4 Year Old with Allergies

Updated on May 29, 2008
V.G. asks from Grand Rapids, MI
20 answers

My daughter had a severe rash with swelling on her face this weekend so I took her to a local Urgent Medical Care Center. By the time the nurse got us into a room to do the temperature, weight, medical history stuff the rash had spread to the top portion of her torso and back and spots on her arms and legs. She complained that it was itchy and it hurt - but she didn't have any problems breathing. It ended up, after being put on a "Fast Track" status, that it was severe hives. Not your run of the mill sneezing, runny nosed allergy that I see and hear a lot about - but the kind of allergic reaction that requires heavy doses of steroids to fix and can get worse every time she comes into contact with it. Of course we have no idea what "it" is. I'll be calling our normal doctor today to work on that angle. However, we strongly suspect it's environmental, as they we playing outside a LOT on Saturday & Sunday and there wasn't anything new that I gave them. So here's my question, has anyone had this kind of experience with environmental allergies with a child this young? If so, what can I do to help prevent, or at least lessen the reaction while we wait to get her into the doctor's office and any additional testing? The staff was really worried that the facial swelling could begin to move to her airway (tounge/throat) and I really want to avoid that - but know that this thing sometimes takes time to figure out. Any advice you can give me would be appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Well, we go to the doctor tomorrow morning, but the advice to keep Benadryl handy turned out to be very helpful. Last night we went to a school picnic at the local zoo and before we left the house I grabbed her Benadryl and the dispenser and through it in my purse. Half way through the zoo my mother-in-law mentioned that under her eyes were getting red - sure enough the hives were starting to come back. I immediately gave her a dose (my mother-in-law as surprised I had the meds) and headed to the picnic for supper. By the time we finished eating, the reddness was gone!! We've at least narrowed it down in one week to being something in her environment. Thanks for the tip to keep the Benadryl WITH us, I would have never thought of it - and it will come in handy this weekend as we'll be outside most of it.

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A.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I had a friend whose little girl recently had an allergic reaction after playing with fuzzy catapillers outside. It sent her to the ER with hives etc too. Just something to consider.

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M.

answers from Saginaw on

V.,
I don't know if this will help it is just a thought. My daughter gets hives when she has been in a pool or hot tub that has not been treated enough. She has to go on antibiotics when she gets the hives. She has no sneazing or any other allergy symptoms with the hives. Take Care, M.

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S.M.

answers from Saginaw on

Hello V., Please take this very seriously. I almost lost my oldest daughter once when she was 9 due to her stepping on a dead yellow jacket. She had never been stung before, which is very rare to react without previous exposure, but because I'm severly allergic to them, I passed it on to her through my blood. Probably during the delivery. Her airways shut down on my drive to the hospital(three miles away), and I had to chose between stopping to do CPR or drive the last 1/4 mile. I chose the later, thank God, because when we got there she was already unconcence(sp). My middle daughter was more like yours, she started having episodes that weren't as severe as my oldests. I thought it was environmental also, but I took her to a pediatric allergist and he told me at the first visit that he thought it was an allergy to eggs. I didn't believe him because the regular pediatrician had me doing a food journal, and I had not been giving her any eggs. Guess what, that IS what she was reacting to. It was in cookies, cakes, egg noodles, breads, etc. So please before this becomes life threatning insist on seeing an allergist for the correct diagnosis. Don't go through the lengthy prosses I chose to do. Remember that you have to be exposed to something before you become allergic to it, so the more exposer the worst the allergy becomes. (my middle daughter also had a very severe reaction the first time she was stung by a yellow jacket, my son has never been stung yet) Also, she should always carry an epi-pen with her, all of the time. God bless you and your family.

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L.U.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hello,
Is it possible that she was around poison ivey. I once took my daughter to the lake that we always go to and one time she got poison ivey and I thought it was swimmers itch. I have learned that she has sensitive skin after that incident. The doctor gave her meds to stop the itch and to take the rash away and it worked. Is it possible that there may have been a small amount of poison ivey where you and your family was playing outside and she may have gotten to close to it? Good luck!

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C.N.

answers from Detroit on

Hi, I can't speak for my children, but when I was a child, the same thing happened to me. It was fall and the leaves had been raked up, I was rolling around in them playing and the next thing I knew I was covered in the most God awful hives. They told my mom I was allergic to leaves----but I was never "tested" and it has never happened since. Maybe you shouldn't worry too much about it until or if it happens again. On another note, I have a friend whose son was experiencing allergic reactions to foods and was ending up in the ER often, but he was much younger and it seems to me at your daughter's age you would have already discovered aversions to foods...........Good luck!

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S.W.

answers from Lansing on

Hello V.,

I haven't had that problem with one of my own children, but I did have the samething happen to me once. It was around Christmas time and I was shopping and when I got home I noticed I had this rash on my arm. It was red and stood out a bit and did itch. I didn't think to much about it until the next moring when I got up and it was all over my body. I went to the ER and they gave me a IV of something and it cleared up. I later found out that it was some clothing that I had bought my daughter, when I touched to wrap it started again on my hands, but this time I took some over the counter allergy meds and it cleared up. At the ER they told me I could go to my doctors and he would give me an allergy test witch consits of a bunch of needle mards to the back to determend what you are and are not allergic too. I passed on that thinking it sound to pain full and found out in the next few days anyways. I've never had that problem again. If you watch where you daughter plays and see what kind of grass, weeds, ect is around you may be able to figure it out on your own. She may also not come in contact with it again. But she's right about one thing, it does itch like crazy to the point that it hurts some.
Good luck, hope she doesn't get it again!
S.

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H.B.

answers from Detroit on

BENADRYL!! My daughter has severe allergies and you should always keep Benadryl on hand in your home and when you travel.

Your daughter will probably be allergy tested--it's not fun because they will do little tiny pokes all over her back with a little bit of different stuff she could be allergic to, but at least then you'll know what the cause is and can avoid it.

Also, we have a prescription for an Epi-pen. This is a simple-to-give dose (shot) of Epinephrine. It's not dangerous, and will give immediate relief if you daughter ever had difficulty breathing due to an allergic reaction.

Good luck!

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A.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi V.,

There are many allergy/asthma cases that have a direct correlation with cleaning products used in our homes. Feel free to check out www.shaklee.net/avwellness/getclean, and if you would like more info. please let me know.

Thanks,
A. Villarreal

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M.B.

answers from Detroit on

Hi V.,

I'm not sure where you live, but I have an allergist I love. My son has had problems since he was born. He is allergic to everything and is asthmatic. It can be very scary. The doc's name is Rick Vinuya he is in Bingham Farms (MI) his number is ###-###-####. BTW, you should always have Benedryl with you. It can help with the reaction until you can get to the doc. HTH, good luck!

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K.I.

answers from Grand Rapids on

WOW. That sounds so scarey! I have never heard of such an extreme case. I work for a wellness company that makes products that are safer. In my own research, I have found studies that say that products that contain formaldihyde (many products do under various trade names) cause people to be more sensitive to other things. It can make allergies worse or even cause them. One of the common trade names for a formaldihyde releaser is Q-15 or quaternium 15. That is in the #1 selling baby wash on the market and in many other things. Perhaps controling what you can in your home and on your bodies will help. Please contact me if you want more info. http://www.switchingstores.com/leaf126 I hope she gets better soon!

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H.M.

answers from Detroit on

My 10-year old daughter (who has severe asthma and allergies) recently had this while visiting my brother in Alabama. The swelling and hives were severe requring the heavy steriod treatement and 2 emergency room visits. It happened on our 4th/last day of our visit. The emerg Dr. insisted that she had been exposed to something because of the severity, but I could not immediately pin-point the cause (nothing drastically different, and we visit him often and have never had such a reaction). I moved us to Nashville (100 miles north of my brothers) as I had business (had to take her with me because it was so severe I was too afraid to leave her with my sister and brother as originally planned). They went away on our drive to Nashville and I thought it was over, but the next morning they were back 1000% times worse. Another hospital visit, but no answers. For 3 more days that would go away and then come back stronger. It drove her (and me) nuts. I tried everything (changing her environment, stop drinking the milk, the water, don't eat anything new - the poor girl barely ate or drank the 4 days - nothing helped). She was in such pain because they were everywhere (she has had hives before and bad, but nothing like this - she looked like she had been burned over 98% of her body - the spots were blood-red in many areas). The Dr's were bewildered because they said the steriods and benedryl should keep the hives from coming back (especially given the strength she was taking) - but they still kept returning and getting worse. At no time, however, did she have difficulty breathing, which is amazing given her asthma condition. To make a long story as short as possible: This is going to sound absurd, I think it was the new flip-flop shoes I bought for her at Wal-mart the day before she broke-out the first time. My sister discovered this one morning while I was working...her hives had started to go away again and so they went to the continental breakfast that the hotel offered and during breakfast my daughter started complaining that her feet were itching really bad. My sister looked at her feet and the hives were all over her feet and going up her legs. She immediately made her take off the flip-flops and within an hour the hives were gone again. This also seemed to coincide with the other outbreaks over the past week, but I never would have thought that it would be shoes. I still have the flip-flops and am trying to find someone to test them. I believe it was a chemical reaction from the rubber or plastic in the sole of the flip-flop (made in China). The hives never returned after she stopped wearing the flip-flops, and given the severity of her outbreak, I am too afraid to let her wear them again. I know it is something in the shoes, but no one can help me find someone who will test them. I doubt you have recently bought flip-flops from Walmart for your daughter, but it the hives return, me suspicious about every little think that she comes in contact with. Good luck.

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L.O.

answers from Detroit on

As severe a reaction that your daughter had, I would certainly consult your doctor, I would also highly recommend finding an Allergist. My niece was around 4 when she began having serious problems, at first they thought it was wheat after keeping a food diary, they found her most serious problems came from eggs and peanuts. Peanuts being the most dangerous for her.
I just know, it's better to find out what you need to avoid hope this helps.
An Allergist won't necessarily test your child right away, unless they deem it necessary to find the culprit, remember also that allergies are an acquired thing and a family pet or weeds, etc. Can be your problem not just foodstuff.
Good luck

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K.C.

answers from Saginaw on

Hi V.,

Have you ever tried whole fruit puree mangosteen juice or a product called Xango? I failed the entire patch test at my allergists @ 2 yrs ago...my daughter was in the same boat (she is 5). She had been getting stomachaches from constant Zyrtex usage (for 2 yrs, daily)
We are off Zyrtec and control our environmental allergies this way. It is just a food (juice) and it has many beneficial properties. I was determined to control my families allergies without medications... and my thought was they are so young and if you can supplement with a food why wouldn't you?
It is PHENOMENAL for rashes and topical applications. I have a whole book on this. in fact, my dad is a veterinarian and we have used this product even on animals for great results.
It is definitely worth checking out. The company backs up its products and has an excellent return policy.

I would be happy to give/send you some complimentary juice should you be interested.

Please email me at [email protected]____.com or please give me a call anytime at ###-###-#### For more info. pls see my website at www.choosenature.mymangosteen.com

Hope this helps! I am 36, married for 10 yrs and the mother of 2 kids, two and five. (We all take this product) I work parttime at a hospital as a clinical instructor in ultrasound.

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

There is a great group in Grosse Pointe that deal with allergies in a natural way...no dangerous steroids etc... go to www.ahccenter.com

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T.K.

answers from Detroit on

Honestly, keep her inside until you get an allergy test. Also, keep the windows closed. I have several children with allergies and one with asthma as well, so i have a few windows i don't open, as they tend to blow pollen inside from a box cedar bush that is in my yard, and I always close all the windows before mowing the lawn which is a big one for my asthmatic. Inside, check the basement/bathrooms for mold or mildew (send her to a family members house for 24 hours if you find some and clean with bleach - bleach will probably set off allergy issues as well) change the filter in the heater if you haven't done so in awhile (they have anti-allergen ones now too) and make sure to avoid foods (like peanut butter, nuts (tree and peanut), and other foods) that are known to occasionally cause strong allergic reactions. (Allergies sometimes don't show up right away, and you may be exposed multiple times before your body has had "enough" and alerts you with an allergic response) Your doctor should get her in quickly due to the hospital visit, meanwhile, all you can do is avoid things that are conventionally known to be frequent "triggers". I hope everything goes well and she can get into see the doctor soon.

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J.M.

answers from Saginaw on

My little one displayed similar symptoms when she was 2yrs old. She had large swollen sites all over. I didn't know what it was until we were at my other daughters soccer game and I saw some form of mosquito bite her on the cheek. Within a few hours, her cheek was so swollen her eye was shut. I didn't suspect mosquitoes at first because she's had bites before and had some normal ones then. I think my daughter has an allergy to a specific type of mosquito - not all of them. Perhaps your daughter has something similar... perhaps to an oil or something on a plant or the grass she was playing on or flower she might have been picking.

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B.B.

answers from Detroit on

ask your dr about childrens benadryl. Its an antihystamine and could buy you some valuable time to figure out whats happening.
Hope you figure out what it is... My son swells up if he gets more than 2 mosquito bites in the same area...
I also have a friend who's son is "allergic" to the sun. He turns bright red after about 3 seconds of being in the sun and feels all itchy...
GOOD LUCK!!!

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T.H.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I am not one who favors giving meds to a child for every ittle thing....but maybe you should ask if an antihistamine would help. I am curious if it would at least slow down a futur reaction until you know what to avoid. There are 2 different kinds of histamines....those you would take Benadryl for and also ones in your stomach that Zantac helps. I reacted very severely to Poison Ivy where i had the usual rash as well as severe hives. I had to take 2 different meds to get it under control as well as the steroids and such.
My thoughts and prayers are with you

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

I had a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic; my husband rushed me to the hospital. I didn't even fill out all of my information before they rushed me into the back. But they told us if this were ever to happen again to take Benedryl before leaving the house. So I'd keep Benedryl on or around you at all times. I'm guessing that they won't give you an epi pen until they know what she's allergic to. Good luck figuring it out soon!

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S.L.

answers from Grand Rapids on

We had this happen to our youngest son while we were out west in Wyoming. It started while we were in Yellowstone. He would break out in hives all over his body. From the bottoms of his feet to the top of his head.At the Hospital in Cody all they could come up with was something in the air as we were not eating or using any different then we did at home. Benedryl became our best friend . After we left to go to Colorado then home to Michigan we didn't have any other problems. HIs Doctor thought it may have been from the sulfar springs that were in the area. It did clear up some while we were in Thermopolis and he swam in the hot springs there. But I would keep a antihestamin on had. (sorry my spelling is awful!!!)

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