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Discussion Starter #1
My 3 year old gave my wife and I a big scare the other day when she developed this major rash all over her body. It turned out that she was having a pretty major allergic reaction. She didn't seem to mind but I am not used to seeing pancake sized welts all over her body and legs, quarter sized welts on her face and her eyes, fingers and lips bulge up to not natural proportions.

The doctor was great and had her back to normal within hours but now we get to travel with an epi pen everywhere we gokinda worry some that it got to that point another thing we absolutely cannot be with out. plus the fear that play school, day care, grand parents may go some where with her and not remember to bring it with them. Hopefully there will never be a need but relying on others is not my strong suit.

Okay rant over and question time.

Are any of you all in the same situation? Also, when going to a restaurant how do you ensure that they are protected from the trigger food? I ask because we really don't know what the trigger was yet, but most likely either shrimp or peanuts. we have agreed upon dinner dates with others for both tonight and tomorrow at Red Lobster, and a Chinese restaurant which my fear is they will cook her food in a contaminated dish that just cooked shrimp or used gloves that just touched shrimp or that they will use peanut oil in there cooking and not inform us/ understand us. or maybe I am just being an over protective crazy person
 

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I too have a food allergy, once you find out what she's allergic to just tell the wait staff, most will work with you, after all the last thing they want /need is a lawsuit. ;-)
 

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Pack some safe food for her and carefully monitor her at the resturaunt. A special something she will enjoy.

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I know of a similar reaction to strawberries.

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My daughter had exactly that when she was 4, Doctors assumed Strawberries and we were told she was not allowed to have them. A few years ago she had a similar reaction which the Doctor diagnosed as a heat rash. With that we organised to have her tested at an allergy specialist, you guessed it, no allergies to foods.....

Get her checked out at a specialised, they introduce food types under controlled conditions and wait to see which, if any, react.
 

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From what you describe, I have no doubt she was having an allergic reaction. Those large welts are hives, and along with the facial swelling can progress to full anaphylaxis very quickly. It is of the utmost importance to identify the allergy trigger as quickly as possible.

The important thing to remember is that a food allergy will often flare within minutes if eating the suspect food, so until testing is done, it is essential to:


  • AVOID any food that she was eating just prior to developing those hives. You mentioned specifically shrimp or peanuts, so I assume she was eating these two food items.
  • Keep the EpiPen Jr. with you and your child at all times- just in case, and KNOW how to use it if these symptoms reoccur, EVEN if she was not eating the suspect food items.
  • Whenever you use an EpiPen, call for EMS/9-1-1 immediately for follow-up at the Emergency Room. Emergency medical follow-up is absolutely required whenever an EpiPen is administered.
  • Any other caregivers must be instructed in avoidance of the suspect food items AND instructed on the use of the EpiPen and 9-1-1 call immediately after giving this medication.
  • You can keep the EpiPen in a backpack of bag that would normally travel back & forth with the child to daycare: packaged in such a way as to be highly visible, but yet teaching the child that this is not a toy to be played with. I also recommend keeping one available at home & in mom's purse for quick use if needed.
  • If an EpiPen is not available at some point that these symptoms develop, do NOT try to drive your child to the Emergency Room yourself. Call 9-1-1, and tell them you have a probable anaphylactic reaction without an EpiPen, and they will send a rescue unit that will be able to administer that medication immediately upon their arrival.
  • Get an appointment with an allergist ASAP for allergy testing to determine the culprit food to avoid.
  • Read, Read, Read food labels to be sure you are avoiding products that could contain the culprit trigger proteins.
  • Avoid all home made foods (cakes, cookies,...) that you cannot determine their exact ingredients.
  • Teach your child that although "sharing" is good, in this case, food sharing is NOT good. She cannot accept ANY food/goodies unless approved by mom or dad.
Keep in mind that the cases of food allergies have been on the increase for a number of years now, and your best chance is to be informed and prepared. You may have already found some web sites (there are many) to increase your knowledge and awareness, but here's a few that I recommend:



Food Allergy Education Network



Food allergy Definition - Diseases and Conditions - Mayo Clinic



Wishing you and your family good health. As a side note, my oldest had a hives reaction when she was around 2 years old, but never had another one. You can just never tell what the body's immune system will do at a subsequent exposure.



Best Wishes! :wayhappy:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the support everyone, lots of relevant info there Rellalou. I have been trying really hard to remember to read food labels as the things that stick out that she had were peanuts, shrimp, and kiwi. I have been training her to ask about the epipen before she goes anywhere because her grandparents who watch her while the wife and I work seem to be blowing it off and not concerned. Pretty much irritated me when I went to pick her up and found them at a restaurant ( they rarely eat at home) and the epipen still at home. Tells me that they left it at home for at least 2 days (5 outings). And to top it off grandma is a nurse!
 

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Thanks for the support everyone, lots of relevant info there Rellalou. I have been trying really hard to remember to read food labels as the things that stick out that she had were peanuts, shrimp, and kiwi. I have been training her to ask about the epipen before she goes anywhere because her grandparents who watch her while the wife and I work seem to be blowing it off and not concerned. Pretty much irritated me when I went to pick her up and found them at a restaurant ( they rarely eat at home) and the epipen still at home. Tells me that they left it at home for at least 2 days (5 outings). And to top it off grandma is a nurse!
So sorry the grandparents aren't taking this seriously... It certainly needs to be a #1 priority when she's with them especially if they eat out a lot.

Well, there are no guarantees with it, or without it. Who knows, maybe she'll never have another episode but it always pays to be prepared. Just have her get used to traveling with a small pack (which contains her EpiPen- you can put it in a large manilla type clasp envelope to discourage her from thinking it's a toy) so it's always available.

And remember, she is too little to be responsible for any of this. If she can remember her backpack when she leaves the house, that's about all she can be expected to do.

The next thing she needs to learn is to avoid eating anything until a parent or adult clears it for her.

Best of luck!
 
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