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Old 02-19-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
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how/when did you find out your LO had a serious nut allergy

so DS is 6 months old, and we eat alot of nuts in our vegetarian household, should I be worried about nut dust on my hands or on my counters? I am so paranoid about life threatening reactions although no allergies to any foods run in either mine or DH's family, other than lactose intolerance.

I am thinking that pedi's should run a nut clinic and all the kids come in and eat a peanut under supervision and then we would not have to find out so traumatically. Although I know it can happen out of nowhere as well.

So how did you find out and what would you do differently if you had it to do over again- if that makes sense.

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:50 PM   #2
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Re: how/when did you find out your LO had a serious nut allergy

A child's first introduction to nuts is usually pretty controlled anyway. When DD was 18 mos old, DH was super excited to let her finally try peanut butter (it is his FAVORITE food). BARF! It came right back up. "She must be allergic," I say. "No she can't be, we will try again in a couple months." A couple months later, BARF and a horrific rash. Definitely allergic. By the time we got her to the allergist at two, she was "off the chart" allergic according to the skin test. We wouldn't change anything about the way we did it, and will do the same with DD2 when she is old enough. We treat all highly allergic foods this way -- eggs, cow's milk, etc, and it seems to work pretty well. She can still obviously be in the room with it tho, even being "off the chart", so I wouldn't worry overly much about nut dust. Try to keep it away from the baby obviously, but even as the mother of a highly allergic child, I see no need for paranoia.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:55 PM   #3
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Re: how/when did you find out your LO had a serious nut allergy

DS has not yet had his blood test done for a nut allergy, but the dr. did say it appears that he has a "sensitivity" It is odd, the whole time I was preggo, I didn't want to eat PB. Whenever I ate something with nuts in it DS would get a horrid diaper rash. It took a while for me to make the connection, unfortunately. The other day he reached into the freezer and grabbed out a frozen PBJ and ate part of it before I got him. Sure enough, redness on his bottom. Not as bad as it used to be, but still was really red around his rectum. He cried when he went to the bathroom the next few times when we had to wipe him.

So that is how we found out.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:10 PM   #4
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Re: how/when did you find out your LO had a serious nut allergy

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Originally Posted by marusempai View Post
A child's first introduction to nuts is usually pretty controlled anyway. When DD was 18 mos old, DH was super excited to let her finally try peanut butter (it is his FAVORITE food). BARF! It came right back up. "She must be allergic," I say. "No she can't be, we will try again in a couple months." A couple months later, BARF and a horrific rash. Definitely allergic. By the time we got her to the allergist at two, she was "off the chart" allergic according to the skin test.
My nephew is super allergic to peanuts and my bro had the same experience with him. His first time trying peanut butter...instant projectile vomiting. Seond time, vomiting and rash around his mouth.

He's off the charts and now carries and epi pen with him everywhere (he's 10 now)
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:23 PM   #5
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Re: how/when did you find out your LO had a serious nut allergy

My DD always claimed that she didn't like peanut butter. We didn't really eat it as a family so no worries. Then a few years ago she had some and complained that her tongue was itch and she was freaking out. I gave her some bendryl and made an appointment for an allerfy test. Hers is pretty bad (according to the doc with the welts that showed up on her) but she hasn't had an episode where she has needed her epipen yet. Thank goodness. She carries one with her just in case as doc said the reactions will most likely get worse if she comes in contact again. We were told to give an allergy medicine right away and if it didn't help then use the epipen. Have some medicine handy for when you first try nuts is my only suggestion.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:50 PM   #6
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Re: how/when did you find out your LO had a serious nut allergy

My dh is allergic to nuts and peanuts and dd is allergic to milk, eggs, and sesame. We found out about dd's sesame allergy when she was 9 months old and we gave her some hummus (tahini, which is sesame paste, is a main ingredient). Her whole face instantly swelled up. That was not good. Her allergist doesn't want us giving her nuts until age 3.5 and we are just now trying out one nut at a time.

I guess I wouldn't worry about "nut dust" but I wouldn't feed nuts to a young child either. You can always ask to bring nuts to a well baby dr appointment and give a taste there. It often takes at least two exposures to become allergic, but if you eat nuts at home a lot, he may well have already had that exposure.
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:02 PM   #7
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Re: how/when did you find out your LO had a serious nut allergy

My ds was 16mos. At 1 yr the pediatrician said we could do peanut butter but for no specific reason I just didn't feel good about it. Well one day at a play date some moms were talking about what they give for snacks and they were raving about the peanut butter filled pretzels. So, when we got home I decided I was being foolish and decided to try peanut butter. I spread some on a rice cake and within seconds my ds's face started to swell and he had hives on his hands. I called the dr. immediately who said to call 911! He had an anaphylactic reaction and required two shots of epinephrine in the hospital.

I was very unfamiliar with food allergies at that time but have since become pretty educated about it and I've done a few presentations. That was about 5 years ago. The awareness is much better now.

Anyway, both my husband and I have allergies (no food allergies though) which means our children have a 66% greater chance of developing allergies than a child whose parents have none. So if neither you or your husband have allergies that is definitely in your favor. There is a blood test for many food allergies. However, in order to develop an allergy you first need to be exposed. So if your child has never eaten a walnut and is tested for a walnut allergy it will be negative. I ate tons of peanut butter while pregnant and nursing so that's how my ds was exposed.

Sorry so long, probably more info than you were looking for.
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:09 PM   #8
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Re: how/when did you find out your LO had a serious nut allergy

My DS was about 13 months old when we found out he was allergic to nuts.... almonds to be specific. We too are a vegetarian household and we use soy milk. We thought it would be a natural transition from soy formula to soy milk but DS couldn't digest it properly and the dr. suggested switching to reg milk, rice milk or almond milk. DS HATED real milk and rice milk. He loved the almond milk but he swelled up so much that his eyes were almost swollen shut. His whole body was pink and puffy. Because of how severe his reaction was his pedi doesn't want us to try ANY nuts until he's 3....and even then we will be referred to an allergist to try them.

I always keep the benadryl single doses in my purse and diaper bag just in case he accidentally gets nuts somehow or reacts to being around them. We've been fortunate and haven't had any problems though in over a year.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:47 PM   #9
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Re: how/when did you find out your LO had a serious nut allergy

I am SUPER allergic to only certain nuts, not peanuts/walnuts/almonds thankfully, but brazil, cashew etc. My parents found out when I ate a bit of a Brazil nut, somewhere around 1-2 yrs old, my dad was there and he has severe allergies so he knew what to look for. They rushed me to the ER, and were told that a few minutes later would have been too late. The infant throat is small, so it swells shut VERY quickly.

My sister was worried that her kiddos might have trouble that way, so when she did introduce nuts, she did it in the ER parking lot. Great idea from my opinion... :-) Also keep benadryl around with an infant dosage chart from your pedi, so if you do have an accidental reaction, that REALLY can help you get to the hospital in time.

Nut dust might be bad, I would wash out the food processor in between grinding nuts, and also wash dishes that nut flour has been in, and just wipe the counter down between uses... I have had bad reactions from VERY small pieces of brazil nut. (small bit of brazil nut flew into my pile of filberts...)

Reactions can be somewhat hard to spot, watch for excessive drooling, tongue going in and out, difficulty breathing... there won't always be hives or external itching, swelling, or vomiting.... for me it's throat closing, itching and swelling INSIDE the mouth and throat.

BUT on the positive side its usually pretty easy to avoid most nuts if you do have allergies. It's nowhere near as bad as trying to avoid wheat ... :-)
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:53 PM   #10
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Re: how/when did you find out your LO had a serious nut allergy

We started with latex, showed up at first with an allergy to disposbles (awful rash/hives/sores)...we didn't think anything other than skin sensitivities until she went to DC at 7.5 months where they use latex gloves...then it was back even though she was in cloth. After a month we figured out it was the latex and had her tested. That is how we found out about eggs and the possibility of nuts. She hadn't been introduced to eggs or nuts at that point because of a family history of food allergies has kept us away from the high allergens.
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