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DS and peanut allergy

(31 Posts)
LeonardoAcropolis Sun 26-Jul-15 19:18:33

Hello, my DS, age 3, has been diagnosed with a peanut allergy. We received a letter from the doctor at the allergy clinic yesterday.

He had a reaction after eating a curry sauce containing peanut butter (red patches around mouth, sneezing and swelling around one eye which subsided after a dose of piriton). At the allergy clinic his skin prick test showed a reaction to the peanut but the doctor said that as the hive was only slightly larger than the 'control' hive, this is a borderline reaction. DS had a blood test, and the results showed that he is allergic to peanut and will require an epi pen.

So, does this mean that his next exposure (hopefully never) to the dreaded nut will result in anaphylaxis? or is it one of those things we will never know?

We go on holiday in two weeks and I hope that I can get his epi pens before we go as I am now nervous about the flight. The clinic wants me to make an appointment with the allergy nurse, but if we can't be seen before our hol would our gp be able to prescribe them instead?

Also, does anyone else have a little one with a peanut allergy? Are you constantly nervous?

He is only allergic to peanuts, he showed no reaction to tree nuts. Which he doesn't like anyway grin

LeonardoAcropolis Sun 26-Jul-15 23:11:09


ChampagneAndCrisps Sun 26-Jul-15 23:22:49

My DD has a peanut allergy. She's older -15 now.
Our allergy clinic was useless. It was the GP that prescribed the epipen. She's highly allergic - by her blood titres - but has never gone into anaphylaxis.
Her reactions - even bad ones - have always responded to anti-histamine.
I'd make a GP appointment and look at the Anaphylixis campaign website

NoraRobertsismyguiltypleasure Sun 26-Jul-15 23:25:34

I am allergic to most nuts but have different reactions. I have never had an Anaphylactic reaction. Peanuts is my worst, making me vomit a lot and a pretty angry rash/hive type thing. Almond and hazelnut type things will just give me a weird feeling in my throat and make me itchy. I only ever need to take antihistamines. This is just an example of my condition and I possibly am a little foolish for not having an epipen, but I avoid anything that is obviously nutty and err on the side of caution if I'm not sure.

ChampagneAndCrisps Mon 27-Jul-15 07:21:13

The main thing, I think, is to be aware of how many foods contain/ may contain nuts or traces of nuts. chocolate and ice cream are often culprits. Foods can vary from country to country because of how they're made on production lines.

Not to scare you - just to make you aware - I do know of someone who had a reaction to an apparently fruit based ice cream in Greece - but nuts were a trace ingredient.

You can go on companies websites - Cadbury - and find out safe foods. At least at 3 your child will listen to you - my DD takes chances now. Usually it's not a problem.

You could go on Google translate and print off the relevant translation for 'does this contain peanuts' for wherever you're going.

Lagoonablue Mon 27-Jul-15 07:23:06

My DS has peanut allergy and hasn't even been given an Epipen. We just take Piritonn everywhere and are very careful.

ChampagneAndCrisps Mon 27-Jul-15 07:25:16

Also - if you're taking piritonnon a plane get some small brown glass bottles from Boots and decant it. Piriton only comes in 150 ml bottles - as far as I know - and that's too big for airport security.

LeonardoAcropolis Mon 27-Jul-15 07:56:48

Thank you for your replies, very helpful thanks

Foods which may contain trace nuts, does that include peanuts or do foods specifically mention peanuts separately?

ChampagneAndCrisps Mon 27-Jul-15 08:07:37

You can't be sure. But my DD takes more notice if the labelling specifically mentions peanuts. I think manufacturers are so aware of peanut allergy that peanuts are reasonably easy to avoid.
I think it's harder to avoid other nuts / almonds etc.

equally there's quite a few foods I don't even think about buying for her any more - rustic bread from shops, shop bought pesto, shop bought cakes, Mackies ice cream.

I did find the Anaphylaxis Campaign course to be very useful. The hospital wasn't great and we were given no advice about foods.

I pressed for an epi-pen for DD because she has mild asthma - and uncontrolled asthma can make allergic reactions much worse. The only real advice from the hospital is to stay on top of her asthma.

SavoyCabbage Mon 27-Jul-15 08:26:37

It can all be very overwhelming at first but you do get used to it all.

My first supermarket shop after dd's diagnosis took hours but you learn to be a package reading expert over time.

LeonardoAcropolis Mon 27-Jul-15 08:29:42

Thank you Champagne, how old is your DD now?

I've just looked at the ingredients in his favourite cereal-type foods: cocoa pops, brioche rolls, digestives, wraps. They look OK. Sadly, his custard creams may contain nuts. Never even gone slightly pink after eating them, but I think this is a perfect excuse to bin them grin.

Mackies ice cream? hooray! our favourite. I will Google safe and not safe chocolate today. DS is a fusspot, he has very simple tastes so I can't see him hankering after a peanutty curry, or even wanting to eat a single peanut.

Good point about decanting Piriton into little bottles. We will tell the check-in at the airport about his allergy, and take the doctor's letter. We will also tell the hotel when we arrive.

ChampagneAndCrisps Mon 27-Jul-15 08:51:01

She's 15, allergy was diagnosed formally when she was 8. Although she apparently had a reaction to eating M&Ms at school when she was 5. She washed her mouth out repeatedly, and didnt tell me.

Just to be clear - I think you're being ironic - Mackies makes my daughter wheezy. It is lovely ice cream. Sainsburys own brand is ok. As are some Ben and Jerrys

I buy Kinnerton chocolate for cooking with. I know it's not known to taste good - but it's pretty much guaranteed nutfree.

LeonardoAcropolis Mon 27-Jul-15 09:07:49

oops! I read the bit about Mackies wrong, my apologies blush There is a lot going around my head right now.

What do you do about eating out?

dietstartstmoz Mon 27-Jul-15 09:15:31

My son has a peanut allergy and also showed a positive reaction to mix grade nuts so we avoid all nuts. We were told if he has eaten something before and been ok then it it ok to continue with that just be aware if the manufacturer changes ingredients. My son eats lots of custard creams and bourbon biscuits and is fine.
Loads of things say may contain nuts, even if the product doesnt, as a way of covering themselves in the event of a reaction. Tesco recently started putting their statement on everything but there was a backlash over this.
We tend to stick to the same safe things and i now do lots of baking at home which is easier!

ChampagneAndCrisps Mon 27-Jul-15 17:50:51

We've been ok about eating out. She is wary of Chinese, Indian or Thai food. You just find ways of working round it. Agree with lots of home cooking and baking.

The trouble with the 'may contain' thing is it is legalese, but it's still a distinct possibility it could be true. That's where my DD now takes risks. We haven't hada major reaction from a 'May contain' food.

The worst reaction she had was at a party where we were reassured food was nut free. Turned out the krispie cakes were made with Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. So we learned a lesson there.

Mumteedum Mon 27-Jul-15 19:39:09

Lifelong nut allergy sufferer here. V quickly, try and let airline know in advance. They should make sure there are no nuts handed out from trolley then. I react to touching them as well as eating and other people eating them near me.

I didn't have an epipen until I was 30. Would always carry antihistamines though.

HuckleberryMishMash Mon 27-Jul-15 19:48:04

I have a very severe nut allergy. I do not avoid all foods that say 'may contain traces of nuts'. I make a judgement: cake from a wholefoods type bakery = definite no no; biscuits from a factory where they are likely go have good cleaning procedures between products = most probably safe.

Despite having a couple of life threatening reactions when I have inadvertently eaten a tiny piece of nut, the worst I've had from cross-contamination is a swollen lip.

Deciding to avoid all possible risks re nut traces would mean no eating out which would be a terrible shame.

Everyone has to make their own choices but for me I'm willing to take some small risks to be able to join in the many social things that involve food.

Re flying, different airlines have different policies. For example Easyjet just tell you to tell the cabin crew when you board.

chloesmumtoo Mon 27-Jul-15 21:19:12

Leo certain supermarket brands of coco pops used to be OK, Sainsbury's, I think, but do check as not bought them for a while. Goes the same for certain biscuits. You end up shopping in many different places to get different safe food items. Our DD has peanut allergy too. You definitely worry less as time goes by but we have always been very strict on food avoidance and no nuts allowed in home ect.

chloesmumtoo Mon 27-Jul-15 21:32:33

As for eating out, we didn't for many years. As dd became older (teen) we started to try allowing occasional things. Getting somewhere to microwave a jacket potatoes but taking along pre grated cheese and cuttlery. Progressed onto pizza hut as their gluten free Margaretta is safe and they were very helpful when we went in for a chat. This allows DD to have a pizza out. Then we have since experimented with mac Donald's as they have good allergen info. Not done anything else but gives her a little freedom on occasions but we don't push it. Felt it was better to allow some local places with her mates so she can get to know the routine than to take any risks.

LeonardoAcropolis Tue 28-Jul-15 07:41:22

Thanks for all the help everyone, I am still confused whether 'may contain traces of nut' means peanut or not. Although, we have some Asda biscuits stating this, but also some Asda cereal stating ' may contain traces of nut' and peanut' so it seems Adsa are very specific. DS is allowed tree nuts.

Frankie and Benny's is a favourite of the DSs and the allergen page in their website lists tree nuts which may have traces in their dishes, but doesn't mention peanuts. I think I shall speak to them. I shall also speak to the owners of our favourite Indian, Thai and Chinese restaurants to see if DS can be catered for. If not, we'll stick to places we know are OK.

chloesmumtoo Tue 28-Jul-15 09:03:02

Yes it is confusing. I don't have to worry about what nut traces as my DD was always instructed to avoid all nuts and sesame. Over the years time seems to change what you get told by paediatricians. We went through dd's bad reaction at 2years 9 months so was a good ten year ago now! She did since have some other nuts tested under skin prick testing in 2009 which showed minimal reactions to walnut, almond and hazelnut. She has never eaten, to our knowledge, walnuts or hazelnuts but had tasted marzipan (almonds) as a toddler. Never previously gave her peanuts either until her bother kindly gave her one prior to the reaction. We do see a paediatrician yearly but she has lots of other milder allergies also. She is quite a challenge with foods at the moment.

DocHollywood Tue 28-Jul-15 09:53:16

Dd3(17) has also responded to piriton and never had to use her pen. We have always been vigilant about packaged foods and I have an alert set up on the uk allergy website. This is useful e.g. A few weeks ago they discovered nut products in some cumin spices so I'm not using that at the moment. One 'hidden' concern is cooking oil in countries where nut or sesame oil is widely used. We are lucky that dd's allergy is not severe. While they are young you have to be vigilant about them grabbing other children's food and making other parents aware when they are hosting a meal. Dd's friends and their parents have always been on board and have been confident about using the pen which is a relief. At the moment it is probably frightening but as they get older and can take responsibility to an extent of what they eat it becomes easier.

ChampagneAndCrisps Wed 29-Jul-15 00:36:36

I think the Anaphylaxis campaign do a book for explaining nut allergy to young children. I never bought it as my DD was older when diagnosed - but could be useful

We tend to eat out in chain restaurants with the kids - fairly varied. But Nando's, Giraffes, TGIF are all good. You need not to make food an issue, whilst teaching them to stay safe.

My DD can be lax, but as soon as she thinks there's a risk she won't eat, even if she's hungry. Generally you can find something safe to eat. I'm hot on making sure both mine with allergies always carry their medicines. And if they don't - then we're not eating.

We are pretty much nut free as a household. There are some cereal bars which contain nuts, not peanuts. They're obviously wrapped and aren't in contact with other foods.

Mumteedum Wed 29-Jul-15 08:07:59

I never eat thai .Nut oil and lots of nuts, not worth the risk. Indian food I'm careful with. Always ask and even then I've ended up in hospital a couple times. It is all about managing risk though as others say. You have to live and enjoy life

WhatKatyDidnt Wed 29-Jul-15 08:12:51

Re airports, Gatwick let us take a 150ml bottle of allergy syrup stuff through security. We took a note from hospital but they didn't want to look at it; verbal explanation was fine. They just did an extra check on the contents of the bottle.

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