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Peanut Allergy

(8 Posts)
PollyPocket2 Tue 06-Oct-15 15:43:41

10 days ago my DD 2.5 had an anaphylactic shock. We were rushed to A&E where she was treated and kept in for 24hours.
We was unaware of her peanut allergy. It has come as a shock. She tried some of our satay sauce, when her lip swelled within minutes. We've been given epi pens and training. Had further blood tests and won't get results for 2 months.

Since this, I have been a bag of nerves. I don't think I've coped very well. I keep crying and have been quite paranoid. I just want to watch her all day. I'm just so scared of this happening again.
I know how to read food labels and I'm fully determined that we will never need the epi pens.
But when does this feeling end? When I feel more comfortable with it? Does it get easier with time? My stomach's tied in knots.

MayfairMummy Wed 07-Oct-15 14:56:34

Polly, DS is 3.5 (multiple allergies since birth). I'm not sure it gets 'better', but you get more used to it. You learn to remember to take the pen everywhere, train everyone who has playdates, reading labels becomes 2nd nature. You will get cranky at the people who ignore the 'nut free school' descriptions; you will be peeved that people don't know if they use groundnut oil or something else... and chances are that there will still be a reaction by contamination at some point. The key point is to make sure you can recognise it and deal with it.. .. and that way things will be fine :-)

neolara Thu 08-Oct-15 00:16:16

When my dd was diagnosed with a peanut allergy aged 2, I was a bag of nerves. But, as MayfairMummy says, dealing with it just becomes second nature. And provided you are vigilant, which you will be, your dd will be fine. It's pretty easy to avoid peanuts if you label check obsessively. Carry piriiton and epipen with you everywhere. Don't let your dd have food from anyone unless you have checked it's OK. Teach your dd she must check with you before eating food not prepared by you. Avoid Indian and Chinese restaurants. Cakes and biscuits are the most risky kinds of food. Labelling is rubbish. My dd has things labelled "may contain traces of nuts" but avoids "may contain nuts" or not suitable for nut allergy sufferers. Chocolate buttons and galaxy are safe. Lots of other chocolate isn't.

My siblings and I have 3 nut allergic kids between us. After the initial incidents that triggered diagnosis, none of the kids have had subsequent reactions. That's nearly 20 years of no allergic reactions between them.

PollyPocket2 Thu 08-Oct-15 16:43:55

Thank you both for your advice. Much appreciated.
I think what I'm strugglying most with is the fact she can't communicate with me. Most toddlers get ratty and irratible at times! And she has the odd temper tantrum. And it just makes me panic! I'm constantly looking for signs, even though I know she's not had any nuts! I've got my appointment for her Blood test results, will she be graded on severity then?

neolara Thu 08-Oct-15 17:34:58

My dd was diagnosed before she could talk but it was always obvious if there was a problem. You become very tuned into the signs. For my dd, signs that she was having a minor reaction have been dark circles around her eyes like black eyes, a rash around her mouth, slight facial swelling, hives. Even as a two year old, she knew when she was having a reaction. She took one bite of a chocolate bar then refused to eat any more (10 mins later she had a rash). She also gets tingly mouth with melon and she would point at her mouth and scream. The symptoms were specific and I've never confused them with her being grumpy.

I'm afraid I don't know about blood tests. My dd just had skin price tests and was given epipens on the back of these.

PollyPocket2 Thu 08-Oct-15 17:53:16

With these minor reactions, did you treat with Piriton/antihistamine?
She's always suffered with Hives and had eczema that she grew out of.
I really appreciate your responses. I've no one to talk to who can relate to this. When I left The Childrens Ward, I was just told "No Nuts", given Epi pens and training then home. It didn't feel enough!

neolara Thu 08-Oct-15 20:46:23

Yes, I always gave piriton and it sorted things our very quickly.

It sounds like you have not been given much support. We are lucky enough to live round the corner from Addenbrookes hospital which is a real centre for excellence in treating allergies in children. We were given lots of advice, some of which I've summarised above I think. I've just had a look through the file cabinet and found the advice sheet we were given when DD was diagnosed.

Brief summary of advice below:

Which nuts to avoid. They recommend avoiding all nuts (peanuts and treenuts) because of the risk of cross contamination. Coconut and nutmeg is fine. They strongly suggest peanuts are banned from the house and everyone in the house avoids them.

Check ingredients carefully. Manufacturers change recipes so check even familiar products.

Difficulties arise when food is not labelled e.g. delis, bakeries, eating out, visiting friends. Essential to explain how serious the allergy is. Studies show take-away food such as Chinese, Indian and Thai are highly likely to be contaminated with nuts. Avoid.

May contain traces labelling. This means the product doesn't contain nuts but the manufactuere may make another product in the same area which does contain nuts. Most will take care to prevent contaminatuion and the risk is therefore very small. You need to decide how great you believe the risk is to your child. Some foods are more likely to be contaminated because of manufacturing processes e.g. chocolates, cakes, biscuits and cereals and the risk is likely to be higher in there foods.

Nut oils. Peanut oils (known as groundnut or arachis oil) can be either refined in which ase it contains no protein and cannot cause and allergy, or cold-pressed / gourmet oil, which contains peanut allergen and therefore can cause an allergic reaction. Labelling does not distinguish between whether an oil is refined or non-refined. Therefore avoid.

Commonest causes of reactions. In kids it is eating snacks e.g. biscuits, cakes, chocolates and crunch bars. Young kids are particularly at risk when out of their parent's supervision e.g. at parties, clubs or with grandparents. Kids should avoid swopping good and when "treat" food is brought into class from outside (e.g. to celebrate a kids birthday), and alternative should be provided, unless labelling indicates the treat is OK.

Examples of food in which nuts can be hidden.
Indian, Chinese, Thai meals often have nuts ground into a paste. High risk of contaimination during cooking.
Cake and biscuits
Food bought in bakery or deli (more risk of contamination, no ingedient label and foods are unwrapped)
Popcorn - sometimes the coating contains peanut oil.
Some ice cream toppings contain chopped nuts
Pre-prepared food.

Foods which obviously contain nuts
Breakfast cereals e.g. crunchy nut cornflakes, museli
Cereal bars
Added nuts on cake and biscuit toppings

Other risk
Certain cosmetic items e.g. lipsticks, lip blams, baths oils
Avoid handelling nuts e.g. in bird feeders, guinea-pig food or used in art work

Further info.
Supermarkets often provide lists of nut-free foods on request but this is often out of date as recipes change.
Anaphylaxid Campaign is quite good.
Allergy UK is also good

Hope this is helpful. It really be OK. I promise.

PollyPocket2 Fri 09-Oct-15 15:22:00

Thank you neolara, that's very kind.

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