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Toddler with nut allergy

(14 Posts)
Tink20161984 Wed 08-Jan-20 14:15:31

Hi. The other night my daughter had her first nut allergy reaction. It was pretty scary and luckily I picked up on it quickly and acted by giving her piriton and was seen by a doc and treated within 20 mins of it starting. We are being referred and she will be tested further and we have been given an epipen for home and nursery.
This is my first child and first experience with such a serious allergy and I have so many questions and concerns.
Just a note it was one cashew nut she ate and had a full body reaction but luckily did not result in her going to full anaphylactic shock. The night before she had peanut butter and no issue and we never have with peanuts.
Does anyone else have any experience please and have any tips in managing it ?
Anything best to avoid that you wouldn’t necessarily think of?
Will this effect her life too much, am I right in thinking schools are nut free zones?
We are due to go on holiday soon so I am concerned about the flight but I assume we notify the air line?
We are going to an all inclusive hotel, any tips on children eating there?
Eating out in general assuming this is mostly safe in the Uk
Has anyone had to use the epipen?
I know it has only been a few days and I am sure it will be second nature to us quickly but at the moment I am so nervous about her eating something with it in un knowingly. I am seeing it lucky that it’s cashews as I suppose it’s used less than peanuts. Any tips and advice would be greatly received. Thanks

Blondiecub0109 Wed 08-Jan-20 14:23:07

Hi my 10 m.o. had a very similar experience it sounds like on his first taste of peanut butter.

FB group ‘A life less nutty - nut free living’ is a god send and will answer some of your questions - one I see regularly is about flying and all inclusives.

I also had a phone consultation with Allergy UK who were extremely helpful.

We are still waiting for testing but have been told we can give him other tree it’s but not cashews as if the tree nut family they are the most reactive. I was very surprised to learn most Pestos are cashew nut so now make our own .

SinkGirl Wed 08-Jan-20 14:29:11

I have a nut allergy - cashews are the nut I am most allergic to - but no reaction to peanuts. The advice generally is to avoid all nuts regardless due to cross contamination.

You’ll need to speak to schools / nurseries individually. Most are nut free but unfortunately many people just think of peanuts as an allergen and forget about the rest.

Eating out, especially abroad, is a massive challenge. Ensure you speak to a doctor before you travel, they may want to prescribe an adrenaline auto injector. I’d contact the resort and find out about their allergens policy. If it’s all buffet type restaurants you will struggle due to cross contamination.

Reactions can get progressively worse each time, so the fact it wasn’t anaphylaxis this time doesn’t mean it won’t be next time so you do need to be extremely cautious.

I’m also allergic to sesame, I’m not sure if they commonly go hand in hand.

Budgiesareloud Wed 08-Jan-20 14:31:52

Yes all school kitchens are nut free zones (School cook)
and children shouldnt bring in things with nuts in their packed lunches but some parents will still send things in, speak to your school/nursery so they're aware

MAFIL Wed 08-Jan-20 15:16:40

Peanuts aren't nuts, they are legumes, so it is not unusual to be ok with peanuts and allergic to tree nuts or vice versa. (Though botanically speaking cashews aren't true nuts either, but they behave more like nuts in terms of allergies and are generally counted amongst the tree nuts.)
When you go for allergy testing you will be given results for specific nuts but in the meanwhile, avoid them all. Some people, like my son, react to virtually all nuts whereas for others it may be only one or two, and some are sensitive to even touching a nut or being close to one, whereas others are ok unless they actually eat them. And the severity of the reaction varies greatly too. So there is a huge range of possibilities as to how your little girl may be affected. But until you have had specific advice after testing the safest option is to avoid all nuts including "may contain" items, which are usually things that don't have nuts in the recipe but are made in a facility that also handles nuts so cannot be guaranteed nut free.
Once your DD has been tested you may be able to relax a bit, but for now I would avoid everything.
It seems daunting at first, but you soon get used to it, and labelling is much bettet than it used to be.
My son was diagnosed with a nut allergy at the age of 2 after he took a bite of a chocolate bar that his older sibling had dropped out of a party bag. We managed to go 11 years without another accidental exposure , and that was my fault as I misread a label. He also has multiple other food allergies which to be honest are far harder to avoid than nuts, but it is just part of normal life now. It has never stopped us travelling or prevented him doing anything he wants.
Obviously there is still room for improvement, but awareness is much better now than in the past. In the 12 years since he was diagnosed I have seen a lot of improvement and it is much easier to eat out etc now than it used to be. Of course you need to be careful, and it is not something anyone would choose to have if they could avoid it, but you do get used to it so try not to worry excessively.

Tink20161984 Wed 08-Jan-20 18:10:42

Thanks blondie I have added the group on fab.
Thanks for the advice and experiences. I will have a lot of reading to do.
Been reading up, what chocolate is ok for nut allergies, does anyone have the go to ones? Also what about ice cream, do we just need to stick to lollies when out and about/abroad?

SinkGirl Wed 08-Jan-20 19:26:06

How old is she?

My twins are allergic to dairy (fortunately not severe) and one is allergic to egg (more severe reaction) and until very recently I just didn’t give them things like chocolate - they didn’t know what they were missing so it wasn’t a problem. I have tried them with dairy free chocolate and dairy free ice cream but only one of them will eat it.

Most major brands will state may contain nuts on them - it’s slapped on so many products these days. I’m sure there are brands which are specifically nut free.

MoMandaS Wed 08-Jan-20 19:32:15

There is a nutfreeliving FB page which has albums of safe products from various brands and retail outlets - definitely worth joining.

MAFIL Wed 08-Jan-20 20:14:58

Kinnerton chocolate is guaranteed nut free.

Tink20161984 Wed 08-Jan-20 22:17:12

My lg is 3. She has always had peanut butter since about 1 with no issue, this week was the first time she had a cashew and had a severe reaction to it. I know.most things are labelled but abroad at an all inclusive would be a totally different situation for example.
Thanks I have added the nut free living page on fb 😊

madeyemoodysmum Wed 08-Jan-20 22:31:59

The Main issue with all inc places is the cross contamination risk.

I'd get to the buffet as soon as it opens so others have not used the utensils. Also contact your hotel and ask the policy. Do they have waiter service Restaurants as well as buffet?

My dd is oral only peanut allergy and almond and hazelnut but we still have epipens prescribed.

It's a scary diagnosis but truly it is manageable and thousands of us live with allergies and also travel so try not to worry to much if you can. thanks

Goodebe Mon 27-Jan-20 20:26:28

My ds is allergies to tree nuts, confirmed following a reaction to cashew which sounds very much like your experience. Be wary of Lidl chocolate, it looks like cheap milk chocolate from the packaging but ingredients state hazelnut paste - this is a massive concern of mine when schools etc do bake sales or parties cater for children, it would be very easy for someone to bake using the chocolate not realising it has nuts in.

madeyemoodysmum Mon 27-Jan-20 20:30:18

Goodbe. That's good to know. I often buy Aldi choc so I'll double check next time. I assume it's listed in the allergens?

INeedNewShoes Mon 27-Jan-20 20:37:53

Ask the airline in advance, but tell a member of cabin crew as you board as well and they should avoid serving/selling nuts. Take baby wipes with you to wipe down your DD’s arm rests and tray table on the plane.

I am severely allergic to all nuts and have managed to maintain a relatively normal life, including eating out. The only concession I make is that I don’t eat Thai/Vietnamese/Indian/Chinese food out as these are extremely high risk.

Always always ask to have your menu choices checked at restaurants. Never assume that something that sounds non-nutty doesn’t have nuts.

If attending a party, send a really nice and apologetic message in advance asking if they would mind not putting any bowls of nuts out (the dust from nuts like this travels in a way that it doesn’t if baked inside a cake or whatever).

You need to teach your daughter to ask her own questions rather than doing it all for her. The most dangerous phase for people with allergies is the teenage years because with new-found independence, if they haven’t had to take responsibility for their allergies before, they take risks and also succumb to peer pressure to join in with a Chinese take away or whatever.

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