nut allergy help please

Roberta - posted on 01/08/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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my 3 year old daughter has severe nut allergy (peanut) and specialist advised avoiding all nuts. anyone know of websites/books etc... so we can learn more about this and how to avoid all nuts? we aren't sure about what brands of food are safe? is nutmeg ok? coconut? soy? (someone told us to avoid that due to nut allergy) how do we keep safe in public places when my toddler touches everything and puts her fingers in her mouth?

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Shannon - posted on 02/26/2011

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I am still learning and doing my own research on alot of these things. Since my daughter has an amazing allergist that she sees, I keep a note book in my purse (I think of alot of questions to ask while at the grocery store) to write questions or concerns in. I try finding answers on my own to alot of them, but the ones I haven't found answers to I avoid for now. We are planning a big family trip to disneyland which is loaded with peanuts and places for cross contamination so I made an appointment to see her allergy doctor to find out what I can do to best protect her and to get medications refilled. I plan on talking with him about the things I am unsure of like soy, coconut, nutmeg & ect. I figure it is best to have answers before the trip.
As for how to best protect her... you should have a kit with the following in it... epipen jr (make sure you and anyone caring for your child know how to use it before an emergency), benadryl (more then 1 does just incase your out for awhile), hydrocortizone cream, prelone (prednisone you can get from your allergy dr), medication spoon, clorox wipes (to wipe things she comes in contact with in public... ie shopping carts, ect), handsanitizer or wipes, Food safety stickers or pin for eatting out safely, Chef card (put her allergies on it and give it personally to the chef before ordering when they know they can help keep her safe), Emergency Action Plan (have it on paper incase someone else has to care for your child... include her picture for imediate identification), Emergency Info the hospital needs (name, age, insurance, address, parents contact info & one other emergency contact who has permission to help your child if parents cant be reached, a picture of her so they make the connection between name and child). Other then that keeping a close eye on her, tell her to keep her hands out of her mouth it will make her sick (she might not get it fully, but remove them and explain it... she will understand soon if your consistant with it), books about peanut allergies (amazon has alot of them and you can google it for her age). Read them to her often and ask her if she has questions.
A little about me. My daughter started having reactions at 4 to peanut butter, we were told like you to avoid it and all nut products. Give her benadryl for any reactions. Well I wish I had known more at the time. I did my best to avoid foods with peanuts and followed doctors orders. I was told an allergy pannel would not be done at an army hospital until she was older. I had no idea they could draw blood to test until this year. Over the years she started having more symptoms. It started with tingley feeling mouth and she would get awful blisters that progressed into these huge ugly sores she would have for the following week. The doctor always told us to treat it with benadryl and keep a close eye on her. Then she started having hives all over and stomach discomfort (ie. nausea and diahera). I took her back to the doctor as this was a progression of systems in my book... was assured this was normal to treat her with benadryl and pepto for the stomach discomfort. She never had swelling until the past year (she is 8 now) with exposure. I rushed her into our new family doctor (we moved away from the military hospital) and was told she need to have an epipen. The doctor gave her the epipen in the office and sent us to the nearest ER which is 15 mins away (our dr was closer). The ER doctor took a look at her gave her benadryl, prelone, hydrocortizone cream and kept a very close eye on her. When she was released we had a referal to the areas top allergy specialist along with Epipens, Benadryl, Prelone, Hydrocortizone Cream and Prilosec (for nausea) when we left the hospital. We were in the allergist office the next day where he did a blood pannel on my daughter, asked tons of questions, helped educate myself and my daughter. He agreed with the ER diagnoses and confirmed it with the allergy blood test. Then called us back into the office that week to have an allergy pannel done. We found out that she is allergic to Peanuts (most sever one), Almonds, Oats and Cod. We will be getting more testing done soon to check for other allergies as well. I don't want to scare you with my story, but to educate you. I wish you the best of luck. Oh and you can feel free to contact me at anytime rather it is to vent, get support (we all know the emotions it can bring up), questions or whatever.
Oh and as for the coconut, they are a tree nut so I try to stay away from them (we lived in hawaii for 10 years) so that is one of those things I made sure to ask early on.

Shannon - posted on 02/26/2011

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Here are some of my favorites...
http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com/i...
www.peanutallergykid.com
www.peanutallergy.com
http://www.foodallergy.org/recipes.html
http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/ind...
http://www.recipestoday.com/articles/foo...
http://www.superallergycookbook.com/
http://peanutfree.blogspot.com/
http://nut-freemom.blogspot.com/
www.allergyeats.com
http://www.allerdine.com/
http://www.peanutfreeplanet.com/
The link below has information on state laws regaurding peanut allergies. It is very important to know the law and make sure people uphold it when it comes to peanut allergies and our kids.
http://www.allergicliving.com/?p=342
Back to other links again...
http://www.protectallergickids.org/Books...
http://www.faiusa.org/?page=peanuts
http://www.beyondapeanut.com/Peanut_Alle...
http://www.chungsfoods.com/index1.html
http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/
http://www.glutenfreemall.com/catalog/en...
*The products like enjoy life, gluten free mall and chungs are nut free... they have store locators so you can find where to buy them, request forms if they are not carried at your grocery store, ect.
These websites have so much information and are amazing. I hope they help.

Kayleigh - posted on 02/13/2011

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My 2 1/2 year old was diagnosed a year ago.... He is always asking "Can I eat this mommy?" "Thres no nuts in there mommy?" It gets easier!! You will get used to it, it will be second nature. Just remember companies are always chaning their ingredients and being bought out and merging so ALWAYS recheck the package, it will always mention if it contains or manufactured with the big 8 allergens. For now I can tell you Pillsbury, Rold Golds, Cheez itz, Chips Ahoy, Oreo (but not the oreo milk straws) are OK, From what ive noticed so far Stop n Shop band is ok Duncan Hines, Snyders, Keebler are not, and most Walmart brands are not. Its pretty much all packaged foods that you have to watch out for..... However my son is going to turn into fruit and yogurt, so thankfully it makes my life semi easier for now!

There are also alot of cute merchandise. They have t shirts out there now saying "I have a peanut allergy" with a cute pcture. Also they have these ADORABLE bracelets and necklaces , check out http://www.allermates.com , they have an allergy education center with different ways of educating your little one as she grows and also others about their allergy. Theres also the silver medical Id bracelets, which are especially good if they have multiple allergies like my son. Hope some of this helps!! Good luck!

Carla - posted on 01/09/2011

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The allergiest gave us a booklet. If you look the labels on food it will tell you if it has nuts or is processed with nuts on it. Look under around the ingredients label. Should have allergy warnings. I have found that the cheaper brands of any kind of food are processed with nuts. You need to start training her to ask if there is nuts in food before she eats it. A relative on my husbands side gave our son a peanut flavored cookie one time and he got severly sick. After that we taught him to ask if there is nuts. Make sure she knows that it is very bad for her and that it will make her sick. This will help when you go somewhere and their is people that don't know about his allergies. You will be more relaxed and won't have to worry about everything he is eating.

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Amy - posted on 06/05/2011

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I have 2 (out of my 5) children have peanut allergies. It does get easier as they get older. My older son is 12 now and can taste if something has peanut stuff in it. My 5 year old son had a severe hives reaction after eating a big cookie that just had the warning "Made on shared equipment ..."

I agree about getting an Epipen. Your allergist should teach you how to use it. And also keeping Benadryl on hand. The Epi is for when the swelling in their throat starts so they can ward off antiphylacitc shock. But you still need to get to an ER after giving the shot.

Make sure you read labels especially in cookies, chocolate candy or any chocolate product. Oh, and Chick Fil A fries things in peanut oil. Some kids have reactions just when they eat it and some have reactions when they are just in contact.

The good news is that with peanut allergies more wide spread, there are more warnings on labels and in restaurants. Also, anytime you fill out paperwork (for preschool, etc.) make sure they know about the allergy.

Roberta - posted on 04/10/2011

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after looking at some of the listed websites, i should mention i live in Canada, so anyone with Canadian websites/stores/restaraunts etc... please help too! We also travel to Montana, usually great falls or kalispell - does anyone know of safe restaraunts there?

Roberta - posted on 04/10/2011

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wow everyone, thank you soooo much for all your helpful information! it's wonderful to learn all of this!

Kayleigh - posted on 02/13/2011

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I forgot to mention too, Ive never heard of avoiding soy, and coconut depends on who you talk to..... some people classify it a nut and some do not. Personally my son has been fine with both of these...........
Also, with the touching of everything, honestly for now i just try to put him in the stroller whenever i can, and wipe down grocery carts and put him in there. Also dont forget just because 1 thing of a brand is ok doesnt mean they all are.... Plain hershey kisses are perfectly fine, however theres obviously the almond ones and the flavored, candy corn, peppermint, caramel apple, some are ok and some are not so you really have to read every individual bag. Also, do not bring her into or feed her Dunkin Donuts, theres even a sign on their door, they manufacture things with peanuts. We stopped there on the way home from a trip once, even brought his own food and drink, and by the time we got home his eyes were almost swollen shut and he was crying hysterically, thank heavens for benadryl for mild reactions when you can. I never leave the house without a bottle of benadryl and his epipen. We have never had to use the epipen yet, but we have used the benadryl several times to prevent and also to alleviate mild symptom.

Roberta - posted on 01/11/2011

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thanks! my daughter is starting preschool, so training her to ask about nuts will definitely remind teachers etc... to be watchful! we never got a booklet from the allergist, i will look for one.

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