Peanut: allergic reaction when in close proximity

Hello! I'm new here seeking support from others who live with a peanut allergy and and understand the constant struggle. Well, my daughter is 10. Allergic to peanut,  tree nuts, seeds, lentils, trees, pollens, watermelon, has asthma, laryngeal reflux disease, obstructive sleep apnea, has had tonsils/ adenoids removed, has had 3 years of allergy shots. 

To put it briefly, she was sick for a year straight, constant pain. Reactions, and asthma flares despite seeing her regular asrhma/ allergy dr. This doctor is well known and respected. I've always trusted in him until NOW.

My daughter seems to have allergic reactions when within close proximity to peanut butter or peanut butter products coated with peanut butter like peanut butter cereal. So, I always take great care to keep it away from her, never to be close to her body. She sits in the lunch room where other kids eat it but she sits at a peanut table so it's not right next to her. 

Well, 2 days ago, after school, she told me she was itchy all over. I checked her to find she was having some sort of allergic reaction. She told me a girl in school, the next chair over ate her peanut butter cereal on purpose after asking my daughter if she was allergic. So sad to think your child was bullied based on her medical issue. She began to become itchy. That night I gave her benadryl and waited. The next day it got worse so I brought her to her allergist to get checked. He practically laughed at me and told me repeatedly that peanut cannot go airborne. I feel dumb despite the fact that I know I'm right. I feel as if he has become lazy and narrow minded operating primarily on studies. It has been suggested to me that he's not controlling her issues as well as it out to be. I feel sad that her own allergist would dismiss the fact that she continues to have reactions when peanut butter is present and blames it on viruses. I know my daughter has reactions when being in close proximity to peanut butter whether the smell of it is the cause.

Anyone else experience this? Now I must find a new allergist who actually cares to find out what's going on to prevent my girl from reacting like this again. I feel tired and lost

Thank you,



Comments 12

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, C! Welcome, and I understand how frustrated and worried you are! It's not acceptable to be bullied about food allergies! How's your daughter now?

    Kids With Food Allergies has a great blog about how . Have you been able to speak with the school?

    I'd also like to invite you to join AAFA's . It's run by the same foundation that manages this community as well, and it's a great place to find help in managing food allergies.

  • Shea

    Wow—- I cant believe the allergist would say that!!!! I thought it was a well-known fact that people can react to peanut allergen that is airborne! Ugh… I am really sorry you have to deal with that, and I am glad you are leaving his practice. Once you find a new allergist and feel comfortable and supported again, you can always write a complaint letter of some sort to or about his practice– it just seems like dangerous bad advice and info that he gave as well as ignoring a report of symptoms. 

    Also, food allergy bullying us a difficult situation in itself! You really needed his support during that time! Regardless of him, schools need to do something to make sure that doesnt happen again– I dont know WHY it happens– but I have heard of kids doing this behavior at schools snd it needs to be addressed and nipped in the butt ASAP too! That is scary!

    Both my son and I have allergy to peanut, along with other things. Mine started when I was 16 and I actually worked at a Codys Roadhouse that served nuts in buckets that you throw on the floor. At first, my allergy was only ingestion. Then it got worse and even if I touched the peanuts to put into buckets Id break out in rash. I wuit the job shortly after that. I never had an allergist when young so didnt know a thing besides that I wanted to avoid these reactions. I don't feel safe going in a restaurant like that anymore, and I ask that people dont eat nuts at a table with my son and I. We both have allergists, carry epipens/benadry/allergy-action plans (well I carry them everywhere for us for now or give them to a caretaker and go over the action plan), and are careful about checking ingredients and having safe foods with. 

    For school, I went a different route than many because I am currently on disability and able to be home with my son. We actually use a virtual public school in Florida, called Connections Academy, where I am the designated "learning coach" and they send all materials to us and we participate online (2 livelessons a week and one teacher phone call a month) and we do lessons that are made up of curriculum that is both virtual (videos, educational app-like interactive programs, etc) and physical (real books, workbooks, hands on clay/art/paint/ math kits, etc). Then we have a honeschool co-op in our area that is actually allergy-aware and a dedicated peanut-free campus (must have been started by a food allergy mom) so we attend classes at it weekly as well. My son is 7 now. He loves both programs and I do too. 

    I can also vouch that not all allergists are created equal and, I know it is tough, but keep searching, and I do find it helpful to print out an allergy action plan blank and one tgat you make notes on to bring to your first appointment, along with hard copues of any test results from previous allergist.

    Stay strong, you are doing the right thing!


  • K8sMom2002
    Cccc posted:

    He practically laughed at me and told me repeatedly that peanut cannot go airborne. I feel dumb despite the fact that I know I'm right.

    It sounds like you've kept a log of issues that your kiddo has had — good for you! One other thing to remember is that "ingestion" is not necessarily eating something.

    Some people's tolerances to the foods they are allergic to are very low. A trace of peanut butter or peanut powder on a desk or table or chair that is then transferred to a person's eyes, nose or mouth can trigger a reaction in some people. That has happened at least twice to my own daughter.

    Other members of Kids With Food Allergies have talked about airborne reactions — it is rare. It's more common in seafood, or when things are cooked on top of the stove and it is aerosolized. You're smart to keep an eye out.

    Also, I would want a good allergist who would work with me to figure out my daughter's asthma and allergy action plans. 

    To find an allergist near you, you can use the following two links:

    You could also reach out to your insurance company and ask for suggestions.

  • Shea

    There are a lot of cases of airborne allergies in this article: 

    I have severe animal dander allergies– even the amounts carried on others clothing can give me reactions– asthma attacks, contact hives, increased allergic blood cells called eosinophils which cause a worsening of my rare chronic allergic disease called churg-strauss syndrome. It can be tough for me, but I really do avoid being in close proximity to people I know own cats or dogs and I dont entertain people in my home unless I know they dont own cats or dogs because of how dander can spread into homes even of non-pet owners. I know dander is different than peanut in its size and properties but still, I have heard of people reacting in places like roadhouses where peanut dust is around in the air and on everything so I wouldnt risk it personally and I think peanut-free tables/areas in schools are a good solution to reduce a life-threatening risk. (Along with watching kids and making sure policies are being followed– no food sharing and no bullying).

    Also people are individuals and have different levels of sensitivities. My peanut allergy is way worse now than when it started. It is baaaaad anaphlaxis now… Last time I accidentally ingested I barely had time to use both epipens snd ambulance cane– almost needed to be intubated– never been more scared in my life, worse experience of my life. Multipke breathing treatments in the ER, along with prednisone benadryl and the epipens that got me there– all to one bite of chicken with some type of sauce that had peanut in it. Allergies are nothing to mess with. 


  • Cccc

    I'm so sorry that happened to you and your hardships. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Peanut dust is what I was thinking. My daughter has had hospital trips and I know how terrifying it is. Lots of luck. Stay safe.


  • Cccc

    I'm not sure how to respond to everyone individually. Sorry. Thank you for all the really good information and resources. She's feeling better today but I'm scared to send her to school sometimes. I've thought about homeschooling her. 

  • Melissa G

    Welcome to AAFA, CCCC! 

    You are responding perfectly to everyone. 

    Cynthia and Shea have already given you great resources and support. I just want to give you hugs and say I am truly sorry this has happened to your daughter. 

    We are also a homeschooling family. I purchase our own curriculum, we have been homeschooling for 15 years. 

    Do you have a 

  • LK

    Welcome CCCC!!    

    I am sorry you and your daughter are having to deal with all this.

    I don't have food allergies but I do have severe asthma.  One of my many triggers is strong scents.  I can detect smells that most people either don't smell or ignore and those tiny scents can easily trigger an asthma attack for me, so I understand what you and your daughter are going through.  I admit before I had asthma I probably didn't notice as many scents as I do now.   

    When I was getting new glasses last year, the worker was spraying the eyeglass cleaner on my glasses and I told her that smell and mist in the air would trigger my asthma.  I put on my mask.  She said "Oh, it doesn't smell that strongly".    I told her that it affected my lungs because they are very sensitive.  She acted like if it didn't bother her then it shouldn't bother me.   Makes a body just want to sit those folks down and say "Listen up.  It doesn't matter what you think of how my body should react.  My body reacts how it's going to react regardless and I have to take whatever precautions I need to in order to keep breathing stay alive."

    Sorry to go on so much!     

    Just wanted you to know that you are not alone!!  Will keep you and your daughter in my prayers!  

  • Cccc

    Thank you so much. Sorry about your asthma. It's very scary thing. I wish I could sit people down as well and make them be more considerate and understanding. It breaks my heart that her body reacts without warning. She also has asthma flares with substances sprayed in the air. Im scared for her sometimes. It bothers me so much that the school can't take such simple precautions as to make sure nobody is eating peanut butter  near her, as in the next seat.  It's a precaution that takes a minute. I believe it's a reasonable request.

     💜 thank you

  • Cccc

    I do not have a 504 for my daughter. I've recently read about it 3 days ago while I was researching. Her allergist/ drs never mentioned it to me. It seems you have to learn everything on your own. Sad really.