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WhyRiskIt, a site for youth living with Anaphylaxis

Reaction Registry

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Peanut 

 

Age: 8
Allergen: Peanut
Symptoms: Swollen tongue and throat
Where: School

What’s the Story?
I was in my classroom, I had just returned from recess when my classmate offered me and my best friend some cookies. I honestly assumed that the cream inside was chocolate, but it turned out to be PEANUT BUTTER. As soon as that cookie went in my mouth, my tongue had swollen up and I immediately asked the teacher if I could go to the principal’s office, and when I was at the principal’s office, my throat was starting to swell up too. Having to rush to the emergency room was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me, and I never ever want to go through something like that ever again!

How could this have been prevented?
I shouldn't have taken the cookie from my classmate in the first place, knowing about my allergy, or I should've at least asked her. Nowadays I completely avoid sweets UNLESS they say they are made in a peanut free facility. Just always read the labels!
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Age: 7
Allergen: Peanut
Symptoms: Itchy eyes, runny nose
Where: Church

What’s the Story?

I once did a choir performance at my church where there were also food booths present for a bake sale. During the performance, I remember that my nose kept running and my eyes were really itchy. When the performance was finally finished, I alerted my mom to my symptoms and that I smelt peanut butter. She assured me that there were no peanut products around. However, later on she bought me a cookie with a face on it that was made with peanut-free candy coated chocolates. Turns out that that the candy coated chocolates were not peanut-free. Later on I found I was having difficulty breathing so my parents ended up taking me to the hospital. 

 

How could this have been prevented?
This whole situation could have been prevented if I did not eat the cookie. I should have been more specific when asking about its ingredients. I am really lucky because this reaction was not too severe and it occurred over a long period of time. I wish I had dealt with the symptoms sooner. In the future, I will remember to trust my gut—if I sense that an allergen is in my surrounding environment, I will try to manage it in a more effective way.  

____________________________________

Age: 9
Allergen: Peanut
Symptoms: Nausa, itchy tongue, upset stomach, throwing up
Where: Friend's house

What’s the Story?
My friend had me over at his cottage and offered me a peanut butter cookie, but I didn't realize it was peanut butter until I ate it and asked him what kind of cookie it was. He knew I was allergic to nuts, but we were young so I guess he didn't realize it.

How could this have been prevented?
I was young at the time, but I still could have asked what kind of cookie it was before taking a bite. Also, I could have informed my friend about how serious my allergies are, which I now do regularly with all friends.

 ____________________________________
Age: 14
Allergen: Peanut
Symptoms: Hives, swollen face, lips and throat.
Where: Restaurant

What’s the Story?
I went to a restaurant that I used to go to all the time. I have a peanut allergy so I make sure I ask the waiter all the time if they use peanuts in the kitchen or were they are preparing my food. About the fifth time I went there, I thought that I was perfactly fine without asking because I went there all the time, and they always said that peanuts never touched the food I was ordering. I ordered breaded calamari without asking whether there was any risk of peanuts cross-contaminating them. Soon after eating it, my tongue started to feel itchy and it was the start of anaphylactic reaction where I needed to use my epinephrine auto-injector and go to the hospital. Afterwards I asked what was in the dish and they told me that it was fried in peanut oil.

How could this have been prevented?
This reaction could have been prevented if I had just asked about the ingredients and risk of cross contamination. Even though I had been to this restaurant many times before, it is important to ask about your allergen at every visit.
________________________________________________________________________

Age:
13
Allergen: Peanut
Symptoms: Swollen tongue, lips and throat.
Where: Home

What’s the Story?
My grandparent's gave me a bag of unmarked bulk chocolate candies and told me that they were okay for me to eat. I found out very soon that these were not the same candies of a leading retail brand, but an imitator that had different ingredients, including peanuts.

How could this have been prevented?
At the time I should have consulted with my parents. My grandparents do their absolute best to keep me safe but are not aware of all the potential food allergy risks with different products.
____________________________________

Age: 7
Allergen: Peanut
Symptoms: Itchy eyes, runny nose
Where: Church

What’s the Story?

I once did a choir performance at my church where there were also food booths present for a bake sale. During the performance, I remember that my nose kept running and my eyes were really itchy. When the performance was finally finished, I alerted my mom to my symptoms and that I smelt peanut butter. She assured me that there were no peanut products around. However, later on she bought me a cookie with a face on it that was made with peanut-free candy coated chocolates. Turns out that that the candy coated chocolates were not peanut-free. Later on I found I was having difficulty breathing so my parents ended up taking me to the hospital.

How could this have been prevented?
This whole situation could have been prevented if I did not eat the cookie. I should have been more specific when asking about its ingredients. I am really lucky because this reaction was not too severe and it occurred over a long period of time. I wish I had dealt with the symptoms sooner. In the future, I will remember to trust my gut—if I sense that an allergen is in my surrounding environment, I will try to manage it in a more effective way.  

____________________________________

Age: 15
Allergen: Peanut
Symptoms: Swollen throat
Where: In a Public Place

What’s the Story?
I love to eat jelly beans so sometimes I buy them from a dispensing machine. This machine didn’t have any ingredients listed on it, but since it didn’t appear to have the peanut butter flavoured jellybeans inside, I thought I should be fine. Right? Well...not really!

I took one from the dispensing machine and ate it. The first thing I noticed was that it didn't really have much of a taste. The other thing I noticed was that I started to have shortness of breath. It cleared up within a few minutes without me having to take anything, but it was still pretty scary.


How could this have been prevented?

I told my Mom and she told me not to eat them anymore. Actually, I probably shouldn't have eaten them in the first place. I should have thrown it out right then and there, but I guess I wanted to see what they tasted like....

My recommendation:  if you have a peanut/tree nut allergy like I do, stay away from any candy in dispensing machines that’s not labeled or says may contain peanuts!

____________________________________

Age: 13
Allergen: Peanut
Symptoms: Tingling face, hives, swollen face/hands
Where: Middle School

What’s the Story?
One day at school I started having a reaction to something that had peanuts in it. I am allergic to tomatoes and red dye # 40. I have never been allergic to peanuts, but started to think that I had developed the allergy once I started to experiencing all of these symptoms. I took an antihistamine and was rushed to the hospital by my mom. Shortly after I was diagnosed with a peanut and tree nut allergy.

How could this have been prevented?
I should have used my EpiPen when I first started feeling my symptoms instead of using an antihistamine.

____________________________________

Age: 29
Allergen: Peanut
Symptoms: Difficulty breathing
Where: Workplace

What’s the Story?
One day at work, someone accidentally ate my yogurt, and trying to be kind about it, they replaced it with a similar one by the same brand. However, this flavour had nuts in it. It wasn't until I peeled off the top and stired the yogurt that I realized the mistake.


How could this have been prevented?
Being assertive and aware of your surroundings is imporpant. Keep your dishes/coffee mugs at your desk, not in the shared areas. If you are leaving your food in a common fridge, be sure to clearly label it, and keep it inside a distinct lunch container or bag.
____________________________________

Age: 6
Allergen: Peanut
Symptoms: Hives, rashe, swollen eyes, lips, and ears
Where: Home

What’s the Story?
I had gone to my Taekwondo Club and after class while at home, my eye started swelling and experienced hives an. My mom took me to the urgent care clinic and they said it was probably just environmental allergies. Over the next day, I developed the swollen lips and ear, and hives around my mouth and welts on my wrists and arms. My mom called 911 and we went to the hospital because we were afraid that I would develop difficulty with my breathing and go into anaphylactic shock. We were there for a very long time because they wanted to make sure that I was okay. They gave me more benadryl and a steroid. It took a week for all the symptoms to go away and for me to feel better. We found out that someone at the club had eaten peanuts and did not wash their hands. I sat on the bench where the person had been and there must have been peanut protein/particles still on the bench and I touched it and then touched my eyes/face/mouth. It was very scary.

How could this have been prevented?
It would be hard to prevent this because I didn't know that someone had eaten peanuts there and that there was still traces of it on the bench. But, if the club had been a nut-safe facility there would have been a lower chance of this happening. This experience highlighted how important it is to wash your hands before eating. 

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