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Question for those w/ nut-allergic children

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My son is 2.5 years old, and he has never tasted any nuts or nut products. The reason is that I am allergic to many different nuts (among many, many foods) and our pediatrician recommended that we wait until ds turned 3 to try any nuts. Thankfully, he is not allergic to any of the other foods I am allergic to. He has tried all of the others by now and eats many of them regularly. I am just really worried about the nuts because I know how severe the allergy can be. SO my questions, in anticipation for his tasting peanut butter when he turns 3 (he can't wait!!) are:

1) Did any of you suspect a possible nut allergy in your kids before they tried nuts? If so, what did you do to prepare for a possible reaction?

2) What was the initial reaction you noticed?

3) Was there a reaction on the first try, or did it take several times for the allergy to show?

Thanks so much. I'm just a little apprehensive about this! As I did not develop my allergies until I was a teenager, my parents can't even give me any advice on food allergies in a young kid.
post #2 of 6
My dd is allergic to peanuts. It was a surprise to us - not even suspected as no real hx of allergies anywhere in the family (besides to penicillin). Her first time with peanut butter, she got hives com,pletely around her mouth. Pediatrician said hold off and try again later - said that some kids can grow out of a peanut allergy by 2y/o. Well, she is over 2 and continues to hive up with peanut butter, though only on her face. No throat swelling though luckily. We keep her away from peanut butter but sometimes our well meaning friends and family forget - until they call me freaking out because her face has become a map of a new world with her hives as islands! Benadryl works wonders for her so far. Good luck to you and yours! That's just my story, not really any advice for ya. Sorry.
post #3 of 6

Re: Question for those w/ nut-allergic children

1) Did any of you suspect a possible nut allergy in your kids before they tried nuts? If so, what did you do to prepare for a possible reaction?

I suspected allergies to everything in my ds1 from birth as he had obvious rashes and at 2 months the flaming cheeks of eczema, then his first severe asthma attack at age 8 months; also huge family history of asthma, eczema and allergies (but not nut anaphylaxis)

to prepare I basically withheld every allergic food I could think of! and then did testing

2) What was the initial reaction you noticed?

I had him skin tested for heaps of things at age 18 months (I was advised he would have many false positives any earlier than this)and discovered he was allergic to milk, egg, soy and all nuts (except almonds) so he was never given nuts to eat. When he finally had a food challenge test to peanuts at age 10 (a double blind test) he reacted to 1/16 of a teaspoon of peanut butter with swollen tongue and itchy ears and throat, which resolved without treatment of any kind within 30 minutes.

3) Was there a reaction on the first try, or did it take several times for the allergy to show?

Ds1 had been accidentally exposed before this at age 5 - but only to inhaled fumes of peanut butter used in a school cooking session, he reacted with severe bronchospasm that required multiple doses of nebulised Ventolin and oral antihistamines. If I had had an Epipen at the time I would have used it but they were not in common usage at that time.

The advice of the above poster's paed that peanut allergy can be grown out of is not in line with everything I have ever read or heard about nut anaphylaxis - you have it for life.

If you are considering letting your ds try peanut butter at age 3 (many would suggest age 5) I would urge you to have him skin tested so you have some idea of the likely consequences. And I would give him only the tiniest bit imaginable . Though I agree it looks promising that he is not allergic to many of the foods you are.

Nut anaphylaxis scares the h*ll out of me and I have only become more and more cautious as the years go by. Ds is now 12 and has had only 2 big reactions to nuts and 1 to an antibiotic. But boy is it scarey when it happens.

Ds2 on the other hand is not allergic to anything - we were much less careful about what foods he was exposed to as he had no eczema or asthma in his early years. He first tried a nut (a pistachio - we never have any peanut anything in our house)at about age 4 I think, a tiny nibble, he loved it and was fine, I hope your ds will be too!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses so far. I, too, have understood that nut allergies are usually for life, as opposed to some which can be outgrown. It is really, really scary to me, which is why I posted. I feel for you, emmaline, in your need to be so vigilant about what your son is exposed to. I would gladly wait until my son is 5 to try out peanut butter, but...since my pediatrician says 3, and my son has heard that from him, he (ds) is waiting on pins and needles to be able to try it,and I have promised it to him at 3. He also understands it will be a "peanut butter test" to see if he is allergic like mommy or not allergic, like daddy. He already pretends to be allergic to things he doesn't want, since the allergy culture is so prevalent in our household due to my food restrictions. We'll see what happens. I hope more moms come along and share their stories,too. As for allergy testing, my dr. said that if he has not yet been exposed, the allergy test would show nothing, so he does not recommend it. OTOH, I know my son's care provider does serve peanut butter to all the other kids at his child care, and he's never reacted to the fumes, so that is a promising sign, too, I guess, based on what you said about your son, emmaline.
post #5 of 6
teacherma that idea about no response to testing if he has had no exposure yet is interesting - maybe no response in a blood test but a skin test would be like a first exposure I would have thought? I believed my ds1 to have had no nut or egg or cow milk exposure when his initial skin tests were done at 18 mos and he had huge reactions to the nuts, less to egg and cow milk.

You might be interested in the research i read this week from the New England Journal of medicine (I posted a link to an article reporting this on this board but the original article is not available on line as far as I know)which found that the strongest risk factors of peanut anaphylaxis were : exposure to peanut due to oil in skin creams used on broken skin on a baby (ie direct enrty of peanut oil into baby's internal environment rather than via gut) AND cross sensitisation from ingestion of soy in the first or second year

it's good that yr son understands allergies so well! my ds2 also pretends to have allergies like his brother!

btw our allergist doesn't believe me about the peanut fumes, he thinks it was a psychological event on ds's part!!! not likely at that age as ds had no idea what peanut would actually do to him - now at 12 (after experiencing anaphylactic reactions)he panics around nuts but not then

I hope you get some more stories posted too - I feel like I've been reinventing the wheel on a regular basis dealing with this stuff

edited to add link to prev post
post #6 of 6
I didn't read the prior posts so sorry if I am repetitious. My DH has family history (several cousins of different aunts/uncles but all on his paternal side) with peanut allergies and several of these peoples children, and several 2nd cousins with non-allergic parents with milk, egg and peanut allergies (anaphylactic milk and peanut). So dd was one and had some cream sauce and broke out in hives and I had him skin tested for eggs peanut and milk just to be sure. Then I waited until 2 yrs to give the peanuts but did so with less anxiety because I knew he already didn't react on the skin test, not that it means he couldn't ever react in the future but it put me at ease. Took 15 minutes, was relatively painless, and gave me mental comfort. HTH
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