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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:29 pm
Posts: 10
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
My daughter was at a friends house yesterday (which she has been many times before) I went to pick her up and then go and pick up my son from daycare. When I got there she said she was itchy. I looked her over and only saw one hive on her back where she was itching. I thought maybe she was touching the cats and that was causing her to react a bit. She had only had a glass of orange juice while she was there.

As we were driving to pick up my sonfrom daycare, she complained about being really itchy. I told her not to scratch and when we get to the daycare to wash her hands and face. When we got there (which was about a 7 minute drive) she had some hives on her face and a few more on her back. In my mind I started thinking do I give the epi or don't I? I remembered the doctor said never to hesitate to give her the needle if I think she is reacting to something. I checked with daycare staff to see if they had any Benedryl and they did not have any in the first aid kit. What I opted to do was to take her right away to the walk in clinic which was around the corner from the daycare. When we got there the doctor that was on was a Doctor which I had worked with in the past. He saw her right away and gave her some Benadryl to stop the reaction and to stay for awhile to make sure she was not getting worse. All the time that this is happening, my heart is pounding but staying calm so my daughter wouldn't get upset.

In about 45 minutes the hives had gone away and the doctor said she was O.K. I still was worried that there might be a delayed reaction so I kept a close eye on her and she is fine. Thank goodness!

This morning I asked the manager of the daycare to see if they could have Benedryl put in the first aid kit. She said she will ask today in case if another child from the daycare or fitness facility has an allergic reaction.

My daughter always has her epi pen on her but now I have also included Benedryl tabs in her fanny pack in case this ever happens again.

I still do not know if it was the cats that she reacted to or if there was a trace of peanuts or nuts that she came into contact with. She said she was not playing with the cats but there was probably cat dander that she came in contact with. I know just a tiny trace of a nut would cause her to react. I don't think I'll ever know but I needed to share this story and I wanted to know if there was anybody else that ever questioned if they should administer the epi or not. The doctor said I did the right thing. I should add that her asthma and her breathing were fine at the time. I think if her asthma started to be a factor or if there was any breathing difficulty I would not have hesitated to give the needle.

Thanks for reading my post and if anybody has any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Sue


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
That's a tough one. It's hard to judge from just a few hives. Do I give the Epipen or not? Should I wait, etc., especially if you don't know what she's been in contact with. If it's just cats, then Benadryl is fine, but one can never be sure. I think going to the clinic and keeping a close eye on her was the right thing to do.

I would add though that a rule of thumb is when in doubt, it is better to err on the side of caution and give the Epipen.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I so empathize with your worry. It's one thing if you know she's ingested or has been around a known food allergen but when you're not sure, as you've mentioned, it's not always so clear and simple. Her breathing was fine, and like you, that would be the big deciding factor for me on whether or not to use epinephrine in the face of so many unknown variables. I think you handled the situation perfectly -- bringing her to a medical facility and having them give her Benedryl and observe her was a great idea. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I also wanted to add that if she has an allergy to cats, she doesn't need to be playing with them to have a reaction. If cats reside in the house, their dander and hair are all over and can affect her. I also read somewhere (not sure where) that those with allergies to cats can be affected for up to 3 months after a cat has been removed from a space. Apparently the dander is that long lasting. My son is extremely allergic to cats and can have an asthmatic response by simply being around someone who lives with cats (dander from clothes etc.).


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:29 pm
Posts: 10
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
Thanks for the support, I really appreciate it. I was speaking with the mother today when I picked up my daughter from school and she told me that the kids were playing and rolling around on the new carpet they had installed the other day right before I picked her up. She thought maybe that could have caused my daughter to have a reaction. I know there are quite a few chemicals in new carpet but I'm still not sure if that is what caused it.

Has anybody ever had a reaction to new carpet?

Sue


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 932
Location: Oakville, Ontario
A woman I used to work with had a pretty significant reaction to new carpet we had installed in the work place. It was not anaphylactic, nor were there hives, however, over a period of the first few weeks after the carpet was installed, her lower legs began to swell, and swell. She did not realise it was the new carpet, and neither did anyone else. It got to the point that her feet were so swollen she couldn't wear her shoes, so she walked around barefoot! So, of course, it got even worse! Finally, it was determined that it was the new carpeting.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, peas, carrots, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
I worked with a woman with strong environmental allergies. She has experienced difficulty breathng and itchy throat etc. No EpiPen though.
I think you did a great job given the situation!
You may never know the true cause of the reaction, it may have been everything coming together in just the right way to trigger a reaction.
All that you can do is become extra vigilant when your daughter is at that friends house and react quickly to any signns and signals.
Carrying Benedryl is a good idea. I would give the EpiPen if more than one system was affected ei skin, gastric or if either airway or cardiac was affected. You won't do harm in giving the EpiPen so...better safe than sorry.
Glad there was a Dr when you needed one.
I hope she's feeling better.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:13 am
Posts: 28
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta
my daughter is supposed to be allergic to cats as well as tree nuts. Personally i have never seen her have a reaction to cats. We found this out at her allergy testing. According to the allergist she was just as allergic to cats as the tree nuts. At the time to of my close friends had cats. One has since gotten rid of hers the other one still has hers. I watch closely but have yet to see any response. I know that this doesn't help trying to figure out what happened but i thought i would tell what i know.

_________________
Daughter Ana to Cashews, Pistachios


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
My sons also have environmental as well as food allergies, and it can be a worry trying to figure out exactly what is causing a reaction sometimes.
I wanted to echo what Susan said about more than one system being involved. We had a great nurse doing a presentation on anaphylaxis at my sons' school, and I asked her to give the teachers guidelines for differentiating between a reaction requiring an epipen and a mild one that you could take a wait and see approach with (my sons have strong reactions to mould, pollens, dust and animals and I didn't want them getting stuck with an epipen every second day...or have the teachers hesitating if my sons needed emergency treatment!). She said if more than one system is involved give the epipen immediately, e.i. vomiting and hives, or breathing difficulty and hives.
If it is only hives, or hay fever like symptoms then it's OK to wait and see. I did add to her criteria that if there was a strong suspicion that they'd come into contact with their food allergens, any facial swelling or severe breathing difficulties that I wanted them to give the epipen immediately without waiting to see if the other systems would kick in too, and of course, if in doubt GIVE THE EPIPEN!!!
I think the choice you made to take your daughter to the clinic for observation was very smart.
About the carpet, myself and one of my sons react to the chemicals in new carpet. The symptoms for us are more flu like (nausea, diarrhea) along with hay fever like symptoms and my son's eczema goes ballistic, but no hives for us.
However my sister will have a strong reaction to just being around someone who has come from an environment where there is a cat, including hives!
I don't know if that helps or not.

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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 Post subject: Cats or peanut reaction
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:46 am
Posts: 60
We went through something similar this summer. We were visiting friends on vacation and my child played with the cat. We were not sure whether the reaction was to cats or his peanut allergy because he had never been exposed to cats before.
After the incident, when we got home, we went to see our allergy specialist and sure enough, our child had a cat allergy. It was scary that it manifested itself in the same manor as his peanut allergy. I think that is why I was surprised by it! and yet, his allergy to cats is not severe according to the allergy testing but if you had have been in our car, you would have thought it was severe by his breathing, rashes and swellings.


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