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He looks so little in the plane chair.
The joy of having kids is that you just never know how things will turn out. A perfect example of this happened to our family last  weekend. We flew up to Sydney from Melbourne to attend a friend's 50th Birthday Party and also to see our family. My biggest concern was plane travel with a two year old as you never know how successful that's  going to be. We have only flown once with him on a plane and it was not an experience I wanted to relive, so I was a little worried about it.

Being just over 2, he now gets his own seat and what a joy that was. He was so very excited by this, that the flight was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. We made it to Sydney, we  were visiting friends and family and all was good. Yay!! ..... not so fast.

Now, you see the main issue here is that Evan, our 2 year old, is allergic to peanuts. We are aware of this and take the necessary precautions but we always wondered where it came from and how come he was the only one in the family with any allergies (at all). Anyhoo, Drew our 9 year old ate a walnut and chocolate chip cookie - which wasn't an issue, as we have never had to worry about him and allergies. I mean getting all the way to 9 with no issues we thought we were pretty much home and hosed. Not so, his lips started to swell, he complained about feeling itchy and a stomach ache. So I gave him a little bit of antihistamine just in case. We were driving along in the car soon after this took place and I thought maybe he had just been rough housing too much on the lawn at our friends house with the other kids. I turned around to look at him and his nose had started to swell, as well as his lips and his face had started to turn red. That's when I started to panic. It's a fine line - trying to contain your own panic because you are freaking out and not causing any extra panic to your child. Luckily we pulled off the freeway and signs started to appear for a hospital I didn't even know was there! Thank God it was.

We raced into emergency past all the people who had been waiting for who knows how long and were taken straight in (whilst receiving the hairy eyeball from said people who were still waiting). By this stage he had started to swell further, hives were now appearing all over his body and he was the colour of a cooked lobster. They hooked him up to some machines, gave him a shot of adrenaline, checked his heart rate, blood pressure and what not. After further medications it all seemed to calm down but they had to keep him in overnight for observation and my husband volunteered to stay and sleep on the comfy recliner chair, next to the hospital bed.

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Hooked up and having everything checked.
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Feeling better but still swollen.
So, now we are back home in Melbourne again after what was a very full on experience. Drew has to go for further testing to make sure it was the walnut and to check if he has any other allergies we didn't know about until now. We have been trained up on the EpiPen and are putting all necessary precautions in place and he is fine. It's hard to believe that we had to go through that with the child we thought had no allergy issues and also that people pay good money for swelling in their lips like!

I guess my biggest take home tip is (and know that I have no medical degree) test your child at home with small amounts of different types of nuts so you really know it's not an issue before they go out somewhere and get offered walnut bread or whatever and you are not prepared for it. Luckily for us we already had the antihistamine on us because of Evan's  allergies.

Scary stuff and it's never what you expect with kids.
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This is what he looks like without the swelling (just in case you didn't know)
Hope your weekend was a little less eventful than ours!

Cheers,

Lee
 


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08/06/2012 5:25am

omg Lee how frightening for you all arghh :O ...
makes me think I should get Aaron checked ...I got Damo checked when he was 2 due to asthma to find he suffers from pecans and walnuts I just assumed Aaron would be ok.. WOW... not assuming anymore hope all is okay xox

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Lee
08/06/2012 7:37pm

It was pretty scary and not the child I EVER thought we would ever have this issue with. The worst thing is seeing the swelling on the outside because you just can't tell how much they are swelling up on the inside. Glad he is all back to normal now. Pretty much.

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08/06/2012 6:05pm

Lee, my 6-year-old Maxwell has a peanut allergy, so I know the panic you felt with seeing your child swell and get hives. My nightmare is accidental exposure at school, when I'm not right there with him.

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Lee
08/06/2012 7:35pm

I feel the same way Hollie. He has now been given strick instructions to not eat anything I didn't pack for him until we get him properly tested and know what we are up against. I do have to say though, his school teacher and the school nurse were really supportive which made me feel a little bit better about him being out of my sight.

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