good allergist who can help solve some of these issues with you.
... and yes, she can live a normal life. I hear many childhood allergies are outgrown. Hope she gets some relief as she grows. Good luck and hang in there!

I would check with your allergist about the SPT results. As I understand it, the saline is meant to be a control...if she reacted to the control I'd question the validity of the test.

You're definitely going to be making some adjustments to accomodate her allergies, but believe me when I tell you that the first few months are the hardest. Arm yourself with good information (I'm in a FABULOUS--and very active--allergy group on Yahoo called TerrificKidsWFA... feel free to join us!) and get used to reading labels. (Endlessly. Ugh.)

Try to go grocery shopping alone the first few times. All that label-reading will take a LONG time. Take tissues 'cause you might break down crying a time or two...and know that that's okay. And you will adjust. You'll find products that work and ways to make your own stuff for when you can't find safe stuff at the store.

Pulling her allergens will probably help the eczema a lot...but it may take several weeks for it to clear up. In the meantime, google 'eczema bleach baths' (there was a recent study that was very successful!) and maybe 'eczema wet wraps.' (If you can't find either one, email me and I can send you info.)

You may be able to find an egg-safe pasta. I'm pretty sure there is at least one, I just don't know the brand. Otherwise you can try rice, corn, corn/quinoa or rye, if your daughter tolerates any of those.

But really... join my allergy group. They can tell you how to make your own safe sunscreen if you can't find one ('cause you should also avoid her allergens in lotions & things). They can recommend brands of foods that are safe. I was so overwhelmed when my son was first diagnosed with just tree nuts and peanuts. I'm much calmer now, despite adding seeds & some fruits to our avoid list... and having another one with intolerances to the rest of the top 8. ;)

You'll find your new normal and everything will be okay. Keep breathing. :)

Advice- find a support group.
Will your insurance cover a visit to a nutritionist?
I would suggest you set up a game plan so you can take it step by step. It is A LOT of information to learn (new shopping habits, new recipies etc.., but well worth the energy.
Good luck - you can do it.

Oh boy, sounds just like my daughter.

You've already got great advice, so I'll keep this brief.

I'd take the peanut butter out of the house and substitute sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds) or soynut butter. Your sons probably won't notice the difference.

Whenever I make macaroni and cheese, instead of butter I use a dairy-free spread made from olive oil. Then I remove some noodles for my daughter, then finish making it with the cheese for everyone else.

Good luck. It's a pain, but you'll get used to it, and so will your boys.

My son has the same allergies, as well as a few others. He has had them for two years and so the following is what’s worked for him! For the eczema my allergist recommended not bathing him everyday, and I noticed if I bathed once a week or as little as possible it really helped. He also recommended applying vanicream everyday, it’s a thick lotion that really helps my son. To bad places we apply hydrocortisone. For Grass we make sure he is wearing socks and shoes and then when we go inside we wash his legs with a wash cloth then apply lotion/hydrocortisone. I bathe my son with Cetaphil, however I buy I wal-mart version of it!

We prefer Rice Dream for Rice Milk. They also have an Ice Cream made by Rice Dream that my son LOVES!! I live in Utah and so I don’t know the best places to shop there, but would search for health food stores, whole foods is great if it’s near you. They have peanut butters that are nut free, made with soybean and stuff. I would try it out on your older kids to see if you could get your house nut free! I still eat some things my son can’t eat, but try to make sure there is an alternative that looks similar. For Mac and Cheese you can actually make a version with squash that tastes really great. I started out by making two separate meals, but have gradually gotten to the point that there is very little that I make different. If you need more meal ideas, or any additional help cooking, someone to vent to or anything at all you can e-mail me at ____@____.com!

I would also recommend joining http://groups.google.com/group/ufan?pli=1 It’s an allergy group with the Utah Food Allergy Network, and even though you aren’t living in Utah there is a lot of great advice and you can submit all your questions to people who are dealing with similar issues. There may be a similar one in your area. However most of it's online and you can benefit from it even if you don't live in Utah! Good luck!

I would suggest a visit to Whole Foods Market or Vitamin Cottage. The people on staff in the bath and body sections of those stores know so much about "clean" products that would be far gentler on your daughter's skin than what you may have now. There are also great options in the grocery section -- rice-based cheeses and such. Good luck!

Most young children tend to grow out of their allergies. Your daughter can most definitely have a normal life. While I don't have a lot of experience with the food allergy department, I do have experience with eczema and sensitive skin. I use a lotion called ReNew on myself and both my children (2 years old and 7 months). It has done wonders on our skin. You can only buy it online. And you can also buy a more natural based sunscreen from the same place.

Drop me a line if you'd like to know more.

Your daughter and your family will prevail over this. I hope you find all the answers you need.


I am a highly reactive person. I drink Rice Dream usually the vanilla flavor so that it tastes better. You'll want to keep it very cold. I can't have wheat or soy, but my body can tolerate Rice Chex and for a treat Rice Krispy Treats Cereal. I'm allergic to grass as well and keep a camp chair with meall of the time so that I never have to sit down in it. We use bag balm on my skin, but I can only shower once every three days or my skin has major problems. I always ate differently from the rest of my family. We only eliminated nuts from our house but you'll have to be carefulabout cross contamination. Good luck

Oh my dear do I feel your pain! There are lot's of great products out there. A great company called Allergy grocer (I think) you can search foods available that DO NOT have the allergens you need to avoid. There are great gluten-free allerge3n free bakeries around also & on Chow.com great recipes for all allergies.

My FAVORITE sunscreen is Arbonne's ABC & we can search to see if those allergens exist in any of our products. That's how I became so passionate as my littlest has a severe dairy & strawberry allergy.

They have great gluten-free products also. Just message me if you would like more info. And you can look at www.naturallylovely.myarbonne.com Hope this helps! take care, G

I only have a little suggestion on the bath water and hopefully she isn't sensitive to it too, but my daughter had a bit of dray patches (it was never so bad to go to the doctor specifically for her skin so I don't feel comfortable calling it eczema) but doesn't like to have lotion put on (I think sometimes her skin would 'drink' up so much lotion that it would feel funny/sting) and I remembered that my mom used to put baking soda into my bathwater when I was a kid. We buy baking soda in bulk (12# bags from Costco) and have it next to the bathtub. I put about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup in her bath, and it soften the water and her skin is soft without lotion.

It sounds like you're trying everything - Here's what has helped us: Sunscreen- Nature's Gate Baby - frag. free and my daughter's skin is not bothered by it. Also you might checkout the swim suits sold by Baby Banz (google them) they are high SPF and provide lots of coverage. We changed to totally chem. and frag. free laundry detergent. Fish oil and probiotic supplements - They make them chewable and yummy for little guys. Finally, after trying Every cream recommended, Burt's Bees Thoroughly Therapeutic seems to be helping. As far as swimming, try just rinsing and moisturizing right after. Good luck. keep experimenting.

I have been plagued with severe allergies for years, so I may be able to help. First of all do you or the previous owners of your house have dogs or cats? It may be that just getting rid of them and having your carpet steam cleaned and your walls washed down will help your daughter a lot. Is your daughter allergic to tree nuts or peanuts? Because if she is allergic to peanuts, she would also be allergic to peas, and soy because they are all legumes. Tree nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans may be alright. Also you should try a HEPA air cleaner in her room and close the doors and windows of her room and only run the air conditioner. If she has this even at night and nap time, it will make a big difference, it did to me. Allergies are cumulative, so if you alleviate one or two then you don't react to other allergens so radically and sometimes not at all.

The doctors told me that taking long baths everyday could dry out the skin and make it more susceptible to excema. A good sunscrenn is Neutrogena for sensitive skin. I broke out with Johnsons! Good luck!

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