M.S. asks from Malvern, PA on January 16, 2010
Nut Allergy and Siblings
My 6 year old has a peanut/tree nut allergy. We pretty much have a "nut free" home. I carry an epipen and also have one at school. My concern is determining if my 2 year old is allergic. I don't know how or when to introduce nuts. If he is not allergic, i wouldn't want to keep nuts products from him but I want to keep a safe environment for my 6 year old. I am perfectly happy never giving the 2 year old nuts but I know this is not the right thing to do. Anyone have any advice? I do plan to talk to my allergist during our spring visit but wondering what other parents have done. Thanks in advance!
P.M. answers from Harrisburg on January 17, 2010
For the record...Nicole is wrong. Having an epi-pen does NOT mean life threatening allergies. Don't just make things up. If you don't have correct information, don't post just to post!! That's so wrong to give out incorrect information. I know of what I speak...I have a child with allergies (NON-life threating) with an epi pen.
N.P. answers from York on January 17, 2010
WE have every allergy in the book. The doctor has told us that the longer you postpone the introduction of a new food the less likely a child is to develop an allergy.
I'm allergic to fish so I'm not letting the kids have fish until 7 (the magic number for allergies when new ones don't pop up in general).
The babysitter gave my son eggs and peanuts when he was 2. Wulla. He has those allergies now.
I am more than a little appalled by the responces on here. You have a child who is deathly allergic (That's what having an epi-pen means, We have 2 for each child) and people want you to just try it? And what, see if he swells up and can't breathe?
Don't introduce pb! Talk to your doctor before you do anything that could change the course of your child's entire life.
If I knew 7 years ago what I know now my children's lives would be easier and a lot less limited. It's easier to keep it away in childhood then to say "Sorry, you have to avoid this for the next 70+ years"
L.T. answers from Pittsburgh on January 17, 2010
My son has a peanut/tree nut allergy that was discovered at age 2. My younger daughter does not - to the best of my knowledge. I say that because we chose not to give her any nut products. My son has other long-term medical issues that have been overwhelming for us to deal with and we didn't want to add anything else to the mix. Now that he is in better health, we plan to have him take a food tolerance test in the summer at the allergist's office (for a re-eval)and I thought we might introduce nut products to my daughter at that time. I personally don't feel guilty about not allowing my daughter to have nuts in order to keep my son safe, although I would like to know if she has an allergy. I think talking to your allergist is a wise decision. Best wishes to you.
M.A. answers from Orlando on January 17, 2010
Have him tested by a pediatric ENT or Allergist for nuts.
D.W. answers from Philadelphia on January 18, 2010
once my child turned a year old i gave him some peanut butter. I figured if he was allergic, I would give him some benedryll and take him to the hospital if necessary. I was off of work that day. I know it sounds crazy but I wanted to find out at home and not while we were out. Luckily, he was alright and so far has no type of food allergies. If your older daughter is allergic does she not have a epi-pen or whatever they use for severe allergic reactions? If needed you could use this for the little one. The only other thing is to wait until the spring and have her tested at the allergist.
B.D. answers from Pittsburgh on January 17, 2010
All children are completely different. Just because one has an allergy does not mean the other will, nor does it mean they will have the same allergies.
I completely disagree with the previous poster. It wasn't because the babysitter gave her child eggs or nuts that they are allergic. Allergies are far more complex than that. Some people's immune systems are much more sensitive.
My first daughter has no food allergies. My second was born with a milk allergy. Because of the milk allergy and eczema, I was told to avoid eggs until 2 and nuts and fish until 4. Around 2 1/2 we had the RAST blood panel done. For never having a nut (other than whatever passed through breastmilk) her iGe levels were very high. When we tried her at 4 it was no surprise she was allergic to nuts.
Personally I would wait and ask the allergist when you can introduce nuts but if your 2 yo has never shown any sensitivity to anything I would not be surprised if they said go ahead and try. Or they might tell you to wait until 4 because most food allergies are a product of an immature gut and the gut should be fully mature at age 4.
The only question I would have is can your 6 yo be around. I assume you probably already know this because if they are in school you know whether the mere presence of nuts is a problem.
J.S. answers from Philadelphia on January 17, 2010
My husband has a tree nut and peanut allergy, and last year In introduced him to soy-nut butter, and he LOVES it (personally, I don't like the taste, I prefer peanut butter, but he and my daughter love it). That might be a great alternative for both of your sons to enjoy for the time being.
I'm no medical expert, and I'd encourage you not to take medical advice from an online forum. Does your doctor have a "phone hour" where you can call and ask advice about introducing foods? You may want to consider asking several doctors, because I'm sure the opinions are quite varied on the subject.
K.H. answers from Washington DC on January 16, 2010
How bad is the allergy? Can your child be in the same room with nuts and be ok? If yes then I would let the 2 yr old try some peanut butter , just a little and see what happens , the 6 yr old is old enough to understand that he/she cannot eat nuts because of the allergy , if the allergy is so bad that the kid cannot be in a room then I would skip giving it to your other child as it is not worth the risk.
A.R. answers from Washington DC on January 17, 2010
This is definitely a do what you are most comfortable with situation (in my opionion). If you are happy not giving your two year old nut products and keeping your home nut free because of your six year old - do it! I wouldn't feel badly. I think the advice to see an allergist for testing is the best you've had. I would want to make sure it was safe before he is exposed to them.