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sudden reaction to something but we don't know what

(19 Posts)
bluebear Sat 07-May-05 15:56:59

Ds has to go to casulty last night as his lips tongue and throat started swelling up - piriton had no effect and he was given steroids.
We have no idea what he might be allergic to so we are really worried about what's going to happen when the steroids wear off...the Dr told us to ring an ambulance imediately if his tongue/neck start to swell again.

He hasn't had anything/been exposed to anything new.

Can you get this sudden a reaction to something you've been exposed to for a long time (we're wondering about dairy/soya) ?

The only new thing we can think of is a new carpet at his nursery - can you be allergic to carpet????

Any advice would be welcome.

rumplestiltskin Sat 07-May-05 16:07:13

could be the fire retardent stuff or stain resisdent chemicals (e.g. scotchguard)some carpets are coated in it is unlikely to be dairy as a reaction to this is usually in the form of skin irritation or vomiting and diarrhiah (sp?) hope your little one is feeling better soon and you found out what caused the reaction.
just thought, maybe they didn't clear up very well after laying the carpet and he came into contact with some of the rubber underlay.
you must be incredibley worried, hope you get this sorted out.

SofiaAmes Sat 07-May-05 23:55:18

Is your ds still crawling? Could very well be something used on the carpet at nursery. There are much more stringent fire rules at a nursery than in a home and they may have been required to get carpet that was treated with some sort of flame retardent. AND because new regulations keep getting passed and old chemicals keep getting banned, they are forever introducing new ones. Maybe breathing in the full strength new fumes could have caused a reaction.

bluebear Sun 08-May-05 07:55:31

Thanks for your replies - he reacted again in the early hours of this morning - sleeping in my bed as I was too scared to be too far away from him...we seemed to have got the suspects down to either his bedtime milk, or the 'innards' of his bedtime nappy.
He has a habit of over-wetting his nappy and the gel bursts out - this has coincided with his bad reactions.

What on earth do they put in the gel - and can you find it elsewhere? (They're nature boy and girl nappies, so I'm putting him back into a cloth nappy tonight (they are a bit tight on him which is why we started to use NB&G)).

He's still breathing ok but his face and neck are pretty swollen so we're off to A and E again once dh is dressed.

hub2dee Sun 08-May-05 08:28:32

Hi blue,

Sorry to hear about all this. According to blurb on most Web sites, one of the main gel chemicals is SODIUM POLYACRYLATE. Often cloth nappy sites alledge this has been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome and allaergic reactions. I haven't looked / don't know if this is true, or common, or independently verified, but it would certainly be one variable to exclude / test.

It has been so sunny the last few days.... is there a chance it has been any kind of insect bite ?

Really hope you get some answers as when you can't be sure what triggers it you spend so long worrying ! If the reaction gets classed as v. serious / possibly anaphylactic, you may want to enquire as to the possibility of getting an epipen for home and / or nursery.

Let us know how you all get on.

misdee Sun 08-May-05 08:29:45

just want to say i hope you find out what it is. dd1 still reacts to seemingly nothing and its driving me mad.

hub2dee Sun 08-May-05 08:34:59

Also had a google "new carpets" allergic... and there are quite a large number of sites which highlight the outgassing of chemicals and VOCs from new carpets so perhaps that is the culprit ? Again, this tends to be on sites selling anti-allergy air filters and related products, rather than mainstream medical, so you'd need to have a good, 'suspicious' google when you get a chance...

so often big 'scare claims' have tended to come from one dodgy / unpublished / disputed piece of resarch and then hundreds of sites quote this verbatim.


Pruni Sun 08-May-05 08:44:06

Message withdrawn

Whizzz Sun 08-May-05 09:14:21

SODIUM POLYACRYLATE is classed as an irritant if it is inhaled - so maybe repeated exposure could possibly have caused this reaction ?(I'm no allergy expert but do know a bit about chemical safety). It does seem to be the magic ingrediant in all disposables - I would try cloth nappies for a bit perhaps to see if it happens again.

You can have a sudden adverse reaction to something that you have had no problems with in the past, as intolerance can build up over time with some substances (latex, some food colourings for example)

PS: Also found out that Scotch guard is what is coated onto Magic Sand - always wondered how that worked !

tatt Sun 08-May-05 11:45:54

Manufacturers details to see if they will tell you more about what is in the nappies.

Telephone: +46 8 644 96 96


Try the anaphylaxis campaign to see if there have been other reports on anaphylaxis from nappies - sounds more likely than the bedtime milk. You can develop allergies to things you've eaten with no problem for years but you mentioned thinking it was linked to the nappies. An epipen would give you a bit more peace of mind, really think you should have one.

tatt Sun 08-May-05 11:49:54

p.s. this is from an american website. Guess you might find it in dehumidifiers or those sachets that come in handbags.

"In addition to its use in disposable diapers, sodium polyacrylate, have many uses.

It is found in soil to help soil retain water.
It is used by florists as a dirt-free way to store water and to keep cut flowers fresh for a long time.
It is used in filtration units that remove water from airplane and automobile fuels such that vehicles perform more efficiently.
It is used to make Gro-Creatures, which are toys shaped like dinosaurs, fish, lizards, and other assorted animals that increase in size when placed in water. These critters can be dried out and rehydrated over and over again."

bluebear Sun 08-May-05 22:00:51

Thanks for everyone's replies - can't type much as he's sleeping beside me (in a cloth nappy) - his face slowly got better during the day so we hope that he'll get through the night without another reaction <fingers crossed>

Thanks for the number Tatt, I'll be ringing the nappy people tomorrow to see what they say.

bluebear Mon 09-May-05 10:36:03

He didn't react overnight this time (safe in a tots bots) and his little face is nearly back to the nappy gel looks like the most likely culprit.

As a mini-rant - our GP just didn't get the fact that this has been a series of allergic reactions over the last few days and was more concerned with his cough (which is viral and we have all had over the last fortnight) - she has prescribed him asthma inhalers and, only after I got a bit pushy, an epi-pen. She really thinks that he's just had an asthma attack since the swelling is so minimal now....Grrrr She has, at least, referred him to the Allergy clinic, but we have no idea how long that will take to come through

hub2dee Mon 09-May-05 11:16:41

.... and whether they test for the correct nappy-allergens, I bet...

(at the allergy test place)...

I'm really glad he's doing better. Good on you for pushing for an epipen ! If you don't ever use it, so be it. At least you know that if there is a major problem at home / away at play / away on holiday, you'll have it to hand if you ever need it.

PS - Hope your plumber has turned up and the cave is progressing.

bluebear Mon 09-May-05 12:04:43

Adding this in case anyone is in the same situation and reads this thread.

I rang the duty Health Visitor - mainly to get advice on the epipen as ds's nursery have said that he can't return until I arrange a professional to teach their staff how to use the pen - the HV rang the allergy specialist at the local hospital imediately, got a faxed referral form and faxed it back and has told me to expect a phone call today to arrange ds's clinic visit.

Moral of all this - GO VIA YOUR HEALTH VISITOR!

(The HV is also trying to arrange a school nurse to visit the nursery and teach them how to use the epipen - hurrah for HVs)

(Dh is meant to be ringing the cave-builder right now H2D but he seems to be playing with ds instead - cave is still quite prehistoric )

hub2dee Mon 09-May-05 21:16:14

bump so everyone gets the HV info.

Sure the cave will turn out fab and have fitted candle alcoves and a place to store freshly killed water voles.

(Not quite sure what bears eat. LOL. Have not been round your neck of the woods with time to spare on family visit. But will do and will call one day etc.)

bluebear Mon 09-May-05 21:36:39

Totally off subject - but at least it will act as a bump!

The builders are coming to finish the cave in 13 days time HURRAH!!! We have a date at last!!!!! (Oh, and H2D, this bear family is vegetarian so we eat freshly killed carrots)

Back on subject, ds has got better and better all day and by bedtime had no swelling left so he's back in his own bed tonight <fingers crossed>

We're taking a diary of the last few days to the allergy clinic tomorrow and going to ask about allergies to nappy gel in particular.

hub2dee Mon 09-May-05 22:04:32

That's fab news about (1) cave and (2) ds. I'd be really interested to hear if they poo-poo the whole possibility of the nappy gel causing the reaction. I searched the Lancet and couldn't find anything under that Polyacrylate chemcial but maybe I was being dim and doing something wrong.

I know that building work can be really draining, so I hope the cave gets sorted nicely and you can enjoy using your space again without the dirt and grief.

PS - We're also veggie though dw eats fish. Veggies rock

tatt Tue 10-May-05 06:06:11

good luck with the builders - that can be quite a strain Thankfully we have finished with all our workmen (except dh and he's very slow). Good for you getting an epipen I found references on the web to skin allergies from the chemical in nappies but not to anaphylaxis. I'd expect the skin problems to mean an allergy clinic could test for it though. They normally do skin prick tests to give them an idea what to include in the RAST test. Don't know much about chemical sensitivities but if they haven't got a test solution for it I expect they'd be able to get one.

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