We had a scare this past week at school. The office called to say Faith threw up and had a stomach ache. I went to school to pick her up and when she came out her face was flushed and she coughed a bit. The assistant who was filling in for the nurse said she didn’t have a temperature and I walked with Faith to the car. As I helped her in she started scratching her knee, and my alert went off. She was covered in hives on her legs and I lifted her shirt to see the same on her torso. I also heard wheezing when she breathed. I ran back into the school and grabbed her epipen bag from the nurse’s office and then we rushed to the walk-in clinic since it was just down the road.
We were checked in immediately and after the intake nurse heard her cough she stopped typing and went to get the MD. He came in right away and ordered the epinephrine to be given. Our epipens from school were expired! So he gave it via a shot, with the help of a ice cube to numb the leg for a minute while the nurse got the medicine. He said we had a minute to do that based on her oxygen levels and her throat appearance. Then they gave the epinephrine and after about 10 minutes the cough and wheezing were gone. She was given another 10 mL of benadryl (I had already given 12.5 mL at the school when I saw the hives), and some prednisone. We were released and she was good as new within the hour with all hives gone.
So, the stomach ache/nausea was a sign of an allergic reaction and she should have had her epipen administered based on her medical action plan (which the nurse and I looked at the next morning). The cough and wheeze were further symptoms of the reaction which presented after the stomach ache, and the hives were another confirmation. It was an anaphylactic reaction and she should have been given an epipen. Her stomach ache complaint was TWO hours before she arrived at the clinic and an hour and a half after I was called by the school. I’ve talked with her school nurse and the office to explain what the MD told me and to further educate them. And again, I was shown that I should have given the epipen and ask questions later. Thankfully our clinic was just down the road from the school, but still, it was yet another educational experience. She became jittery after the epinephrine and took a good nap in the middle of the playroom floor thanks to the benadryl, but there were no negative effects from giving the epinephrine.
I just wanted to share our story to show that educating your child and her caretakers is just as important as providing nut-free foods. Because, she didn’t eat ANY nuts! Her lunch was safe and she didn’t eat any food from friends. However she played on the monkey bars and tag with kids at recess. It’s our guess that the nut residue was transferred to her from the monkey bars or a friend.
Week 37 Nut Free Kids School Lunches
1) turkey & cream cheese tortilla rollup, mini cucumber, mandarin orange segments
[Items used: Ziploc Container, Divided Rectangle]
2) yogurt with blueberries, crackers, babybel cheese, mini bell pepper, mini cucumber
[Items used: Ziploc Container, Divided Rectangle, Heart Silicone Baking Cups]
3) ham & garden vegetable cream cheese tortilla rollup, 1/2 hardboiled egg, carrots, grapes
[Items used: Rubbermaid LunchBlox Kid’s Tall Lunch Box Kit, Heart Silicone Baking Cups]
40 Weeks of Kid’s School Lunches: Week 1 (Why we’re Nut Free!) | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 |
Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19 | Week 20 | Week 21 | Week 22 | Week 23 | Week 24 | Week 25 | Week 26 | Week 27 | Week 28 | Week 29 | Week 30 (Spring Break) | Week 31 | Week 32 | Week 33 | Week 34 | Week 35 | Week 36 | Week 37
Saturday 14th of June 2014
We have several children at school with severe nut allergies. As a school, we came together and decided to make the entire school a nut free environment. The parents were on board with this idea and ever since then we've had no scares. Perhaps this is something your school can look into? It must be such a scary experience for you and Faith. I think if it were my child, I would definitely want the school to at least consider it.
Wednesday 2nd of July 2014
That is a great thing Tami! I've talked with our school, however they have a stance that it creates a false sense of security and that food can still be brought in. Faith's teachers have been very helpful so far and send notes home to her classroom families, however we can't do anything about food in the lunchroom. The lunches served by the school are nut-free, but my thoughts on her recent experience is that it was from a transfer of someone's food onto the monkey bars she played on then rubbed her face/mouth. I would feel much better if the school took a stance of being nut-free, however it's an uphill battle I think.
Tuesday 10th of June 2014
How scary!! My 6 year old recently had an allergy induced asthma attack (the first one ever!) It was so scary. We're getting ready to do allergy tests & the Dr. suspects food... I'm so glad I found your blog as a resource in case it is! Glad everything turned out ok for you & hope it doesn't happen again!
Wednesday 11th of June 2014
Hi Krista. Sorry your sweetie had that happen! Hope you can find some answers and that it is easily treated.
Tuesday 10th of June 2014
How scary! I love the non-nut lunches you shared. My son would love them too.
Wednesday 11th of June 2014
Thanks! I really appreciate it. :)