Jonah has a peanut allergy

May 8, 2009

On Wednesday, Jonah and I attended a library story time. It was the final one of the season, so the teacher brought in cookies for the group. Jonah picked a cookie that I assumed was chocolate chip. Turns out it was peanut butter and chocolate chip.

It was a horrible experience for all involved — but mostly for poor Jonah. He had hives covering his body and inside his mouth, was drooling and coughing and was completely scarlet. Luckily, after some steroids and Benadryl at the hospital, he recovered within a few hours.

It struck me as so odd. (You can read more about what happened on my personal blog: http://www.accidentalparent.wordpress.com. I’ll be posting this afternoon.) Though our pediatrician advised against giving him peanut butter until he was two because of a very, very mild case of hives at 9 months, he’s had granola bars with peanuts in them with no problem. He’s even eaten foods cooked in peanut oil.

So now we’re left wondering how exactly to keep him safe. Research shows that the more a child with an allergy is exposed to the allergen, the more severe the reaction will be. So do we cut out all products that were produced in a facility alongside peanuts — even if he’s eaten them without problems previously? Or do we just avoid peanuts and hope that his allergy doesn’t worsen because of an occasional exposure?

We’ll be figuring all of those things out over the next few weeks, I’m certain. Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern. We’re doing fine. Jonah is totally back to normal — in fact, he spent yesterday afternoon digging with great glee in his friend Alexandria’s sandbox. 🙂

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