July 15, 2008,
N.G. asks from Warrenville, IL on July 14, 2008
Peanut Allergy - Warrenville,IL
My 4 year old daughter was just diagnosed with a peanut allergy, amongst other things. Any advice from you moms with kids in the same situation?
C._. answers from Chicago on July 14, 2008
did they give you an epi pen Jr? if she's severly allergic, you all have to give up peanuts at home to avoid cross contamination. (not to scare you or anything. I rather scare you than have something happen) google everything and keep asking questions. get her a medical bracelet and inform all caretakers.
whenever you go out for dinner, make sure they don't cook the food in peanut oil.
by the way, figure out what other things she's allergic too. for example, if allergic to ragweeds cannot eat sunflower seeds/oil, safflower or lettuce because they're in the ragweed family. which also includes all daisies, chaomile, and other herbs. watch out for lotions, hair gels, etc.
S.E. answers from Chicago on July 14, 2008
So sorry to hear that. That is hard on a child because so many fun sweets have peanut oils in them. :(
Just make sure to have her allergy medication/shot with you at all times and she will do fine.
Just for your information; You need to just watch everything that your daughter comes near. Including soaps,and lotions. Some include nut oils. I started making my own soaps and lotions, it is really not that hard. Do not buy any soaps or lotions unless all ingredients are clearly marked on the package.
Another quick note is when you are going out to eat call and ask ahead of time if they use peanut oil in any of there cooking. If a restaurant uses peanut oil in just one food it can easily get transfer to another food. (cross contamination)
D.S. answers from Chicago on July 15, 2008
My son was diagnosed with peanut, nut, sesame seed, and egg allergies since he was 18 months old. I found out about his allergies at a restaurant when his mouth and eyes swelled up and he had a rash all over. I called the doctor immediately and was directed to go to the drugstore grabbed the Benedryl (in the store) and gave him (about a spoonful). I'm sure that you got the Epi-Pen Jr. If not, get one in case of emergency. Your daughter will need to have this within reach of her caretakers always. Also Benedryl for kids. They come in convenient individual serving packets ...it costs about $6-7 dollars. Expensive, but worth it. I used to carry liquid Benedryl in my purse all the time but it kept leaking. For school, you need to have a plan with the teacher(s) and nurse (if there is one). But the epi has to be in the same place as your daughter and the teacher will have to be trained on its use. Also, you need a plan for what to do in a mild allergy situation vs. a more serious one. The serious one is if breathing is affected. I sure hope I'm not scaring you but this is a serious thing. Also be careful with playdates as if other children are eating peanuts or peanut butter and they touch something that your daughter touches she can actually have a reaction to this. It takes only a small amount to cause an allergy attack. You would be surprised the variety of reactions I get from people when I tell them my son has food allergies. Some people have literally laughed in my face and even say stuff like "oh how did I survive my childhood". The awareness of food allergies isn't where it should be considering the seriousness of it. One time I was in a toy store and the person unpacking the toys was eating peanuts! Another mom was there and told her that her daughter has peanut allergies and to please stop eating them and the girl shrugged her shoulders and kept eating them. And for this reason, you will have to be super assertive and proactive regarding it. And you will have to read the labels on everything. Train your daughter not to take candy or food from anyone unless the entire label is read. Also watch out for suntan lotion, lotion and soaps - these can contain nut butters -- most commonly shea.
A.S. answers from Chicago on July 14, 2008
Hi N. - fire off some questions! I'd be happy to answer. We are dealing with loads of allergies.. peanuts for both kids, dairy, eggs, etc... . You might find a lot of comfort in the terrickidsfa yahoo group. You will be slammed with e-mails but, it is a great resource!
Definitely create an action plan for yourself and for teachers. If you eat out very often, I found it handy to have a card made up with my kids pictures on them and all of the food allergies to give to the chef. I think you can make one through http://www.aafa.org/ in English and in Spanish.
We have been in the ER 5 x this year.. and I am still not comfortable with the epi-pen! I would recommend practicing with the practice one and then when you have expired epis, practice on fruit. If you have an idea of what you will do when a crisis hits, it is much easier. I tend to panick like most moms do I think. Have phone numbers for Drs, yourself, etc.. posted on the fridge in case you have a sitter or for yourself. AAFA offers free medic alert bracelets through medic alert. I highly recommend getting one.
I could write a book here.. feel free to use me as a resource. Peanuts are a fairly common and easy allergy to manage since it is a very common allergy. Although you will find that a lot of people simply don't get it. I hope that helps!