Author Topic: Kids with nut allergies  (Read 1135 times)

Livethedream

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Kids with nut allergies
« on: July 09, 2018, 07:09:30 AM »
Just found out our 10month old boy is allergic to peanuts, almonds and egg whites. Saw a allergist and got lots of good information. He has an epi pen for the almonds and peanuts.

We got him a little backpack since he is growing out of his diaper bag anyway, in a bag zipper compartment we have an insulated holder for his epi pen, Benadryl, emergency contact numbers, and a patch on the outside noting an epi pen is inside.

Just wondering if there is anyone else out there that might have dealt with kids with nut allergies and any advice you might have.

kimmarg

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 06:20:27 AM »
I'm not allergic but these RoadID's are great. You can even add a medic alert or penut allergy badge and set it up so there is more complete info available with the unique code.  I'm guessing it'll be a few years before even the kids size will fit though.

https://www.roadid.com/products/stretch-rugged-silicone-id-bracelet

lazy-saver

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 11:09:12 AM »
My toddler has similar allergies.

A big thing is that we made the decision to assume he isn't sensitive to "may contain/made on shared equipment/etc." amounts unless/until proven otherwise and he's been fine. This doesn't seem any riskier than choosing to ever feed a child an allergenic food they haven't had before, and greatly reduces the impact on quality of life. This choice isn't for everyone. Some people are that sensitive, and at the extreme can only eat food from a limited number of manufacturers whose processes and labeling habits they trust. (You probably know those warning labels are voluntary so lack of them doesn't mean something wasn't made on shared equipment.)  And everyone's comfort level is different.

I've learned that allergy information doesn't stick in the minds of grandparents or other people who might feed him, so they need to be regularly reminded.

You say you talked to an allergist so you probably know that allergy tests have a high rate of false positives and that while egg allergies are less likely than nut allergies to cause serious reactions, egg reactions can be serious and nut reactions can be mild.

ETA: my favorite nut butter alternative is Trader Joe's creamy sunflower butter.

And if you can do baked eggs (many with egg allergies can, but talk to your allergist) it makes life much easier.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 11:24:22 AM by lazy-saver »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 11:22:32 AM »
There are also car seat strap covers and seatbelt covers you can buy to note allergies and medical conditions for kids. Like this: https://www.etsy.com/listing/527771948/seatbelt-cover-medical-alert-for?ref=listing-shop-header-1 Maybe not useful for food allergies, but if he has any medication allergies or cross reactivity concerns, that can be valuable.

MayDay

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 03:51:42 PM »
We had a close friend with the crazy cross contamination level of nut allergy. We basically could not let her in our house or car because we eat nuts, and astray peanut under a car rug could kill her, and we only fed her from a list a 4-5 prepackaged snacks that her parents knew were safe. It sucks. I hope you don't have to deal with that level of allergy!

I agree with the PP that no one else will remember. People just don't have it on their minds. Or even if Bobby's parents from daycare know, one day grandma watches Bobby and sends him to school covered in peanut butter from breakfast and with nuts in his lunch. For that reason there are actually fewer anaphylactic episodes at schools that allow peanuts but have penauy free zones- people stay more viligant vs assuming everywhere at school is safe.

I think you are at the hardest age now- he really doesn't know what he's putting in his mouth. You need to teach him never to eat anything that mom and dad didn't approve (including grandparents asthey do indeed seem to suck at this!). That will take a few years though. But most serious allergy kids do figure it out.

Best of luck and I hope it isn't serious!

BAM

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 07:24:50 AM »
Two kids with nut allergies here. One is allergic to tree nuts (all nuts/seeds other than peanut). The other is allergic to peanuts. The peanut allergy is severe and we carry an epi pen. They are both also allergic to other foods, including dairy, egg, soy, canned meat (no idea what this actually is but he can't eat canned tuna or chicken or anything).

For the egg white allergy: I would avoid giving him egg yolks too. You can not get the white entirely off the yolk. My oldest used to be just egg white allergy but now is sensitive to both parts and I think it's at least partly due to the exposure to bits of white on the yolk when I did give it to him. Also, be aware that vaccines can be made in egg or with egg - specifically flu and MMR. They will tell you to give Benadryl beforehand or have you stay in the office after to watch for a reaction. We ended up stopping these vaccines since I noticed an increased reaction after the first one. Didn't want to expose them further.

Peanuts: there are many related allergies. Make sure your son isn't allergic to those too. Ours has problems with garbanzos, peas and lentils also but not the other related foods. Google peanut allergy and the related allergens should come up.

Our kids can eat food made on the same equipment as their allergens so double check that like lazy-saver said.

Talk about it to everyone, esp your child and everyone that takes care of him. Don't ever assume that they know or remember. And with your child, he will pick up on the fact that some foods aren't safe faster if you talk about it every time you grocery shop, eat, prep food, etc.

Substitutions:
Many nut butters available.
You can use 2T of water per egg in most baking, like muffins, coffee cakes, etc. When the water doesn't work (like in cookies), we use Ener-G Egg Replacer. Works great but it's expensive so we use the water whenever possible. You can use flax or chia too but, again, it's more expensive. My kids can't do any eggs at all so...

Make sure you read food labels EVERY TIME you buy the food. Manufacturers frequently change their formulas.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 07:26:26 AM by BAM »

FIRE@50

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 07:39:07 AM »
My daughter is allergic to eggs and milk. Lots of good stuff has already been said. I would also emphasize that you need to remind everyone that is around them that your son has allergies and educate them on exactly what a reaction will look like and what to do.

You mentioned that you have an epipen. You may already have more than one, but I would also stress that you should always have two with you. The first one is not always effective.

Lastly, the most important thing (in my mind) that our allergist stressed is that if you are ever in a situation where you think you might need to use the epipen, USE IT. There is zero risk of harm in using it on your child. The risk of waiting too long can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the epinephrine.

Good luck. Things like school, long flights, and parties can be stressful, but if you are prepared, everything should be fine.

lazy-saver

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 10:20:22 AM »
Also, be aware that vaccines can be made in egg or with egg - specifically flu and MMR. They will tell you to give Benadryl beforehand or have you stay in the office after to watch for a reaction. We ended up stopping these vaccines since I noticed an increased reaction after the first one. Didn't want to expose them further.

FWIW, this contradicts two things we've been told
1. The amount of egg in most current vaccines (except yellow fever IIRC, but that's only for people who are traveling) is extremely small so we were told to be aware but not to do anything special
2. We were told not to use benadryl for food allergies because the drowsiness can mask anaphylaxis symptoms (zyrtec instead)

A good reminder that every person and every doctor is different so don't take any internet medical advice as the final word.

lazy-saver

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 10:30:02 AM »
Also thanks everyone for posting, I'm interested to hear everyone's experiences. I wish I'd known that egg substitution stuff when we were avoiding all eggs.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 11:34:28 AM by lazy-saver »

BAM

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2018, 06:26:23 AM »
I've had doctors tell me that the amount of eggs in vaccines is really low also. We gave our children the vaccines at first but the allergic reaction to the eggs increased dramatically after the vaccines so we decided to stop for our children. Not saying you should. Just giving you the information so you can watch for it.
And our drs at the time had us give our children the Benedryl in the office before the shots so...
So much differing info.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 06:28:09 AM by BAM »

lazy-saver

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2018, 09:08:31 AM »
I've had doctors tell me that the amount of eggs in vaccines is really low also. We gave our children the vaccines at first but the allergic reaction to the eggs increased dramatically after the vaccines so we decided to stop for our children. Not saying you should. Just giving you the information so you can watch for it.
And our drs at the time had us give our children the Benedryl in the office before the shots so...
So much differing info.

I hope I didn't come across as implying you were doing anything wrong. It's good to hear your experience, I just wanted to say that my experience with a different kid with a different level of sensitivity and a different doctor with different opinions was different.

frugalmom

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2018, 09:49:17 PM »
I have a kid with strange food allergies, I have also run a commercial kitchen for over 300 kids. 

I highly suggest, ANY time you are not with your child to provide ALL food; and label it.   You have no idea how inept people are about food allergies, and how often kids are given incorrect foods. I had to take over one year at a local church on a last minute emergency basis--as the person they hired to run their kitchen decided all the kids with food allergies could just have animal crackers--including the gluten free and wheat allergy kids.  Needless to say, I have never seen a pastor so mad! The person they fired had a normal job running a grade school cafeteria.  My child has NEVER eaten any food from the school cafeteria.

My daughter is older now, so she can make some choices, but when in doubt she declines.  If she gets shorted snack because of a possible allergen, I make it up to her.  I also know she tells people she is allergic to stuff that she just doesn't want to eat.  Whatever.  I also pack her school lunch each day. 

To make it easy, I have nothing in my house that my daughter is allergic to--she knows everything in the home is 100% safe. 

Also avoid any public/sample foods--cross contamination is high.  People don't properly clean equipment. 

We lead a normal life.  Have no problems dining out or participating in activities.  I have brought along her food to every possible venue you can imagine.  Even those saying NO food can be brought in.  I am always very up front.  Occasionally, I have to talk to a manager; but never once have they said I can't bring in her food.  They pretty much want to make sure I am not dragging in alcohol or food for 50. 

Something to note, since you said peanut.  Not sure if you ever eat there but Chic-Fil-A uses peanut oil to fry all of their products.  It is also common in some Asian restaurants.  You'll need to get in the habit of asking as he gets older and you dine out. 

BAM

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2018, 07:21:01 AM »
Lazy-saver, no, I didn't think you came across that way. I just wanted to share our experience with you so you can keep an eye on your child when you give vaccinations to make sure it doesn't make him more sensitive to his allergens. My allergic kids are older, 21 and 16, so I'm sure I was given different information, some of which has probably now been found to be incorrect.
I will say that it's important to always trust your gut- gut reactions are usually based on something you've noticed but can't pinpoint so if you see something weird find out what going on.

Five guys is another peanut oil place.

And, frugalmom, reminded me: really watch for cross contamination. My dairy kids can't have any foods that were cut with a knife first used on cheese or set on a counter that had cheese on it. Although we haven't noticed problems with the products that say "made on the same equipment as" (I'm sure they are cleaned well), we have run into issues with homemade foods from other people and at restaurants.

You'll learn who you can trust to handle the food allergies, who you can't trust and who you just need to remind. It does get easier!

Sibley

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2018, 07:46:49 AM »
RE egg substitution (or anything else really), google will be your friend. Applesauce is a decent egg substitute in some cases for example (tested when I ran out and yes, it really does work in muffins). Cooks/bakers will substitute not just for allergies but also when they don't have or can't find something, different taste, etc.

I've been hearing that they're having luck with desensitization with food allergies, so hopefully that will become more wide spread and at least reduce the risks for people.

lazy-saver

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2018, 12:12:35 PM »
Lazy-saver, no, I didn't think you came across that way. I just wanted to share our experience with you so you can keep an eye on your child when you give vaccinations to make sure it doesn't make him more sensitive to his allergens. My allergic kids are older, 21 and 16, so I'm sure I was given different information, some of which has probably now been found to be incorrect.
I will say that it's important to always trust your gut- gut reactions are usually based on something you've noticed but can't pinpoint so if you see something weird find out what going on.

Thanks.

I think the thinking has changed in the last few years around whether small exposures increase sensitivity and the current thinking is that it doesn't, but it's not definitive. The new "introduce allergenic foods early to decrease the chance of allergy" wasn't even relevant in our case where things I'd been eating all along were a problem in breastmilk before starting solid foods. I agree paying attention to gut feelings is good, especially when there are no clear answers for a lot of these things.

I think the amount of egg in vaccines also used to be higher?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 12:25:09 PM by lazy-saver »

BAM

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2018, 01:22:12 PM »
Lazy-saver, oh my goodness, yes. The breast milk thing. My 16 year old had weeping bleeding excema all over his face, arms and legs when I was nursing him. Took me forever to figure out all the foods he was allergic to (13 at that time) since our pediatrician did not believe in food allergies and wouldn't give me a referral to an allergist. Finally gave me a referral at 1 year old when he had lost a pound in the past 7 months instead of gaining any. But by then I had figured out 12 of the foods so it just confirmed what I already knew.
So glad I didn't stop nursing though since he was allergic to EVERY formula on the market - even the non-allergenic ones.
Once we got rid of the foods he still had really rough itchy skin. Turns out he was allergic to every laundry detergent too, including the free and clear ones. What a battle those years were!

I've never looked into whether the amount of egg decreased in the vaccinations over the years. Both of my boys are so allergic now that it wouldn't matter. They can't have any at all!

TrMama

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2018, 02:29:05 PM »

I highly suggest, ANY time you are not with your child to provide ALL food; and label it.   You have no idea how inept people are about food allergies, and how often kids are given incorrect foods.

This. One of the best things you can do for your child is to buy him an insulated lunch kit and keep your home stocked with all his food so you can quickly put a portable meal/snack together for him. This way, he'll never be at the mercy of whomever has selected and prepared the food he eats.

My youngest has a dairy intolerance, which is much less risky than a true allergy, and I cannot even count the number of times well meaning people have unintentionally poisoned her. At the beginning of every school year I make sure to send shelf stable safe snack to school with her, so she's sure to have a safe treat on the days some kid's parent sends in birthday cupcakes, or the PTA decides to feed all the kids some surprise treat.

For clueless grandparents, we found the best way to cure their oblivion was to let them see the effects of their careless label reading. My mom was horrified, and extremely apologetic, the one time she fed Spawn2 something containing dairy and then saw how much pain it caused. She's been very careful ever since.

Mongoose

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2018, 08:28:55 AM »
2. We were told not to use benadryl for food allergies because the drowsiness can mask anaphylaxis symptoms (zyrtec instead)

A good reminder that every person and every doctor is different so don't take any internet medical advice as the final word.
While following your doctors advice is good, Zyrtec definitely causes extreme drowsiness in some people so I would caution against assuming it's a non-drowsy or less drowsy alternative to Benadryl.

I have one child with celiac and, while some folks are great, I have found that I need to be constantly vigilant if anyone else is handling her food. One grandma is fine; the other doesn't remember at all. The school was so awful despite me providing shelf-stable snacks that we finally pulled her (disclaimer: we live in a teeny tiny town that had no prior experience with food allergies or restrictions in the school). Your a ways from that age but getting to know the school personnel and teachers beforehand would probably help a lot.

Sibley

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Re: Kids with nut allergies
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2018, 01:48:14 PM »
Lazy-saver, oh my goodness, yes. The breast milk thing. My 16 year old had weeping bleeding excema all over his face, arms and legs when I was nursing him. Took me forever to figure out all the foods he was allergic to (13 at that time) since our pediatrician did not believe in food allergies and wouldn't give me a referral to an allergist. Finally gave me a referral at 1 year old when he had lost a pound in the past 7 months instead of gaining any. But by then I had figured out 12 of the foods so it just confirmed what I already knew.
So glad I didn't stop nursing though since he was allergic to EVERY formula on the market - even the non-allergenic ones.
Once we got rid of the foods he still had really rough itchy skin. Turns out he was allergic to every laundry detergent too, including the free and clear ones. What a battle those years were!

I've never looked into whether the amount of egg decreased in the vaccinations over the years. Both of my boys are so allergic now that it wouldn't matter. They can't have any at all!

BAM, I really hope you fired that doctor and reported him/her to the medical board for malpractice. Idiot doctor, not believing in allergies...