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DD just diagnosed with severe nut & dust allergy.

(15 Posts)
justalittlelemondrizzle Thu 06-Nov-14 14:03:01

Posted this in childrens health didnt see the allergy section.

We received DD's(6) allergy test results this morning.
It came back that she is allergic to Cashews and dustmites. 
I've never had to deal with an allergy before so im a bit out of my depth. 
Is this really as big a deal as I think it is? 
Ive spent the whole school day doing boil washes and scrubbing the house etc.
She has eczema so this quite possibly could be the cause.

. Are teddies ok in DD's bedroom on top of the wardrobe away from her bed? They were on her bed. 
. Can anyone recommend any devices such as dustmite controllers/de-humidifiers etc or are these rubbish?
. Any other dust prevention ideas?
. Regarding the nut allergy is there anything else she should avoid?
. I have been reading through a few posts on the subject and people are mentioning epipens and was wondering, do we need some of these?

Ive probably forgot half of what I wanted to ask so if anyone has any other advice on these allergies please share.

Green18 Thu 06-Nov-14 14:25:08

Hi, I know exactly how you feel. It's all a big shock and takes a while to process. My DD IS 10 and was diagnosed with a nut already at 6. At first i was very upset but had always suspected something since she had severe eczema as a baby and toddler and GP said don't give her nuts til he's 3!! So, I didn't but after that she ate nutelle, peanut butter, no problem until one day ate a pice of pecan while i was baking, got an itchy throat and threw up. Got tests done and she is mild to moderately allergic to tree nuts but has to avoid all nuts as the body can confuse them. We were not given an epipen but have piriton at home and at school. Luckily we have never had another problem and just read all packets. She eats a normal diet, eats sweets and chocolates too after checking labels and has learnt to not eat anything if there is any doubt. I am very proud of her. Only occasionally does she say "oh i wish i could eat that!" and it breaks my heart. You should have a follow up appointment at your hospital where they will issue you with a care plan.
When she had eczema(all disappeared by age 3) i switched to sure care laundry liquid, kept teddies on bed to a minimum and hot washed bedding weekly as normal. You could go as far as to have no carpets and curtains, just blinds. Good luck.

Ilisten2thesoundofdrums Thu 06-Nov-14 14:29:00

Hi lemondrizzle Its scary isn't it? But you will get your head around it given time

Re The dust,

Put dust mite overs over the mattress pillows and Duvets on your DD's bed.
Dust with a damp cloth so that the dust sticks to it rather than going back into the air again.
Wooden floors are better than carpets, but as long as you hoover regularly and have dust filters in your hoover it should keep down the worst of it.
ionisers cause the dust to settle on surfaces rather than floating in the air - this might help too.

I think freezing might kill dust mites on the soft toys if they can't all be washed.

Re the nut allergy, I think it depends on how serious an allergy it is before they give you epi-pens. you will need to see the GP and ask - or maybe the consultant at the hospital who did the testing. DS has multiple food allergies and has them, but he also carries liquid antihistamine around too everywhere he goes and this is used if he has a minor reaction to something ( much more common for us than heavens)
You will learn to read packets for nut ingredients.
Although DS is allergic we seem to be ok ignoring the made in a factory containing warnings - except for chocolate as this is very frequently contaminated.
If it is only cashews you may be ok, but saying that DS was originally only allergic to almonds, and now is allergic to the lot!
Although peanuts are not tree nuts they are often handled in the same factories as other nuts and hence the warnings on the packets as there may be some cross contamination and some people are so sensitive that a small amount of dust from one would send them into anaphalactic shock .

justalittlelemondrizzle Thu 06-Nov-14 14:50:17

Thanks for the advice. we didnt see a consultant just had bloods done at hospital and had a telephone appointment with a very blase doctor who didnt seem interested. No mention of a follow up at hos or docs to discuss the diagnosis.
The doctor only told me the levels were quite high when I asked how serious the allergy was.
I think I need to book an appointment with a better doctor to discuss this.

Im not sure if my hoover has a hepa filter its a new Karcher cylinder vac with a bag it is extremely powerful. Is this good enough? I dont really understand about hepa filters. We have a dyson but its old and rubbish.

Re the nuts, do I need to look at the actual ingredients and learn wierd names for nuts or do I just need to look out for the "may contain nuts" warnings?

Green18 Thu 06-Nov-14 16:14:39

Hi, yes you should be able to see the paediatric consultant at your hospital, probably not an allergy specialist as there aren't many.They can draw up a care plan that you can copy for school and any clubs( a what to do if...) I did my own and copied it for her teacher etc. Include what signs to look for, treatment, where the meds are, your telephone number etc
We avoid anything that contains nuts and anything that says may contain nuts, we have got used to some stores i.e m&s who put that on EVERYTHING it seems, they cover themselves. We are more relaxed with "may contain traces" depending on what the product is and if there are other lines with nuts in. Tesco is quite good, they give more detail such as 'made in a factory handling nuts but on a different line' . We find it's easier to stick to simple foods prepared from scratch, bake your own treat etc, its the processed stuff that causes concern.Allergy UK have a helpful website and they will notify you of any allergy alerts in products.
I was told that the strength of the reaction to the test does not correlate with the strength of the likely allergic reaction, but the likelihood of the allergy occurring....hope that makes sense. A child who only reacted mildly to the test can still have a severe reaction. However, they tend to go on history of reactions and their severity to get an overall picture. No idea on the filter question but I would say hoover when your child is out and open windows daily for short while, chilly now i know.

Green18 Thu 06-Nov-14 16:17:53

Re labels, in this country, any allergens are usually in bold but otherwise no unusual names just nuts or sometimes the specific nut i.e peanut or hazelnut.

justalittlelemondrizzle Thu 06-Nov-14 22:30:18

How do I go about seeing a consultant. GP referal? I would feel much better having discussed it in some depth over a 5 minute appointment at the doctors and also being able to follow a tailored care plan.
I'm pretty annoyed about he lack of a follow up!
She ate some chocolate before. I saw on the packet afterwards 'may contain nuts' shes fine though.

Green18 Fri 07-Nov-14 13:51:37

My DD had an allergy test at the hospital in the monthly allergy clinic. We were referred by GP. Had blood tests first then a skin prick test some weeks or months later(such is the demand) The skin prick test didn't hurt. They just put a tiny amount of solution containing nut proteins for each type of nut on her inner forearm and waited for a reaction. After 20 mins they measured. I was given a booklet about avoiding nuts, advice re piriton and whether or not to have an epipen( doc didn't think necessary). I received a letter after this to confirm. I was told i could ring with any questions and try retesting in 5 years.
Ask your GP to refer you. In the meantime google a care plan for nut allergy or type your own. You will need a photo of DC, what their allergy is, likely symptoms, what to do if they show up, where treatment is and phone numbers to call.
Pay particular attention to chocolate from Germany(Aldi and Lidl) as they often use hazelnut paste in their normal chocolate, as does Milka.

Green18 Fri 07-Nov-14 14:23:20

Have a look at Allergy UK website, There is so much advice on there for parents.

pashmina696 Sat 08-Nov-14 08:15:16

Cashew is often in pesto, baklava, Indian sweets and also Indian curries like it might be powdered in the sauce as opposed to whole and obvious.

Green18 Sat 08-Nov-14 13:45:51

Yep, we avoid asian restaurants and takeaways! You can get a basil pesto without pine nuts or make your own.

rogueelement Sat 08-Nov-14 16:50:10

When my daughter was diagnosed with nut allergy (including peanut and cashew) we basically made our house nut-free - threw out nuts, peanut butter, nut oils, pesto etc etc.

However, you need a follow-up with skin prick tests at a proper hospital allergy clinic. Get your child referred. You will usually be advised to avoid all nuts, but you should have a follow-up and a care plan which way well include being prescribed an Epipen. You need to learn about signs of anaphylaxis so that you know exactly what to do - children's allergies can change over time. Check out the Anaphylaxis Campaign website for lots of excellent advice on severe allergies. There are also some great books around. If your child is asthmatic, make sure you are always on top of the asthma.

Day to day, DD's nut allergy makes eating out quite tricky. We don't eat takeaway/restaurant Indian, Chinese or Thai food because of ingredients and cross-contamination in cooking methods.

Apart from that, chocolate's the most annoying issue. Read the labels, always. In our case, Galaxy Milk is OK at the moment, but Cadbury's is off limits. Posh chocolate/continental chocolate is usually a no-no. Take 'May contain' labels seriously - DD has had serious reactions to some of those.

It is quite a shock at first but I would recommend learning all you can and pushing for a proper referral. If you like to read about stuff, this American book is quite old now but hands down the best I have come across:

justalittlelemondrizzle Sat 08-Nov-14 19:22:41

What about a chinese takeaway, birthday cakes and snacks etc. Things that she has always eaten with no problem? Do I need to stop her eating these things or can we carry on giving her these things as she has tolerated them in the past?

Green18 Sun 09-Nov-14 10:47:30

You could speak to the restaurants but personally we don't take the risk, of course you can cook them at home or buy from supermarket where you can check labels. I make my DD's birthday cake but of course if you buy just check the labels.

sniffle12 Sun 09-Nov-14 19:10:03

OP having had allergies all my life and moved between many consultants/GP practices I have found the best people to talk to are often the nurse practitioners in GP practices. I found a very good nurse practitioner at my practice who was an asthma specialist, she seemed to genuinely care (I note you mentioned a blasé GP - my experience of most GPs towards allergies) and helped me to make a 3-step plan - what to do/take to prevent a reaction, what to do/take if one happened, and how to escalate if I was having a reaction that wasn't responding. GPs and consultants on the other hand have always told me helpful things like "dust better" (duh).

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