My daughter woke up from her nap and walked over proudly displaying a lifted shirt. “Look at my spots!” she declared. I ignored her at first. She had said something about her spots the night before and I hadn’t seen anything. Then I looked again and saw little red spots all over her torso. My heart panicked. I pulled her close to inspect her. She had raised red spots all over. Chicken Pox? No, definitely not. Rash? Doesn’t look like it. Hives? I think so. My heart is doing loopdey loops while I do a mental check of what she’s eaten the last several hours. You see, my daughter has a fatal peanut allergy that we carry an Epi Pen for and I was really hoping it wasn’t going to be needed. I removed her clothing and checked out the location of the hives. Stomach, back, thighs, butt. Hmmm? I snap some pictures. I’ve learned that if I need to take her in, the medical world really likes pictures. It helps to confirm you’re not crazy (well, maybe not – but my doctor’s enjoy using them to collaborate allergies).
The mom I babysit for suggests that maybe its location would be indicative of a reaction to laundry detergent. Hmm? I consider it. Perhaps. We did use a new laundry detergent a week and a half ago, while camping. I ponder on that one for awhile and then conclude that’s not it. We used it once and she hasn’t worn any of the laundry in the recent past. I consider a bubble bath she had the night before. Would a bubble bath irritate her skin that much? It was her first one.
My daughter is itching like crazy. Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. I call my really knowledgeable mama friend that knows everything about natural remedies and herbs. Not home. I bound to the computer to pop off an email to my AP support group and then I wait. Yes, they confirm it looks like hives.
Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. I need to do something about this scratching. I look at her again looking for any signs of swelling, difficulty breathing, anything. She’s fine, just scratching. I rummage through the cupboard. We’ve got nothing topical. I conceed and decide I will give her some Benadryl. I was hoping for something more natural. At least it is dye free. Dye free. Wait a minute.
The wheels start to spin. I had grabbed the bubble bath out of my cupboard because Camden didn’t have any. It was pink. Oh man! I didn’t even think about it! The soap had been a gift years ago so I had never bothered to check the label, never even thought about what might be in it while I poured about 4 TBSP in her bath. I was used to reading the labels of food, not bath products. I went to get the bottle knowing what I would find.
There it was: Blue 1, Green 3, Red 4, Red 33, Yellow 5, Yellow 6
Ugh. Well, at least I had confirmed I wasn’t crazy about my daughter reacting behaviorally to consuming artificial dyes. If she got hives all over her body from soaking in them then certainly it isn’t unreasonable to assume she will have a very negative emotional reaction to eating them. What I found strange is that the bath was given the day before.
I ask my trusty AP group if a reaction can be that delayed. They think so. I google hives. Yep, delayed reactions. Well, I guess that makes sense. My daughter has delayed reactions when she eats dye too.
So there you have it. Conclusion? Don’t bathe your children in a rainbow either.