My daughter had her first reaction to peanuts when she was 20 months. (You can read the whole story here). I had eaten peanut butter off a spoon, and she picked up the spoon and touched it to her lips, and her lips swelled immediately. Once her reaction was managed (spending a night in the ER), and we had allergy testing (both blood work and skin testing), we knew that she had a peanut allergy and environmental allergies.
We go to our pediatric allergist yearly, and earlier this year, he did skin testing which showed to be less reactive to peanuts. Because her bloodwork showed certain numbers, and her skin reactions had decreased, my daughter qualified for “the peanut challenge”.
We got to the office at 9am. The challenge literally begins by eating peanut butter on a small cracker.
I can’t begin to tell you how scary this is! However, she ate the cracker and seemed fine.
Since there was no reaction after the first cracker, the test continued with the choice of peanuts or more peanut butter crackers. After choosing peanuts, my daughter ate two and we continued to hang out.
Everything seemed to be going ok, but then my daughter said her mouth was feeling itchy.. and her stomach didn’t feel great. I got the Doctor, who said he would get some Benadryl, as itching was normal. He also got a container out in case she got sick. I also pointed out that I could see a small bump near the side of her mouth, which none of us could tell if it was a hive, but we would keep an eye on it.
My daughter took a dose of Benadryl, and complained she definitely felt nauseous. Sure enough, she was sick to her stomach. The nurse immediately got the Doctor.
Once a reaction to food involves vomiting, you need to administer epinephrine. My daughter was not happy about this, but after the momentary injection, she was fine.
As soon as she had her epinephrine shot, my daughter went back to playing games on the iPad. I could see that her hands were shaky, but she said she felt fine, and after about 15 minutes, it did seem to wear off. (Which is exactly why we ALWAYS carry two Epi-pens – they will last 15 minutes! Should she have needed another dose, and we were not near a Dr or paramedics were not to arrive yet in an emergency, this is key!).
The epinephrine worked great, so after staying a while to monitor my daughter, she took a dose of prednisone, and we headed out.
We were really disappointed, and surprised too, since it seemed like the test would go smoothly. However, my 6-year-old is such a positive little girl, and she didn’t let the test get her down. We are also staying positive since there is still the possibility she will outgrow the allergy.
The tough part is that we had talked about a little “post peanut challenge” bucket list, like going out for ice cream or going to the chocolate factory. The reality is that there are just so many things that my daughter has to avoid because of her allergy, and so many situations that make us anxious. However we have learned to handle it and it is a part of life.
Please feel free to share your experience!
Thanks for posting this. My son has his peanut challenge tomorrow and my hopes are super high.
My nephew has severe peanut allergies. I don’t think he will ever grow out of it and it stinks when has to miss out on the phone.
Peanut allergies seem to be becoming more and more common. I don’t recall there being so many when I was younger. My son’s school is completely nut-free to keep the students safe.
Watching your daughter go through the peanut challenge must have been scary for you! I don’t know much about peanut allergies since no one in my family has nut allergies. I didn’t know you could outgrow it.
I can imagine this would be difficult to go through. My kids don’t have allergies, but I know lots of people who do.
Having a peanut allergy seems to be one of the most common with people. Some out grow it and some don’t. Totally scary and always difficult when going to birthday parties or buffets etc.
Wow, I can only imagine how nervous you were. I do hope your daughter outgrows her allergy. I grew up eating peanuts right out of the garden. My Dad grew them and we always had peanuts in the cupboard.
I hadn’t heard of the peanut challenge,and I’m sorry to hear it didn’t go as planned. An allergy is so scary, I can’t even imagine.
I have a handful of friends with severe peanut allergies. Oddly many of them developed their severe peanut allergies as adults/later in life.
Wow! This would totally make me nervous, but testing in a controlled environment is best. My kids are new to having food allergies and it has changed our world. I’m learning though.
My son was allergic to peanut when he was younger. THe doctor told us to test if he is still allergic by giving him peanut now that he is older, but I am scared.
I have been tested and it costs a fortune, but was so happy that I did because I know what to eat and not eat. It is great that it was a controlled environment and that it was not worse for her.
I had no idea about the peanut challenge but it sounds like an interesting experience. We don’t have any major allergies but I suspect there may be some sensitivities in our family. I plan on getting a few of us tested in the near future.
I have heard a lot about peanut challenges and other food related challenges and most kids seem to tolerate them pretty well! I love that we are able to do this today instead of just having to stay away from your allergens for your entire life. Hopefully it will be something she can eat in time.
I had never heard of this test before. That is insanely scary! I can udnerstand why it must be done though.
I would hate to have to go through that with my child. Bless her poor heart. I’m sure she was scared.
My older daughter out grew her peanut allergy! I will cross my fingers for your daughter that things will go the way she wants them to next time!
My daughter is allergic to mushrooms. It is super tricky when we go out to eat. We have to be very choosy.