Anaphylaxis


What is it? It’s pretty serious.

My oldest son (5) has this type of reaction to egg. We discovered this when he wasn’t even a year old yet and his mom gave him some egg. Fortunately, she called an ambulance and they got there fast enough. We’ve had him tested yearly since and so far it’s shown no sign of lessening.

It has meant changing what we have in the house and the types of food we eat. It also means making people who are going to be watching him aware of the seriousness of the issue because he’s too young to know when egg is in something – ask yourself that next time you pick up something to eat, do you know if there is egg in it or not? Some things he knows about for sure, other things he has to ask about. He has to rely heavily on adults and they have to take it seriously.

Even with all our diligence he’s come into contact with egg once at home, once a party and once at his first daycare. The incident at home happened to be a cloth that was used to wipe up egg was later used to wipe his face. His eye was swollen shut for a day. The birthday party (the hostess is a moron) had treats out on the table and amongt the was a bowl of mayonnaise. Does that make sense to anyone else? Somehow he got in contact with it – go figure, put it in with the goodies and you’ve got a bunch of kids toddling about. Again, his face swelled up. The time at his sitter, he actually ate some bread with mayonnaise on it – apparently only a little. He swelled up, she gave him Benedryl and called the ambulance. They checked on him when they got there and said he was okay but to keep an eye on him.

Lately he’s becoming more aware – that happens with age – of the fact that he’s missing out on some foods. This past Christmas he was in his Kindergarten class party and there was a bunch of cookies, brownies and other baked goods for the kids. Most of them were decorated and looked really nice. None of them had ingredients marked anywhere so we had to assume there was egg in them. This meant he could eat any of those delicious looking treats (he was limited to things we brought) and he got upset but he didn’t touch the other treats.

I don’t expect people to avoid bringing treats in and I don’t expect them to avoid bringing food in that contains egg – there is just too much food that contains egg. It’s just really hard on him to see his friends with all these things he can’t have.

One of my fears is that someone is going to give him something, saying it is safe and not look. That happened yesterday – he’s fine – and how it was handled was all sorts of wrong.

First of all, there was a substitute teacher. She asked if there were any peanut allergies in the class. She was told no, but there was an egg allergy. One of the kids had a birthday that day and his mom sent in chocolate bars. Normally, they send in cake or cupcakes and we have some eggless cupcakes at the school in a freezer for these sorts of occassions. But this mother sent chocolate bars – I’m not going to question that or belittle that, maybe her son really likely chocolate bars and she figured she send some for everyone.

Here are the ingredients:

INGREDIENTS: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Milk Ingredients, Cocoa Butter. Cocoa Mass, Hydrogenated Palm and Palm Kernel Oil, Lactose, Malted Milk Powder (Malted Barley, Milk Ingredients, Sodium Bicarbonate, Salt), Palm Oil, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Dried Egg-White, Artificial Flavor

So the sub didn’t read the ingredients even though she knew there was an allergy. Apparently he reacts differently to Dried Egg-White. Instead of inflating and having his throat swell shut, he threw up, a couple of times.

The school called me at work and left a message. The called my wife at work and left her a message. They didn’t call at home, where I actually was. I only found out about it because my work wife saw a message on my phone from the Catholic School Board and IMed me saying as much. I called them and discovered all of the above an hour after it all happened.

What has me frustrated was the sub asking me, “Should I give him his epy-pen?”

This just annoys the heck out of me because they’re all supposed to be trained to handle this. They also have regular “Personal Development Days”. Oh, and they are no longer required to have a nurse on staff.

I’m going to drop him off today and I’m going to be talking with the teacher and Principal as well. I’m not looking to blame anyone, I’m just looking to raise awareness and ensure their training is refreshed.

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5 thoughts on “Anaphylaxis

  1. Absolutely. You’d be doing a damn sight more than having a nice chat if things hadn’t gone relatively well. Educators should know better — and if they don’t, they should be trained to know better. (Which opens up the whole education funding can of worms so we won’t go there.)

  2. Honestly, the teacher should leave behind notes about stuff like this. I mean I’m sure notes about what they’re supposed to do for the day are left behind, does it really take too much extra time to note, und keine eier (and no eggs)?

  3. That’s the sad part about all this, she did leave notes behind specifying that. The sub was also verbally made aware there was an egg allergy.

    I guess she looked at the bag of Mars bars and saw it was peanut free and assumed it was allergy friendly instead of reading the ingredients.

    His actual teacher was there, I made a point of mentioning that they didn’t call home – with something this important, you’d think they’d call every number they have.

    We’re going to end up contacting the Principal and suggesting they send out of the information about food allergies again, especially to substitute teachers.

    Part of me is hoping that reaction he had is a sign of him growing out of the allergy, which does happen, but we’ve had him tested really recently and the doctor said no change at all.

  4. Do they still do Medical alert bracelets? Maybe that’s something we as parents should start doing again so that when the teachers (either regular or sub) are in the classroom, if they see a kid with an MA bracelet on, they’ll know to read it and be careful.

  5. Yup they do and he has one. He’s had one for a couple of years. I believe it is up to the parents to get one, but I vaguely remember it being recommended.

    I’m not sure how much clearer it could be since she was actually told there was a child with an egg allergy in the class. I’m not totally blaming the sub, but ultimately, she was the responsible adult there and it was mishandled pretty badly. We’re lucky that it wasn’t more severe than it was.

    I’m not overly religious, but things like that get me seriously wondering. So much happened by chance that day (Wednesday) really does make me wonder.

    We talked with the Big Little Ogre and reminded him how important it is that he asks a grown up if there is egg in something before eating it. That sort of thing is hard for a kid when they see something yummy in front of them or it’s something they think they’re safe with. He’s had chocolate bars before from Halloween he just didn’t know some have egg in it… but then, how many readers knew that?

    I just can’t imagine losing my little buddy and it’s rough knowing the possibility is higher than normal.

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