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Nut allergy, do I have to have DD tested? What does this involve?

(4 Posts)

We applied today for DD to have school dinners in her new school here in Switzerland. The teacher asked if DD had any allergies and when I said that she seems to be allergic to nuts, I was told that they need a note from the doctor confirming this.

We do not have a paediatrician here yet so I will have to see if I can get an appointment.

We first suspected DD might have a nut allergy when she was around 4yo. She had a lebkuchen with her Granny (a kind of gingerbread biscuit absolutely loaded with nuts) and came out in a nasty rash afterwards. The dr said that it looked like a nut allergy (we had not connected it, I was panicking that she had measles or something, it was the doc who asked if she had been eating Xmas biscuits or cakes).

Since then she has had slight allergic reactions on several occassions, always a skin rash, mainly on the chest and arms, sometimes on the legs. On only one occassion was it more serious, DH gave her a cookie from Starbucks and she was in agony during the night. We had to give her the emergency cortisone suppository that the doc had given us in case of a bad reaction. All other times it has been enough to use a light cream to treat it, the name escapes me at the moment.

I am pretty sure that she is allergic to hazelnut as she reacts to Nutella. I don't know about other nuts as we tend to avoid all nuts.

OK. Are you still with me? Basically my questions are

- is it necessary to test her?

- if so what will this involve?

- how long does it take to get the results?

wb Mon 27-Oct-08 12:52:58

Am in a rush so will be brief.

Yes get her tested for all tree nuts plus peanuts (unless you know she is OK with these). The reason for this is that nut allergies in particular can be unpredictable and reactions tend to get progressively worse over time.

Try and find an allergy clinic or a pediatrician who specializes in allergies. She should be given a skin prick and blood (RAST) tests. Skin prick tests are just that - they prick the skin and rub a drop of nut extract into each prick - it is uncomfortable but not really painful. Results within 20 minutes Blood tests - they take a little blood, usually by pricking the thumb and squeezing out a few drops - and test it for specific nut antibodies. Results within a few weeks.

wb
Thanks, will get her tested. I have emailed a paediatrician so will hopefully get an appointment soon.

tatt Tue 28-Oct-08 11:51:28

yes you need to get her tested. Nut allergies are unpredictable and can result in breathing problems even if other reactions have been mild. Deaths are rare in those who carry epipens, know how to use them and use them promptly. There are deaths where parents were not told mild allergies can become serious with no warning.

You also need to be very careful about food. Husbands tend to need to see the consultant to hear the message directly.

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