My wife and I are always very careful about our children’s’ food allergies, and we are especially diligent about warning others who are watching them or may in any way be exposing them to foods. This past Saturday, we learned that no matter how careful you are about outside of the home food allergy risks, we must not keep our guards down in our own homes too.
To make a long story short…our 6 year old thought he was taking a sip of regular iced coffee, but the one he drank was made with almond milk. According to his numbers, he is highly allergic to almonds.
Now the fun part…waiting….
Tweet: What happens between the exposure and the reaction?
Interestingly, we weren’t sure what to do. As food allergy parents, we read so much about the importance of prevention and what to do when there’s a reaction, including the need for a food allergy plan…but this was unfamiliar territory for us. What is protocol after a food allergen is ingested but before there is any sign of a reaction? Furthermore, knowing the potential window for a food allergy reaction is 4 hours, could we let our son go to bed before the 4 hours were up (the whole saga began around 6pm)?
In the end, we gave our son Benadryl, monitored him closely for 2 hours, and after no sign of any reaction at all, put him to bed at his normal bed time. We then checked on him every ten minutes or so for another 2 hours to make sure he looked good.
Thankfully, we dodged a bullet.
But the question remains…what is food allergy protocol in such a situation? What steps should food allergy parents take after a food allergen is ingested but before there is any sign of a food allergy reaction? I plan on posing this question to a food allergist and sharing her response in a coming blog post.
But in the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts…