Thursday, October 04, 2007

Excuse me while I rant!

Why do companies put red dye in products that have no obvious connection to the color red?!? S. is very allergic to Red dye 40 and I'm usually very good at double or triple checking ingredient lists and/or keeping her away from anything red, pink, yellow, orange, purple and even some shades of blue, but there are a number of products on the market that are WHITE that have red dye! One of the challenges with this allergy is that it takes days after eating the offending food for the reaction to occur. Then she gets nasty itchy hives that start on her tummy or feet and spread all over her body. Last night at 2 am she wakes me up because she's started to get hives. Do you know how hard it is to try and figure out what your child may have eaten days before that could cause a reaction at 2 am? After I got her back to bed, I sat trying to piece back over the last week. She only had one food out of the ordinary that I hadn't thought to check because it didn't fit the color spectrum but it did have white cream filling. I checked the package and sure enough, Red 40 was in the ingredient list. ARGH! I was trying to give her a special treat and instead I gave her hives-80 hours after comsumption!

For anyone that suspects their child may have a food allergy, check everything. I've found Red 40 in most canned white frostings, these snack cakes and even some chocolate cookies.

She breaks out in hives but years ago I had heard that some kids were having behavioural problems associated with red dye. And don't count on your pediatrician to help with a diagnosis. Because of the nature of the reaction and the time it takes to appear, one of the pediatricians we see completely blew off my concerns and concentrated on a completely different problem instead. It took us about 4-5 reactions before I made the connection on my own. You really have to be your child's advocate here. Moms can spot something wrong with kids that a pediatrician will miss or misdiagnose. We've tried several different medications (topical and oral) to control the reactions which can last for 4 days but one wonderful nurse at the ped's office came up with the suggestion to try Claritin when what we were using wasn't working anymore. It works beautifully and quickly for S. and we can usually limit her to 2-3 doses per reaction depending on how bad it is and how long it lasts.

Thank you for listening to my rant. I will get back to my nice happy posts again. I have to take pictures of my WIP before I can post but hope to get around to that by Sat.


Patty said...

emery has problems with red dye 40 too and its shocking how many things have that junk in it.

Roxanne said...

Our Grandson has food allergies to peanuts/tree nuts and eggs. Articifical preservatives and additives and food dyes especially red and yellow make him so hyper and out of control within 15-30 minutes after eating something with artifical coloring in it, the hyperactiveness will usally last for 1 1/2 - 3 days. It's not worth it. I make everything from scratch because it is almost impossible to buy REAL food in the grocery stores.