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Scared mum with lots of questions (Sorry - v long)

(31 Posts)
strawberrycornetto Wed 24-Sep-08 00:08:34

Sorry for another post but I am so worried and stressed and I don't know who else to ask for advice. I will try to be concise but sorry in advance for repeating things I've posted about before...

DS is 7 months old and we think he is allergic to milk (he was fully breastfed until we weaned and then has only had cows milk twice. First time he ate a little and came out in hives on his face. Second time I tested on his arm and it came up in a big red weal.) I also suspect he may have had skin reactions to sunflower oil used in baby massage (blotchy rash all over the places it touched his skin) and almond oil (from my shampoo, from a towel I had used to dry my hair, his arm went all red and blotchy and he now has eczema in that place). He has eczema on his legs, arms and face and he just seems to have terribly sensitive skin so he seems to be coming up in rashes on his face all the time.

We are going for allergy testing next week. I am also going back to work next week and he is due to be starting nursery. I am worried about leaving him and the two things seem to have got tied up in my head and I keep crying and I feel sick with worry. I know I am afraid of the worst case scenario but I just don't know what to expect now and what I should do or ask at the appointment.

So, if you read this far, thanks and I wonder if anyone who has been there can answer some of my questions:

1. What will happen at the allergy testing?

2. Will he be tested for just milk or other allergies?

3. Could he have an allergy to something he hasn't been exposed to? (I am thinking of peanuts, I am allergic to brazil nuts so have avoided all nuts since I found out I was pregnant).

4. Will I get definitive answers from the testing? Can they tell how serious an allergy is or just that there is an allergy?

5. Will they be able to rule out anaphylaxis? If so, is it safe to? I guess my biggest fear is that we will be told its not serious and then he will have a really bad reaction at nursery sad

6. Are we likely to be given epipens? Should I push for one as a safety net? If he is given one, will he still be able to go to nursery?

7. If you have one dc with an allergy and others who are allergy free, how do you cope with feeding them different things? Do you allow the allergic foods in the house?

8. Did anyone send a DC with allergies to nursery? My nursery seems fairly good but the room superviser did say it was easy with a baby but harder once they started eating at tables. Is there any way to keep him safe when he could so easily take food from the plate of the child next to him?

Sorry again, I know I am jumping ahead of myself but I am literally making myself sick worrying about this. I know we are lucky to be getting the testing done and I want to make sure I ask the right questions and know what I should be trying to achieve.

Thanks so much for any advice you can give me. I think I've lived in fear of my untreated nut allergy for so long that I am desperately sad and scared and guilty that I feel I've passed allergies on to my son sad sad

AbricotsSecs Wed 24-Sep-08 00:39:48

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AbricotsSecs Wed 24-Sep-08 00:42:45

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thumbwitch Wed 24-Sep-08 00:59:50

for you and your stress about this - try to stay calm about it all, he will be ok!

Not an expert but from what I know:
1. they are likely to do skin prick tests
2. probably to common allergens as well as the ones you mention - so mention any you are worried about
3. yes possibly
4. if it is just skin prick testing then you will be able to gauge the reaction from the size of the wheal and flare; they might do blood tests as well, which can also suggest how strong the reactions are to different allergens. Not definitive but more of a guide.
5. I doubt they will be able to rule out anaphylaxis - if there are some really strong reactions then there might be a risk, but if the reactions are all weak, it doesn't mean he won't get anaphylactic reactions later - some people need to be sensitised by multiple exposures, even if it's only 2 or 3.
6. I don't know if they will give you an epipen if there are no strong reactions; if he has a strong reaction it is more likely he will get one. Talk to the nursery about epipens - what their policy is, whether their first aider is competent to use one etc.
7. Not in this position; but tbh, if one DC has a serious allergy to anything I wouldn't have it in the house.
8. Can't answer this but I do know that kids with allergies go to nurseries and the nursery staff are primed to check that the kids only eat what they are supposed to.

Hope that helps and someone who knows more about it comes along soon.

tiggyhop Wed 24-Sep-08 01:04:23

Please don't worry so much. I have a nearly three year old: in brief - she had terrible ezcema (never slept) when she was breast fed - then friends gave her a spoonful of scrambled egg when she was about seven months old, she swelled up like a balloon, her arms and legs were purple and her torso was white, she was sick and went all floppy. After getting her to A&E, she was given steroids and started going back to normal. So she has a severe allergy to egg (which is why I mention the ezcema - since I stopped breast feeding she has never had it- I think it was the eggs that I was eating). She has an epipen: I have never had to use it.
Then we discovered she has an even more severe reaction to fish - this is a skin reaction as well - as we found out to our cost when we stupidly gave her a piece of fish to feed to the dolphins at seaworld (even though we knew about the fish allergy) - next thing we knew she was all blotchy and we have had a couple of scary reactions from contact since (we are clearly negligent - the last one was from the fumes of poaching fish, I kid you not...we are going to have to stop eating fish altogether...).

But don't worry. I think children can grow out of milk allergies. I have two other children and have never had a problem in keeping DD away from the food they have. She never makes a fuss because she knows eggs and fish make her sick. Most reactions can be sorted with antihistamine. She goes to a Montessori - they have the epipen and know what to do if they ever need to use it (there are also big signs up reminding them).

At the allergy testing they tested for peanuts as well, and will test for anything else you are suspicious of. DD was the youngest (at 9 months) the consultant had ever given an epipen to but as I say I have never had to use it.

I am worried about your reference to your "untreated' nut allergy - you can't really treat allergies so there is nothing you can do about it and no need to feel guilty - I hate nuts, I have no idea whether I am allergic to them as I cannot bear to be near them but it has nothing to do with DD's allergies - and we live in hope that she will grow out of the egg allergy (although she is unlikely to grow out of the fish allergy).

Yes the testing will show how serious the allergy is, they measure the reaction to each substance. (Sorry, am trying to answer your questions here).

Regarding eating at nursery - cross that bridge when you know what he is allergic to- in DD's class there was DD and a boy who was allergic to peanuts so basically all the parents avoided sending things with peanuts in to school - not hard really.

Hope all this helps, I was just concerned that you sounded so upset and worried. Good luck with the testing, it will be good to find out for sure (like I was pleased to find out that DD is fine on peanuts and seafood, for example). Let me know how you get on.

gigglewitch Wed 24-Sep-08 01:13:02

try not to panic too much - but it is so sad and such a worry. my dc are all totally intolerant (tho lucky for us, not allergic) to milk. The eldest has huge problems, can't have anything unless totally df and has all sorts of other allergies too. middle one is well controlled and dd (youngest) is not as badly affected. They've all had allergy tests in the form of skin tests, blood taken and tested, and dietary 'challenges' (rarely for the latter!)don't beat yourself up that you've passed the allergies on to him - I've worried myself silly doing the same and honestly it gets you nowhere. Use your energy for better things, like listening carefully to whatever info is given to you when you go for the tests with your dc. Perhaps you don't need to go with a head full of questions because they ought to tell you what you will need to know (though ask for a referral to a dietitian if you think it would help?)
Arrange to go and see the nursery manager and discuss your concerns, i think i've mentioned before that my dd wears a little badge-thing like a work ID badge, which shows her name and says "please check my food to make sure it has no cows milk in any of the ingredients" - they are so on the ball it is fabulous. If he's very allergic, then seek guarantees that he won't be in the area where eg milk is being served on cereals - or whatever. If they can't arrange that then maybe it's worth checking out other nurseries. Again, my DD's nursery will guarantee this. She sits on another table away from those having cereal, alongside other children who haven't chosen it or have other allergies. It is so common, that our lot obv have a whole table
of 'allergic' tots grin

strawberrycornetto Wed 24-Sep-08 11:09:28

Thanks everyone, its really helpful to hear other people's experiences. DH just doesn't seem at all worried, so I feel I am coping on my own with this. I thought he'd had a reaction to something I was feeding him on Monday and I burst into tears so I know I am being overly sensitive and sily about it.sad blush

Tiggyhop, re my allergy I guess I really mean its not been diagnosed officially rather than treated, as I know you can't actually treat it. I had two reactions to brazil nuts when I was in my late teens. I haven't ever been tested about it or other nuts, I just avoid all nuts apart from peanuts which I knew I was ok with. Since pregnant/breastfeeding I avoided all nuts.

I have seen a dietician who told me not to give him any dairy or soya, and not to introduce eggs or fish until 12 months.

I think I won't start DS at nursery until we've had the testing done, it only delays his start by two days. I've only spoken to the room supervisor not the manager so far so I could chat to her to tell her why and then update her. At the moment, I don't really know what to say because I don't know what the consequences would be if he was exposed to milk. Thats why I hope the allergist gives me some concrete advice.

Will the doctor prescribe us piriton so that the nursery will give it if necessary? It says not until 12 months on the bottle and they are very hot about following advice.

tiggyhop Wed 24-Sep-08 13:41:41

One thing that occurred to me was that we were given the epipen for DD at 9 months but purely on the basis that the consultant was satisfied with our description of her reaction to egg - he said that allergy testing was not reliable until 18 months old - which was when we had DD tested- I just mention it as it may be a question you want to ask given that your DS is still so little. Of course, it could have just been our consultant's opinion. We have her tested every year in the (vain so far) hope that she will have grown out of the egg allergy.

Cornetto - sorry, I realised later that you meant diagnosed not treated, re your nut allergy - was mainly just worried that you were feeling guilty.

strawberrycornetto Wed 24-Sep-08 14:59:49

Thanks Tiggy. Your daughter's allergy sounded really terrifying. The reactions DS had are nothing like that thankfully.

I have just been worried by reading that the severity of one reaction is no reliable indicator of the severity of subsequent reactions.

I was also worried at the combination, eg his reaction to milk, coupled with possible reactions to sunflower oil and almonds and my tree nut allergy. He's also really very small for his age (2nd centile) so I worry that he's generally vulnerable. He'll probably prove me wrong and grow into a rugby forward!!! hmm

tiggyhop Wed 24-Sep-08 16:23:10

Thanks Cornetto, I have to say that DD's reactions have been fairly epic, but not too scary - the main thing is to keep her talking so that we know that her airways etc are ok - if her voice changes then we have a problem - even when she had the first (and worst) reaction when she was 7 months old, the people at A&E asked us to let them know if her noises changed (if you see what I mean).

Also, I did check with the consultant whether there was a problem if I used the epipen in a situation where a medical professional would not have done and he said that it was not a problem at all, so that is quite reassuring.

Trust me, we have a lot more to worry about with DD (stroppy behaviour, broken nights, fetish for wearing wellies and nothing else, etc, etc) than her egg/fish allergies, honestly it isn't a problem!

tatt Wed 24-Sep-08 17:25:22

none of us are experts. babies often outgrow food allergy, even nut allergies can be outgrown.

From what I know (child with epipen for nut allergy, friends with other problems)

1. consultants differ, some will go on history alone but usually skin prick or blood tests.

2. Usually will test for common allergens

3. Reactions to peanut are commonly on first known exposure, other things generally second

4. No not definite. However the size of the response to testing does indicate how likely they are to have a reaction.

5. No they can't rule it out. However very young children very rarely die of food allergy. They are likely to suggest that piriton accompanies your son wherever he goes.

6. Depends on results of tests. Yes children with epipens go to nursery, you just choose them more carefully grin.

7. Families differ. No-one brings our known problems into my house or car unless they want to be told to leave. Other families think its OK if they have "may contain" things or eat allergens outside the home.

8, This is tough but - you can't keep your child away from allergens all their life, although you may manage long time periods withour problems. What you have to do is train everyone to respond promptly and effectively.

strawberrycornetto Wed 24-Sep-08 19:15:58

Thanks again Tiggy and thanks so much Tatt. I know I always dwell on the worst case scenario and get myself into such a panic. Hearing how people deal with worse things is really sobering, am sure we will be ok. I do worry about keeping milk products out of the house though, DD is almost 4 and does not understand but I have alreadt witnessed DS cry while she ate a cheese sandwich in front of him. (on holiday after flight where BA provided no food!) also still so worried about nursery, gut feeling although DD has loved it is that they wouldn't be very good at dealing with this in the baby and toddler rooms. I have a feeling I will go out of my mind worrying about it, I think I need a plan B unless the doctor can reassure me the allergy is extremely mild.

tatt Wed 24-Sep-08 20:27:50

of course you're upset. It's hard enough leaving a child at nursery for the first time without having this to worry over. But it isn't difficult to keep milk away from a baby if the nursery are well organised. Would you feel better with a child minder?
No-one can give you any certainty for the future but I am sure your doctor will give you some reassurance about the likely risk.

Milk allergy is difficult if you have a young child still. They do need their calcium so I guess I would let cheese in the house still. Easier to avoid contamination with cheese than with milk. Was in a bit of a rush early and hadn't really thought through the problem. You'd need a calcium supplement for your daughter if you kept her off milk.

By age 3 th milk allergy coud just be an unpleasant memory. Ask the consultant about probiotics as they may help the immune system develop.

strawberrycornetto Wed 24-Sep-08 21:51:45

Thanks for the tip about probiotics, I will definitely ask. I think keeping DS away from milk will be possible with DD but am more worried about how he will react to her eating things like bread and chocolate when he gets a little bit older as he is already hugely into grabbing things from other people's plates!

BalloonSlayer Thu 25-Sep-08 13:36:06

Where nursery is concerned, I have heard of Mums having t-shirts made that their DC wears every day which say !! milk allergic !! or whatever is appropriate.

I am hoping my DS2 does not have the allergies DS1 has (not tested yet so I am still treating him as allergic although I don't think he is). If he was going to nursery I would definitely provide all his food for him. The lady who owned the nursery I visited was saying how they can provide dairy- and egg-free food, but I am afraid I just don't trust them to do it properly. Even DH and I have screwed up from time to time and it's OUR child. I would send him with a pack of food for the day and make them put up signs everywhere saying that DS2 could only have stuff from his own pack. I think it's the only way.

It is such a shame when they can't have what other children can have. My DS1 was the eldest so DD just had to have the same things as him (which has resulted in her being a horrendously fussy eater but that's another story) so he didn't feel left out for a while but he did when he started school and now, at 8, can be quite sad sometimes. But hey, lots of children can't even eat what he can.

strawberrycornetto Thu 25-Sep-08 16:48:11

Although the cost of food would be really annoying, I am very tempted by the idea of taking food in for him. That's probably the only way I would feel comfortable as you are right, it is really tough to get it right. I've been advised by the dietician that he shouldn't have dairy, soya, fish or eggs which cuts out a lot of their menu and I am most worried about them not knowing about butter or milk being used in cooking something since I don't think all their food is freshly prepared.

DD is already there and it is a very good nursery, she has really thrived there, but I guess its a question of the right childcare for one child not necessarily suiting the other.

I will probably wait to make any decisions until after I see the doctor, although I am worried we won't get any strong enough advice to know what to do for the best.

taniashort Fri 26-Sep-08 21:02:21

Poor you - it's terrible - my ds did the same to me at 3 months on first baby bottle. I was referred to a consultant at the Royal ENT and worked closely with her and my paediatric dieticiam to help ds. I'll give you my experience according to your questions:

1. What will happen at the allergy testing?
probably blood tests at this age (called RASTs). Bloods van then be tested against a wide range of allergens - skin pricks you can only test against the number of sctaches you want on your child. Ask for the MAGIC CREAM (an anagesic - sp?) to be put on your child if you think they'll do blood tests and this will remove the pain but takes c. 45 mins to work.

2. Will he be tested for just milk or other allergies?
From memory ds was tested for mixed nuts, dairy, soya, fish, eggs, gluten, dust mite, sesame. he came out positive to most of these. You want them to give you your child's overall IgE score - this will give you a gauge of how likely the false positives are. Record all your figures - they are useful to track over time - do not expect your consultant to do this for you - they are busy people.

3. Could he have an allergy to something he hasn't been exposed to? (I am thinking of peanuts, I am allergic to brazil nuts so have avoided all nuts since I found out I was pregnant).

Yes - My ds reacted to foods he'd never been given as his first reaction was pre-weaning. I worked with my paediatric dietician on a clear exclusing diet, limiting C's diet to only those things which were fine. This worked OK with some imagination - lots of rice, fruit, veg (not tomatoes or kiwi), potatoes, meat plus a hypoallergenic formula feed.

4. Will I get definitive answers from the testing? Can they tell how serious an allergy is or just that there is an allergy?

You can't be told how serious it is. The RAST bloods can give a raking of some sort but this is not indicative of whether your child will bang into anaphylaxis on contact or anything like that. I kept ds off all allergen foods.

5. Will they be able to rule out anaphylaxis? If so, is it safe to? I guess my biggest fear is that we will be told its not serious and then he will have a really bad reaction at nursery
Re anaphylaxis: this is the horrid part (sorry!) I had ds put on a very mild nightly anithistamine - ketotifin, he's since moved onto desloratadine. I was not given an epi-pen. Over time ds has grown out of all allergens bar nuts - each time we've been given the all-clear on a food it's been amazing!) And, we thought we were safe and sound and eventually pulled ds off the antihistamine - we should never have done this as we've had three really serious anaphylactic reactions since and it's taken about 4 months for the protection from the antihistamines to take hold again. If you're recommended antihistamine, I seriously consider it.

6. Are we likely to be given epipens? Should I push for one as a safety net? If he is given one, will he still be able to go to nursery?
Nurserys should deal with epi-pens. ds went to nursery at 9 months and he had to simply eat different food from the other children. It's probably hard to log this idea but: it's easier to control food allergens at nursery stage as they are so closely monitored. I hope you can work closely with your nursery - do put the fear of god into them though - make sure they take it seriously, no doubt they'll alreay have some allergy kids there already!

7. If you have one dc with an allergy and others who are allergy free, how do you cope with feeding them different things? Do you allow the allergic foods in the house?
DEpends on the food and the severity of the allergen - we're a nut-free house (me the exception - boom boom)

8. Did anyone send a DC with allergies to nursery? My nursery seems fairly good but the room superviser did say it was easy with a baby but harder once they started eating at tables. Is there any way to keep him safe when he could so easily take food from the plate of the child next to him?
get good supervision. You'll have a really good idea of the extent of your child's allergies by the time he starts moving about so will be better equipped to make any decisions you need to at that point. Try to cross one bridge at a time.

Good luck - I really feel for you - this is a horrid realisation and I'm sure it will be OK. There is a lot of experience about now and just tap us all up for shoulders to lean on.

strawberrycornetto Fri 26-Sep-08 23:16:52

Tania, thanks so much, that's such a detailed reply. I really appreciate it, it must have taken you ages but it is really helpful!! smile

Whatever the outcome, I know I will cope, it just that I am really bad at uncertainty and so the more I know in advance the better prepared I feel.

I do feel so sad for DS though. We are on holiday in France at the moment, and the other afternoon DH, DD and I sat down in the sun and ate ice creams. DS was next to us in his pushchair but he hasn't worked out what they are yet. I realised that, until he (hopefully) grows out of the allergy, we will all have to stop that kind of thing because it wouldn't be fair to him. At tea tonight, we had some crisps. DS was eating his own food but burst into tears when he saw we were eating something he couldn't have. I couldn't give him one because they said they had milk in (tbh wouldn't give him crisps now anyway, but that's kind of not the point). It was a real indication of what's to come sad

I really hope we get some positive news on Thursday. All in all, this is going to be a big week for us!!

hsanders Sun 28-Sep-08 23:53:54

Strawberry cornetto,

Don't feel bad or guilty about feeling overprotective about your DS. I remember having to push and push for allergy testing after anaphylaxis to humous (about the size of a pea amount)!.

Plenty of other MNers have responded to your queries and hope this also helps. Based on our experience:
1. What will happen at the allergy testing? They tested our DS using skin prick test which he had done at 11 months and DS was calm and fine. Sat on my lap and was quite happy. Not so easy now he's 3 and he last was tested in January and he skirmed for a little while and tried to scratch his skin like mad. They also did blood tests for a tummy issue he had but tsted for allergens at the same time.

2. Will he be tested for just milk or other allergies? He'll probably have most common allergens but we were asked about if we had house pets (as if kids are allergic to things, they can be more likely to be allergic to pets and dander etc). Our son was tested for nuts (tree) as well as peanuts, but also egg white and egg yolk, plus milk, soya etc. He was positive for tree nuts, milk and egg whites. On his next test at aged 3, he tested positive for these as well as egg yolks, as well as mould!

3. Could he have an allergy to something he hasn't been exposed to? (I am thinking of peanuts, I am allergic to brazil nuts so have avoided all nuts since I found out I was pregnant). Yes - my son has never had eggs (but may have had baby food or other things with traces of egg or products of egg without me knowing). He has also never eaten nuts but I was 'addicted' to humous during pregnancy and also drank 4 pints (!!!) of milk a day whilst pregnant - not sure why but craved the stuff. Interestingly there's some schools of thought which think that perhaps if you have some intolerance to food, then this can be passed on or if you eat / drink alot of an allergen, it can be passed on. However, as with all schools of thougt, other docs will tell you differently.

4. Will I get definitive answers from the testing? Can they tell how serious an allergy is or just that there is an allergy? Yes, definitive answers from the testing and advised about risks for future contacts with those allergens and yes, they can usually tell from how big the red itchy bump will develop on the skin during the skin test.

5. Will they be able to rule out anaphylaxis? If so, is it safe to? I guess my biggest fear is that we will be told its not serious and then he will have a really bad reaction at nursery - Not sure on this one. We were told that the nut and seeds allergy will obviously lead to anaphylaxis again as he'd already had this reaction. The mould allergy does not lead to anaphylaxis but does make him very sick and makes his chest sound like he smokes 40 cigs a day!

6. Are we likely to be given epipens? Should I push for one as a safety net? If he is given one, will he still be able to go to nursery? - Completely depends on the doctor - I asked for one as a safety net when he was first diagnosed but was declined (or rather 'urged' to think about the responsibility it holds to carry it around with you). Once DS was 3, asked again as he would eat or come into contact more often with allergens (kid's paties etc), and was given one. However, it is a huge responsibility and would you give it to your MIL to keep in her cupboard just in case? If you called 999, and live in a city / town, you'd be he highest priority, but if DS is lying on floor unable to breath, would you have the confidence / where-with-all to use the epipen. It's a nice thing to have - to know I could use it if need be, but also would not trust other extended family to use / administer properly.

7. If you have one dc with an allergy and others who are allergy free, how do you cope with feeding them different things? Do you allow the allergic foods in the house? Only have one child - and no, we don't have seeds, nuts in house but do have eggs. DS has very quickly learned through us constantly telling him and others to check food packaging etc. Have found egg replacer so can still bake cakes with him and he's even really funny now, when he gives me a pretend / plastic cake, he'll say 'you can't have it mummy because you cannot have eggs, seeds or nuts!' Kids learn very quickly.

8. Did anyone send a DC with allergies to nursery? My nursery seems fairly good but the room superviser did say it was easy with a baby but harder once they started eating at tables. Is there any way to keep him safe when he could so easily take food from the plate of the child next to him? Did send DS to nursery (two different types) and had complete trust in the staff and the school nurse. Both places had specific processes in place which DH and I agreed and signed such as two people most responsible for Leo's care, no messy play with custard made with egg, no birthday cakes brought in from other parents on day's DS was in nursery and different colour plate for him if main food being served had one of the allergens. I think nurseries are quite geared up for these things and was happy to give second epipen to nursery for their security and peace of mind.

Sorry - it's ended up being a War and Peace style response but please know your fears and concerns are perfectly normal, and once you know what you're dealing with, these fears are still there but slightly easier to handle.

Good luck and hope all goes well.

whenwillisleepagain Mon 29-Sep-08 08:52:04

We are going for allergy testing this morning (DS 22 months) - and I can let you know how it went. When DS was 5 months, we went along to LEAP project at St Thomas' Hospital, which is doing this 5 year study of links between eczema and peanut allergy. (DS had bad eczema at the time). They did blood tests and skin prick tests, which showed he was allergic to peanut and sesame.

Shortly after than he went p-time to nursery as I was going back to work. We had been given epipen by LEAP people and I got one for nursery as well and made sure their staff up to date on epipen traiing. They also took IMO lots of care with his food and were very vigilank, so I felt that things were as ok as they can be when you are dealing with such an unknown. 8 weeks ago DS was at nursery and had, for first time, what sounded like a severe reaction whilst eating lunch - nursery staff dealt with it v well and were commended by ambulance staff etc. As result we are off to see allergy paediatrician today. I'mn wondering if it might raise more questions than it answers - that seems to be the case with allergies.
Good luck yourself.

strawberrycornetto Mon 29-Sep-08 15:17:31

Hsanders, thanks for such a detailed reply. I guess these replies have made me realise I am right to worry and take it seriously sad but that it is something we will be able to live with smile

WWISA, thanks and I hope it went ok for you today. I am seeing the team who work at St Thomas' on Thursday but in the private clinic. Its really scary that your DS had a reaction at nursery but also it must give you massive reassurance to know that your nursery dealt with it so well. I would have absolute faith in the two carers DD has had at the same nursery, they are brilliant, but am slightly less sure about the baby room because they are all very young (not to say that they aren't excellent though I guess). I am going to speak to the manager today in advance of Thursday,

Sunflower100 Mon 29-Sep-08 20:18:06

Strawberrycornetto you have had lots of detailed replies. I don't have much more to offer you except that my dd who is allergic to eggs,lentils, strawberry, pineapples is at nursery and the staff have been brilliant,
I started off taking dd's food in for her as at that stage it felt like the only way I could cope, she then had their snacks and is now having the nursery's meals. The staff write out the menus for me each week so that if there is a meal I am concerned about then I can flag it up in the morning as I drop her off- but to be honest, they have always spotted it first and have got a good alternative.

Do push for the testing and the treatment you need. Our specialist is very reluctant to give epipens and also to do other testing.

Good luck - it is so daunting at the start but you will become used to it and although it will be sometimes difficult the precautions will become second nature to you and just another aspect of your ds- I didn't believe it when people said that to me but it is true!

whenwillisleepagain Tue 30-Sep-08 20:32:41

Haven't got much more to add that isn't duplicating what's already been said. We went to our local hospital yesterday and saw consultant, allergy specialist nurse (who did the testing) and dietician. We thought they were very clear and helpful. DS had skin prick tests and like others on this thread, we were asked what we would like them to test for. We got diet sheets from dietician, who said we could ring her or go back anytime. We have an appointment for a year's time, but they said that if we were worried about anything in the meantime to ring and we'd be seen. I got the impression the consultant is usually cautious about giving epipens, but in our case, he said keep them and we'll review at some point in future.

It all took just over 2 hours, so we got through a lot of snacks (or rather DS did), and DS's teddy had the full range of allergy tests as well to keep DS on side!

I think that the team you're seeing have a very good reputation, so I hope it goes ok for you, and that nursery are helpful when you discuss it all with them.

strawberrycornetto Wed 01-Oct-08 12:02:47

Thank you and thank you!! Sunflower, I might start by taking in food myself but am going to decide once I have had the tests done. WWISA, thanks for the information, its good to have an idea of what to expect tomorrow.

I did speak to the manager of the nursery and she was really good. They have a care plan that they will put in place that I need to discuss and get the consultant to sign for me. Once that is done, they will do whatever required. I didn't discuss epipens etc with her yet because I am hoping that won't be necessary so I didn't want to jump the gun.

MumOfTwoToo Thu 02-Oct-08 12:48:31

I just wanted to add a more positive note to this thread. My DS is now 12 years old and we have lived with severe allergies to eggs, dairy, nuts, dustmites, cats, pollen etc since he was 3 months old. I have became very resourceful and good at finding alternatives. Dairy and egg free birthday cakes, pancakes (my greatest challenge!!) sorbets instead of icecream, home made ice lollies, shortbread etc. I read every label in supermarkets and send special food for birthday parties. School lunches can be difficult and travel much more complicated...we try to self cater, but DS leads a very full life. The eczema has virtually gone and he is very aware of what he can and can't eat. He is going on a school trip to France soon (and I am anxious about that!). We try not to let the allergies stop him from doing things, just adapt and find alternatives. I do always seem to have a little bag of snacks with me, in case we can't find suitable food, and he takes a small emergency bag with epipen, piriton and asthma puffer with him when he visits friends, but that's not too much of a problem. Of course I would rather he didn't have allergies ( and so would he!!), but life can go on and we don't deprive our other DC of treats such as icecream so long as we can find an alternative eg ice lolly for DS. Many salted crisps or Walkers salt and vinegar or some Kettle Chips (eg Honey Barbeque)are dairy free.
Good luck.

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