Egg White Allergies

Updated on October 10, 2011
J.L. asks from Sauquoit, NY
7 answers

My 7y/o has a egg white allergy and im not sure when to give him the epipen... ok when he eats egg white in cakes or in certain foods he tends to get really bad itching on his tounge and lips. i have given him the epipen when his body swelled up and he got bad hives but im not sure if i should give it to him for the tounge and lip itching... any ideas? Doc just said to use my own judgement.

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So What Happened?

so umm... his body sweeled to the point where his feet looked like footballs... his doc tld me to give him the epipen for the itching bcuz it can spread really quickly to his throat and cause swelling and problems breathing.

More Answers



answers from Sacramento on

As I just found out my 5 yr old is allergic to eggs and milk and the fact that there are so many items that have even a small amount of extract of these in the foods, I have begun to read the ingredients on labels and just stay totally away from the things that have eggs or milk. It is much better to say sorry you cannot eat that because it hurts you than to continually have to use the epi-pen or go to the hospital if that cannot stop the reaction. Ask your 7 yr old if he/she does not like the fact that you will not let him have a certain food - do you want to break out again in hives and swell up and have the medicine not be able to help you in time or would you like to help me find other foods we can enjoy? I should think the latter would be the better choice.

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answers from New York on

You need a new doctor. You should have an action plan that tells you exactly when to use the epipen. Please find a new pediatric allergist as soon as possible! It will say, if this happens, use the epi or benadryl. Reactions involving the mouth and lips can be serious. Please get some help.

ETA. I have read some other responses and according to what my doctor has told me, they are wrong. Anaphalysis is NOT just breathing problems. Some kids can suffer from other severe reactions including vomiting, diarrhea or fainting. Only a doctor should tell you when to use an epi. The plan is based on past reactions and other factors. A child covered in hives and having severe diarrhea would need an epipen. ANY swelling in the mouth would probably need it too. When in doubt you are always better off giving an epipen and calling 911. The alternative could be death.

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answers from New York on

The epi pen is for life threatening reactions, when he is having trouble breathing. Presumably when he swelled that badly, his throat was also swelling shut, and it was the right time to give him the epi pen. If he's having a mild reaction and breathing fine, there is no reason to use the epi pen.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My granddaughter has an epi-pen. Instructions on when to use it were included in the box. If you didn't get them, I urge you to talk with the prescriber or the pharmacist about when to use it.

It's for life threatening reactions only, when breathing is compromised.

I also have food allergies and often had bad itching on my tongue and lips. That is definitely not cause to use the epi-pen. Neither are bad hives in and of themselves. I don't know what you mean by body swelling. did you take him to the ER after administering the pen? If he didn't need further treatment, I suggest that the pen might have been overkill.

Allergic reactions are scary. Over time, with experience you will get a sense for what is going on. The epi-pen is for infrequent emergency relief and definitely should not be administered in lieu of prevention. Be sure to keep the foods to which he's allergic away from him. Every time he has an allergic reaction his body is building up more anti-bodies that may eventually make his reactions even worse.

I've had couple of anaphylaxis episodes, caused by a bee sting and a medication, which in today's world would've required an epi-pen. At that time, the doctor administered an antihistamine (Benedryl) and probably something like what's in the epi-pen.

I suggest that for the allergic reactions that you've described giving him Benedryl would've been the appropriate treatment. My granddaughter has had the intense itching and hives and a full dose of Benedryl relieved the itching and the hives were gone in 30 minutes.

Do talk with her doctor or a pharmacist about the epi-pens use. Ask for a description of specific symptoms that would benefit from an epi-pen. I suggest that the inappropriate use can result in difficulties. It contains an ingredient that gives a powerful boost to his body. I'm not sure but I think it increases heart rate as well as reducing swelling. I suggest using it when it's not needed puts the body in undue stress.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

As others have stated, an Epi pen should only be used for life threatening reactions, such as difficulty breathing caused by swelling. You should also take him to the hospital immediately as the effects of the Epi pen will wear off and he could continue to have a reaction.

For itching, hives and swelling of the extremities I would not give the Epi pen, just some Benadryl. For swelling of the throat, tongue or around his mouth and especially if he is having any problems breathing - absolutely give it and start heading to the hospital.

Also, he needs to stop eating things that contain egg whites if that is what he is reacting to. I'm sure that is easier said than done but his reactions will only continue to get more severe with each additional reaction.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My daughter has an egg white allergy too. The epi pen should only be used on someone who can not breathe, when the lips are turning white and blue, and you think the person is going to die within minutes. An Epi Pen is very serious. After using the epi pen, you must take the person immediately to an Emergency Room. Otherwise, you should ALWAYS carry Benadryl with you (your son should always have it with him too) and you should know the correct dose. For my daughter, I found pre-measured doses/individual packs of Children's Benadryl which I always carry in my handbag. Her teachers at school have it too. For accidental exposure to egg whites, she gets Benadryl. Then she starts to feel better within minutes. This only happens once or twice a year, (I am very careful about reading all labels) when I allow her to try something which I know contains egg whites to test and see if she is still allergic. For birthday parties, we bring our own vegan cupcake. She knows she can not eat the same baked treats as her friends. Yes, life is difficult with these allergies, but allergies can be life-threatening, and it is not worth risking my daughter's life just to eat a cookie or donut.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

First of all you need to stop allowing him to eat foods containing egg whites w/an allergy as severe as your sons. Anaphylaxis can occur very fast & EPI should be given immediately if he's injested or ate anything containing egg whites you are not able to determine or see what is happening to him internally you cannot see his throat closing or see his chest feeling tight/squeezing you cannot see his blood pressure dropping all very serious....better safe than sorry to give EPI and call 911 tell them you have EPI'd your son & you they need to be prepared w/more EPI if you do not have xtras....DO NOT try to drive him to the hospital by yourself as he can have a secondary reaction after being EPI'd. If he continues to eat foods containing egg whites & reacts each reaction could become more severe than the last.

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