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The garklet won't be eating eggs in future...
frowny alex

Well, today has been exciting, and not in a good way.

Since the garklet turned six months old last week (and if truth be told, for a couple of weeks before that) we've been introducing him to solid foods. We're going down the baby-led weaning route, mainly because it seems to be more fun for him. So far he's eaten: carrots, broccoli, parsnips (roast and boiled), potatoes (roast and boiled), spinach, asparagus, green beans, avocado, pear, nectarine, banana, strawberries, chicken and haddock. He's enjoyed some of them (pear in particular, also broccoli, strawberries and asparagus), and hasn't been too impressed with others (boiled potatoes, haddock, banana, avocado).

This morning, we gave him some well-cooked scrambled eggs (containing eggs alone - no butter, salt or pepper) for breakfast. He seemed unimpressed by the texture in his fist, and didn't seem to like the taste (but also didn't seem to be getting any of it into him). I gave him a little on the spoon, which he spat out, so we decided to call it a day. He then gave the remaining egg a good mash with his fists before rubbing his eyes (before I could stop him - he's managed to give himself conjunctivitis in the last week by rubbing his eyes when he's had a heavy cold).

So, wiped off the unimpressed baby with a tea towel and took him down to the sofa while ias finished her breakfast at her leisure...and noticed that his face and arms had come up in a nettle-like rash, basically everywhere that the egg had touched.

Phoned the out-of-hours GP, who told us to take him to A&E (parts of his lips started going blue while we were on the phone). Got to A&E at 1130 (he'd had the egg at 1100), was triaged as 'urgent' by 1145...and waited another two and a half hours before he got seen by either a doctor or another nurse (by this time, the initial hives had subsided, and he was onto a second wave of puffiness and splotches).

We now have a bottle of Piriton, instructions to see our GP for referral to the allergy unit, and to avoid egg in future.

Therefore, we will now not be feeding the garklet the following foods: egg custard, french toast, creme brulee, boiled eggs and toast soldiers, egg pasta, spaghetti carbonara, scotch eggs, eggs benedict, eggs florentine, mayonnaise, christmas pudding, victoria sponge and a myriad of other foods.

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Oh no! That's the sort of excitement you can do without. Poor garklet. And poor parents too - must've been a bit of a nasty one for a while. Glad to hear he's Ok.

instructions to [...] to avoid egg in future.

Oh really? Actually, yes, I suppose I can see that might be an idea, when you think it through. It's good to know you managed to access such sound advice.

Tell you what though - even with the splotchiness, he's a pretty damn good-looking baby.

I was quite impressed by the fact that "urgent", in medical terms, apparently means "can sit about for two hours".

Poor Garklet.

I meant to ask to take a second look at the triage scale they use at SGH; it was a five point scale, with the middle point being marked as urgent.

For a NHS A&E, the scale used defines Urgent as 'Serious but apparently stable'. Which means they can wait as long as necessary. It also signals that the A&E was the right place to go.

The two lesser categories are Standard which means there's something wrong with you but there's no real danger or distress and Non-Urgent which means you shouldn't be at an Emergency treatment center at all and are wasting everyone's time and money.

The two higher categories are Very Urgent and Immediate, where immediate means you are going to die right now unless they act.

That sounds about right, then.

Thanks for the info.

Yes, he's not a bad-looking baby (even if I, as co-developer, say so myself). We were also impressed at how cheerful he was throughout the proceedings. For the first hour he was a bit subdued (basically while the rash was still prominent), then he cheered up quite a bit (it helped that the waiting room had a big mirror).

Given that he hadn't had a nap since he woke up at 8am, it's a miracle that he didn't have a major meltdown before we put him to bed at 6.30pm.

Goodness! That must have been terrifying. At least you know now, and relatively early on so as to avoid future disasters. Ever so glad he's ok.

We had the same thing when Cait first had Strawberries, red rash around the mouth that looked lovely :) No turning blue though thankfully. She's OK with them now so it might not be a permanent feature with eggs hopefully.

I was wary about describing it as a rash - it looked more like someone has thrashed around the face with a bunch of nettles, except that his eyes were also puffy.

But yes, we're hoping that it's something he grows out of; this isn't uncommon for childhood allergies. On the other and, we're going to need to be bloody careful.

Glad that it turned out to not be more serious. I'm kind of flabbergasted at the hospital attitude too. How ill does a six month old have to be to be a higher priority than urgent ??

Well he was stable and we did get bumped down the queue a couple of times by kids who were obviously far worse off than Alex (including one whose v. distressed family we saw but not the kid as kid must have come in by ambulance).

When he started to get the second rash I reported this reception and we were seen within five minutes so I can but assume that as he was not longer 'stable' they pushed him up again.

I see what you mean. My gut instinct was that allergic reactions can change so quickly and would have greater consequences in such a young child that that would have made Alex a high priority. But then, in a way, I am a bit biased in that respect....

Poor nipper!! I have a chum who is allergic to eggs tho, and it hasn't seemed to affect his quality of life very adversely so even if it lasts it *is* fairly manageable, but still, must have been very scary for you. I hereby volunteer to scoff all the garklet's dippy eggs if that will help :)

You'll have to fight me for them!

Glad to hear that isn't necessarily all doom and gloom.

Good thing he didn't eat any of it! Hope he's doing well now.

Thanks - he's sound asleep now, and seems to be okay.

Poor garklet! Glad to hear he's doing ok now. I don't know at what stage babies start getting vaccinated, but don't many of the vaccines contain egg protein?

He's already had a bunch of vaccinations: hib, polio, the diphtheria triple vaccine, meningitis c and pneumococcal meningitis. Vaccinations start at two months (he's had them at two, three, and four months).

Although it's my understanding that quite a few vaccines are cultured using egg, any protein trace is unlikely to trigger an allergy.

(the diphtheria triple vaccine also protects against pertussis and tetanus)

Well, thanks for the random advice. We were following the advice from the NHS and from the Health Promotion Agency of Northern Ireland, both of which say that egg is an acceptable weaning food from six months.

Six months isn't considered to be young, as babies go.

The only reason I googled for eggs, allergies and babies was that I'd heard several times before that egg yolks were to be avoided. And even that NHS document lumps eggs in with shellfish and unpasteurised cheeses as to be avoided until six months. Sounds like the garklet's immune system is just being a little later adjusting than the average.

Glad all ended Ok, must've been v scary

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