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My daughter ate straight peanuts for the first time today.

Her face seems a little red, but this happens from time to time (her cheeks)and usually I credit it to teething. She is 18 months and has been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for quite a while now. There's no difference between eating a pbj and straight peanuts is there? She's in bed now, but I'm wondering if I should check on her in a little bit. Anyone know much about peanut allergies? By the way, there are no food allergies on either side of the family.


Asked by BridgetC140 at 11:21 PM on Feb. 1, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (8)
  • An allergic reaction doesn't happen with the first exposure or even the second, but happens later... however, if your child has been eating peanut butter for quite some time, she's likely fine. Reactions to peanuts (same stuff that's in peanut butter), are usually severe, immediate and anaphylactic -- my daughter's first reaction was immediate hives on the face and intense vomiting by the time we got to the ER -- we were lucky that she didn't have any of the respiratory stuff that time, but the next one could be life-threatening. Technically, an anaphylactic reaction can come within the first 45 minutes, so if it makes you feel better to check on her before 45 minutes is up, that never hurts
    Be careful with the straight peanuts, though, at 18 months they're still considered a choking hazard. And please, from a parent with a child who has this scary allergy, please don't let her take a bag of peanuts to a public play spot! :

    Answer by EmilySusan at 1:00 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • I personally do not have have any food allergies in my family but had a friend that had an allergy to peanuts. I think if you daughter was highly allergic she would have shown more signs than just a lil red. Its prob not a big deal at all and if she has ate peanutbutter in past she is prob fine.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:35 AM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • If she was allergic, you'd know. especially if she's had peanut butter already.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:14 AM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • I agree with the above.

    Answer by LyTe684 at 9:55 AM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • Oh no, I would never bring peanuts to a public play spot! She was fine and the peanuts were already split, and pretty small, so they weren't a choking hazard. Plus, she has molars.

    Anyway, thanks for all over your replies. She is clearly not allergic.

    Answer by BridgetC140 at 1:50 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • I want to clarify a few things.
    1 - one can have previous exposures to an allergen before reacting. My DD had peanut butter several times before her first reaction.

    2nd - Peanut allergies do *not* always present as immediate, severe and anaphylatic. There is a higher rate of life threatening responses, but it's not a given. Again, as an example, my DD's first reaction was a delayed response by HOURS. She vomited profusely once and was fine after. Her second reaction was nearly immediate. She vomited profusely and broke out in hives. She reacted a third time to pretzels that were cross contaminated. It took nearly an hour for her to react and she again was limited to vomiting. FWIW, she lives with an EpiPen. She is considered highly allergic (a 4+ on a scale of 0-5.) My SIL is also allergic. The only reaction she has EVER had (she's now 55) is limited to a rash around her mouth.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 2:16 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • OP - sorry I didn't respond directly. It appears you have your answer. :) There is no difference in consuming peanuts and peanut butter. If she's been eating PBJ for a while without issue, the straight peanuts are unlikely to be the cause unless you see it happen again - in theory there could be a mild allergy that takes a high level of allergen protein to trigger a mild response, but honestly, PB is just mushed up peanuts. Same content. Just keep an eye on her. If the red cheeks are a concern or you're curious to see if there's a specific cause, look for patterns. Was she outside for a while? Is there a certain kind of soap or lotion being used? Meal patterns? Activity level? Is she prone to dry skin? Teething certainly could do it.

    Yes, in some cases, a mild reaction could present itself as flushed cheeks. I have food allergic friends who consider the red-cheeked appearance the first clue an allergen has been encountered.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 2:21 PM on Feb. 2, 2010

  • ack! I keep running out of space. Clearly I am too verbose. LOL!

    Anyway, the point I was getting at is, reddening in the face *could* be a reaction but it doesn't mean it is. Based on what you've shared, I wouldn't directly link her cheeks to the peanuts.

    (And for what it's worth, I'm not a medical expert. I do have a food allergic child. She's allergic to peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts and almonds specifically) and shellfish. We have lots of friends through our allergy support groups. No two allergy experiences are the same. The sometimes tough thing with food allergies is there *is* no real standard. There is a great deal of variance in how people react to how much they need to trigger that reaction. )

    Answer by ldmrmom at 2:25 PM on Feb. 2, 2010