I'm a mom. And I know my kid.
With so much information available, parents are left to wonder about the cause of a child's peanut allergy. Are they born with it? Does something in the environment cause it?
I have found a way for parents to be able to find an answer.
My discovery was a fluke! I think sharing it could help prevent this terrifying allergy from occurring in more children.
When I was pregnant I read alot of material that made me cautious of vaccine contents. I decided that I would monitor every vaccination that my son had so that I would be certain if he had a reaction or not.
Because he was strictly in my care and nursing, I felt comfortable modifying his vaccine schedule closer to the one I had as baby in 1977. My son's vaccination history:
DPT - 4, 6, 8 months -- no noticeable reactions
Polio - One year -- allergic reaction to peanuts
MMR - 18 months -- no noticable reactions
Hib - 2 years (one dose only) -- no noticable reactions
Mennococcal - 2 1/2 (one dose only) -- no noticable reactions
The peanut allergy discovery:
About 3 weeks before his 1st birthday, I placed a tiny bit of peanut butter on my son's lip from the sandwich I was eating. He didn't really lick it or do much with it. It just sat on his skin. After about a minute I wiped it away. Everything was normal and fine.
Around his 1st birthday, he had the polio vaccine at his appointment. It was the only shot he had. I do not think he was given Tylenol with the shot but I cannot recall. About 2 weeks later, again I was eating a peanut butter sandwich. I put a small amount to his lips. In seconds, his lip became swollen and red! Luckily he had not even had time to ingest it and I was able to wipe it away quickly.
This made me very concerned and curious. So, I placed a pea-sized circle on his thigh to test his skin in another area, and a swollen red ring the size of a nickel appeared in less than a minute. It was an unmistakable!
The shot was the only change to his system between the two times I had tried the peanut butter. So I deeply believe that is what caused the reaction. I have given consideration to the fact that was nursing at the time. But he never seemed to have any noticable stomach discomfort or allergic reaction to my milk after I ate peanut butter sandwiches or any nuts before or after this incident.
I kept all nuts and the polio shot away from him and about 5 months later, I tested his skin. No reaction. I can only presume that the cause of the allergy had been removed from his system. He's three and still has no reaction to peanuts but doesn't seem to like to eat them anyway.
While I personally found a link to the polio shot and my son's allergic reaction to peanut butter, another parent may find a different cause for their child. The point is -- we must be looking!
I'm making an effort to share this story with other parents. This skin test on the leg with peanut butter can be easily done to any baby at any age. This way a parent can monitor whether or not something (vaccine or food) has altered their child's physiology. It's important to remember, if your child has had the Hep B vaccine at birth his/her physiology may already be affected by something in the external environment. But the sooner you can know about peanut allergy, the better.
I believe moms are giving up their power to fully understand and prevent these issues. We've become a society of mothers forced to make room for what may be preventable problems. I have decided to take my chances on the risk of polio over the risk of an allergic reaction to peanuts. Moms need to find a way to make peanuts no longer lethal to our children. No one else is stepping up to the plate.
Please contact me if any of you try this skin test over the course of your baby's life. I'm very curious if others will see similar results.
Heather blogs about Motherhood & Other Offensive Situations at http://www.ultimateoutcasts.com.