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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
On Thursday, my 8 year old (ana to peanuts) went into hives after wearing a gym pinney (the colored bid-like things things you wear over clothes to tell one team from the other). The school called me about 3 hours after the reaction to see if they should give him benedryl. I went over (I work close by) and by then most of the hives had gone away, but he was really wheezy so I took him home after giving him the anti-histimine. He was fine, but the incident has made me very scared again.

He has had three incidents of anaphylaxis in his life, he just got a blood test that said he had an IgE level of 18, and the size of the wheal from the skin prick test was 8mm. Do you think he would react so severely to just skin contact with an undetectable amount of peanut through his clothes? It was just his arms and torso that reacted, although his face seemed slightly blotchy, so I don't think he got it in his eyes or nose or mouth.

Is there a way of telling if he has had an exposure?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
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Location: saskatchewan, canada
So sorry to hear that Pam. Very upsetting that the school did not act, or phone you right away. Both my daughters have skin contact reactions, they can be extremely itchy and without immediate antihistamines my daughters would scratch their skin until it would bleed, thus creating an entrance for the protien on her skin. My oldest has had a reaction to a toy phone, and a kiss from MIL and I give her benadyll right away, so it did not develop past a hew hives. My youngest has had numerous contact reactions to gym equiptment, library books, toys, MIL kisses, playdoh, shopping cart, I always give an antihistamine right away, and WASH off the area that has come in contact.

My youngest daughter would definitely react to an undetectable amount of milk protein like your son did. My oldest has not had many contact reactions with peanut, but I remember the "toy phone" incident quite well and she would probably react the same way too...even without any ingestion.

It is hard when even though you have taught the teachers and done your best to educate them on allergies...they would let him go 3 hours without treating the reaction.

Once again, really sorry to hear that you had a recent bad experience.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Those things go on over the head right? So it is possible that he got a bit of protien on his face or rubbed his eyes with hands that had touched it.
Scary how easy it is to react.
Did you say they waited 3 hours before contacting you? I find this scary. Regardless of the severity, I would want to be notified immediately.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
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Location: Canada
I would definitely chalk that up to a contact reaction, and wouldn't rule out ingestion---I'm shocked too that the school didn't call you *right away*. Would your allergist say that this should have been a 9-1-1 call?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
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Location: Toronto
[quote="Pamela Lee"] Do you think he would react so severely to just skin contact with an undetectable amount of peanut through his clothes? [quote]

The kids are running around and sweating in them. Your son would have been running around and sweating when he was wearing it too. I have had serious skin reactions from my husband's sweat. He used to sweat very heavily in his sleep, and then I would absorb the sweat from the sheets through my skin. Like someone else mentioned, I would scratch so much that I would tear open the skin. (I did this in my sleep, because at the time I was taking benedryl daily and I was in a very deep sleep.)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
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I'm not discounting that this was a reaction to peanut protein....but I thought I'd mention the possibility that he might have had a reaction to something else. I don't know if your son has environmental allergies or allergies to pets but my son reacts to cats, dogs, dust with wheezing and hives. Perhaps the pinney was full of pet hair etc. from one of the other children?? Just a thought. I can remember wearing those pinnies as a child/adolescent and how dirty they were -- who knows when the last time a teacher took them home for washing....or even if they've ever been washed!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
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Location: Oakville, Ontario
Hi Pam, I'm sorry to hear about your son's reaction - it's very scary that he could react in this way, and also that the school waited 3 hours to call you. I'm sure there are probably many schools and daycares that would wait too long, but it's still very scary that this kind of thing can happen.

I'm just curious, did your son start to consider reaching for his Epipen or Benadryl? Was he scared, or just a little uncomfortable? I'm just curious about how a child of 8 is feeling when they begin to react, and if they are questioning themselves about what they should do?

When my son was about 2 years old, he came into contact with one of his allergens (I suspect it was peanut, but can't be sure) at one of my nephews birthday parties. He did not eat any of the food at the party as we had brought his food, but somehow he came in contact with an allergen. For 2 full weeks following the party, he reacted with hives that would come and go for no apparent reason. On the first day, he had huge welt-like hives all over his upper body. We were dosing him with Benadryl everyday. We really thought he was reacting to something new - maybe wheat, so we started removing foods from his diet, but he continued with the hives. Then finally, at the end of 2 weeks, he just stopped reacting with hives and he was right back to normal. I think if we had taken him to the hospital and he'd received a dose of Prednazone (spelling?) that would have been a better approach, but we didn't know about Prednazone at the time.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:28 pm 
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Location: Ontario
Considering the school took so long to call you, who's to say they really know when the reaction started to take place ie: maybe it had nothing to do with wearing the pinney. Not a great thought (I know) but just something that crossed my mind. Was lunch or snack time around the same time?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 1:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
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Location: Vancouver, BC
Thanks for all your good ideas and all the support :D ..it's really nice to be able to come to the forum and know that I will connect with people who understand and live with this everyday,too...it is so difficult for other people who are not living with this to understand.

Aaron is pretty good about kowing how to deal with his allergies, as far as knowing how to check labels, not to eat things he shouldn't, and what is safe for him. But I would never trust him to make good decisions. He is really scared of the Epipen, but he is also really scared of reacting, so I hope he would do the right thing, but I would not be surprised if he waited rather than tell someone. He did that 2 years ago - he shared a peanut butter granola bar with a friend, realized he was having a reaction, but waited longer 'cos he was scared to get the Epipen. It all turned out well in the end, in fact, although it was terrifying for me and his Dad, it really taught him a lot about his allergy and responsibility. Before that he was really cocky and defiant, he thought I was out to spoil his fun. Ever since that reaction he has never once forgotten his Epipen or been irresponsible about his allergies. It took him a long time to get his anxiety under control (about 18 months), but he has, and I feel much better about his safety.

It is really hard for the staff at schools/other family members who don't live it/well-meaning friends to understand allergies, as you all know. The day after he reacted with hives, 2 of the public health nurses and I gave a hour and a half talk about anaphylaxis. The nurses went into a lot of detail about what was happening inside the body when someone is reacting. I think this makes a big difference. It is sort of "magical" thinking to say...don't feed him peanuts, he will die. The people have spent their whole lives thinking about peanuts/nuts/milk/etc as delicious and nuitritious, their heads do not get it when you say "it is poison to my kid". Once they know the whole body mechanisms that were taking place, you could see them rethinking it. It turned out in a group of about 13 people, 2 who were living with kids with ana were dangerously uninformed.

I am thinking that we should be snding messages to Health Canada and well as the schools that they are not doing an adequate job of helping people with anaphylaxis. Most of the people I know who take it seriously did not get the info from the health care system, but on their own, and the ones I see who are not doing enough to protect themselves/their kids have relied on info. from doctors and have not taken the time to find out more.

what do you think? I would like feedback...Pam


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 6:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Pamela Lee wrote:
I am thinking that we should be snding messages to Health Canada and well as the schools that they are not doing an adequate job of helping people with anaphylaxis. Most of the people I know who take it seriously did not get the info from the health care system, but on their own, and the ones I see who are not doing enough to protect themselves/their kids have relied on info. from doctors and have not taken the time to find out more.

what do you think? I would like feedback...Pam


I totally agree. I think it would also help if the Canadian government contributed money to have some Public Service Announcements done. The PSAs could be shown on children's TV channels and other channels. People just don't know enough about allergies. I think it's a good way to spread the word. The PSAs could mention a website that people could access for more information about allergies.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:41 am 
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Location: Canada
Pamela Lee wrote:
The day after he reacted with hives, 2 of the public health nurses and I gave a hour and a half talk about anaphylaxis. The nurses went into a lot of detail about what was happening inside the body when someone is reacting. I think this makes a big difference.


I think all schools should have an anaphylaxis talk like this. It's so important for kids' peers to be supportive, and they can't very well be supportive if they don't understand. Also, I'm sure that kids who are allergic would feel a lot safer (and actually be safer) if they know that people are looking out for them as opposed to rolling their eyes about seemingly bizarre health claims.


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