As moms go (especially first time moms), I like to think I’m pretty relaxed. I let W do quite a bit of exploring, and while I’m certainly not going to let her experiment by sticking a fork in an electrical outlet, I’m not against letting her learn from experience that if you jump on the couch, you risk falling off…and it hurts. I don’t lose sleep over that every possible negative outcome. I’m not a “what if” mom. There’s one thing I’m a little neurotic about, though, and that’s Benadryl. I pretty much carry it everywhere. This, despite the fact that W is 19 mos old and has never shown any sign of being allergic to anything.* Still, carrying Benadryl is pretty much old hat for me (I always have some of the pills on hand in case I have an allergic reaction), so while I realize it’s probably an unusual thing to have around at all times, I purchased a bottle of the children’s version and started carrying it as soon as I started W on solids.
*Which is fabulous…and lucky. Both her dad and I are allergic to nuts, and my allergies in particular are quite severe; I have to carry an Epi-pen, and have had to visit the ER more than once.
Funny thing, though…after carrying an unused bottle of Benadryl around for 19 months, I ended up having to break it out last night. W ate salmon for the first time, and apparently she’s REALLY allergic to it. She tore into her dinner and gobbled down several bites very quickly, but then she stopped eating and got a funny look on her face (not unlike the funny look I get on my face when I accidentally eat something with nuts in it; it’s sort of a vapid, staring-off-into-space look that my face adopts as I ponder the impending allergic reaction). She signed all done and asked to get down from the table. Then she started asking to nurse, which is weird, since lately she’s only been nursing before bed and first thing in the morning. While this all happened very fast — within a minute or two of eating the salmon — it was really obvious that she didn’t feel quite right. Moments later, red splotches appeared all over her face, her eyes swelled up, and she started wheezing.
Thank goodness for Benadryl. We’re house sitting out in the boonies right now, and the nearest hospital is 17 miles away. I dosed her up and we headed toward the ER, figuring that either the meds would work and we’d be able to turn around halfway there, or that they wouldn’t work and at least we’d be partway to the hospital by the time we realized we had a real emergency on our hands. We lucked out; the Benadryl cleared things up, and we were able to turn the car around after about 10 minutes.
Anyway, there’s a reminder in all of this that even a kid who doesn’t appear to have any food allergies can pop out with one all of a sudden during the early years of life, and in some cases, the reaction can be quite severe. Particularly when the nearest hospital is more than a few minutes away, Benadryl can be a lifesaver.
Have your kids had allergic reactions?