Sunday, February 27, 2011

Telltale Signs Your Child Has a Peanut Allergy

When I was growing up, I don't remember peanut allergies being so prevalent.  I have often wondered how you know if your child has a peanut allergy or not.  My pediatrician recommends waiting until at least 2 years old before giving my babies any peanut food.

Telltale Signs Your Child Has a Peanut Allergy
Mother of five, Maureen Gotly earned a degree in social work by taking courses online scheduled around her busy family life

Peanut butter is often considered one of the great all-American children’s foods. Unfortunately, peanuts also account for the majority of severe food related allergies, and these allergies usually develop early in life. If your child has a peanut allergy, or you suspect they might be developing one, peanut butter can take on a whole new, not so positive light.

Fortunately, with Sun Butter, a child developing peanut allergies doesn’t have to give up tasty, easy sandwiches, gooey Check Mix treats, and yummy cookies. If your child has been developing any of the telltale signs of peanut allergy listed below, you should take them to the doctor right away. Then you’ll have to get to work on making them some Sun Butter brownies, to make them feel better.
  • Skin reactions like hives, redness, or swelling: Reactions of the skin are by far the most common sign of peanut allergy, with 89% of sufferers experiencing them. In younger children that can’t verbally complain about an upset stomach, this is the easiest way to tell that your child has developed an allergy.
  • Itching or tingling around the mouth: If your child complains that their mouth feels weird or strange after eating peanuts, don’t ignore it, especially if they have other symptoms like hives and an upset stomach. This seemingly small sign may point to a peanut allergy.
  • Coughing, wheezing, and feeling congested: Respiratory symptoms are the second most common effect of a peanut allergy. In severe cases, this respiratory congestion can constrict the airway, making it difficult to breath, especially for children who also have asthma.
  • Stomach and gastrointestinal pain: About a quarter of peanut allergy sufferers will become sick to their stomach after eating peanuts or being exposed to them. If severe enough, they can also experience vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Tightening of the chest and low blood pressure: In a small number of cases, severe peanut allergies can lead to shortened breathing, heart palpitations, and other cardiovascular issues. Get to a doctor right away if your child is experiencing these symptoms.
What is anaphylactic shock, anyway?
Anaphylactic shock is a full body response to an allergen, and can often be brought on as a result of peanut allergy. In anaphylactic shock, most people experience one or more of the symptoms above, along with a rapid pulse, dizziness, and constriction of the airways. If you suspect your child is experiencing anaphylaxis, you should treat them with an epinephrine pen if you have one, and get them to the emergency room right away.

What if I suspect my child has peanut allergies?
Then a trip to the doctor is in order. The doctor will perform skin and blood tests to check for the allergy. If your child has a peanut allergy or intolerance, there are several ways to be prepared for an allergy attack.
  • Over the counter antihistamines can reduce hives and other minor symptoms.
  • People with severe allergies should carry an epinephrine auto-injector pen. This syringe with a concealed needle can be injected into the thigh during an attack; the single dose of medication inside will quell the life-threatening allergic reactions.
  • Parents can also check out this resource for allergy sufferers, for more information and ideas.

24 comments:

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    'Found your post while looking for SunButter recipes. What wonderfully helpful, accurate information for parents dealing with food allergies. As a SunButter blogger, I appreciate the mention, and as a fellow mom to 3, I so enjoy your perspective! Thanks.

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