Thursday, November 13, 2008

A sesame allergy?

That was no fun. River just had his first allergic reaction. He was eating his dinner of seared tuna with sesame seeds and a tangerine and all seemed to be fine.

Our babysitter, Grace, then came to me and said he was itching himself. I went to him and his face was red and blotchy. He remained in a good mood, playing with a plastic cup, but periodically rubbed his eyes.

I called the pediatrician’s to be on the safe side. The nurse on duty said it was an allergic reaction and that I should go get some children’s benadryl as soon as possible to stop the reaction. She said we could try the food again when he’s a bit older to see if he’s grown out of it.

So I rode my bike to the local drugstore and got the medicine. I just thought how lucky it was that I happened to be at home. Our babysitter doesn’t know the pediatrician’s number and I’m not so good about carrying my cell phone with me. We’ve gotten lax since we haven’t had any problems. Even if she could call the pediatrician, I’m not sure she could describe what happened or understand the instructions well in English. So one benefit of this incident is that I’ll be more careful about having contact information easily available and my cell phone on hand.

I’m thinking it must have been the sesame seeds. He’s eaten various types of fish before. We’ve even given him raw tuna from our sushi. He spit it out, but it touched it tongue at least 2-3 times with no reaction. It was his first tangerine, but he’s been eating clementines like a madman, up to three per meal. While he’s had some other nuts, like pine nuts, walnuts and almonds, I don’t think he’s had sesame seeds before. The nurse said that neither tuna nor sesame seeds are common allergens. Though now that I’ve googled it, I see that sesame seeds may be a quite common allergen, the 9th most common worldwide according to this site.

I must admit I’m kind of bummed. He eats such a wide range of food, including some things that are pretty sophisticated for a baby (seared tuna with sesame seeds might be one example!) that I thought we were already pretty much past the potential allergy stage. I was hoping the allergy boat would pass us by. I really don’t want to be a parent who hovers over their child trying to protect them from an element in the world.

Assuming the benadryl does its job and he recovers without problem, this probably won’t change our habits too much. I won’t go out of the way to feed him tuna or tangerines. But if the opportunity presents itself and I have benadryl handy, I probably will give him a bite so that we can definitely narrow it down to sesame seeds.

Assuming it is sesame seeds, I guess we’ll hold off on those for a while (luckily, we don’t use them all that much) and try to reintroduce them again when he’s a bit older.


Lainey Wright said...

awww, that sucks! -M had a zillion food allergies as a child (dairy, soy, peanuts, you-name-it), so I am paranoid my baby will also have problems. I am hoping my hardy eat-anything genes will over-ride. I hope River's allergy is a one-off affair and not a portend of things to come....

altoids said...

Check out forum. There is a new book out "The History of the Peanut Allergy Epidemic" by Heather Fraser. It relates to sesame allergy because it has the same cause. Sesame oil is used in vaccinations. Since it is highly refined it is GRAS - generally recognized as safe - and does not have to be listed as an ingredient on the package insert. And it is a protected trade secret so neither the government nor vaccine manufacturers will tell you that it is in the vaccines. Vaccines are causing all these food epidemics. I'm 58, I only had 3 vaccines as a kid. Now kids get 30 vaccines before kindergarten and 30 more before age 12. I don't remember anyone in my grade school class who had food allergies. Now it is 1 in 17 for children under the age of three.