Allergies. We are all familiar with them. Some of us have seasonal allergies. Some of us have food allergies. None are fun. Food allergies can be particularly frightening since we don’t always know what is in our food. Seasonal allergies are annoying. But what if your kid is allergic to the cold? Yes, the cold. It is a very rare allergy. But also a very serious one.
Let me tell you about my soon-to-be three year old, Liev. He is your usual three year old. Active, fun, talkative, fearless and into everything, with one exception, if he gets cold he breaks out into hives! True story. The first time it happened it scared us to death. He was home with his brother and sister and my husband’s co-worker, who sometimes babysits. He got sick and vomited on himself, so the sitter put him in the tub, only Liev immediately broke out into hives all over his body. We rushed home. He was asleep. We went through all that he had eaten, and anything else he may have gotten into. We blamed the soap, but it was the same soap he had been using all along, and had nothing in it that could cause allergens. He was given Benadryl and slept it off. We went on feeding him the same things and using the same soap as that day….no reactions.
A few weeks later, Liev and his siblings decided to play in their plastic pool in the back yard. Again here came the hives! He was shivering this time so we wrapped him up, got him into dry clothes and the hives disappeared. Allergy to something in the water? He did the same thing at the beach a few days later…so no, not the water. I did not figure out what it was until one day we were waiting for his brother to get out of speech therapy. It was a cooler day and the wind was blowing. We were at the Navy Hospital, in the courtyard, and he had drank an apple juice and was sitting in the stroller when suddenly his face, arms and ankles started to turn red and bumps were appearing before my eyes! The cold? Is this possible? This is very rare. It is called Cold Urticaria.
A trip to his Peds and one to the Allergist confirmed it. So now what? Well, we don’t know. There is no cure. Very little is known. It is genetic. And some call it a skin condition. What we do know is I get to carry an Epi pen where ever I go with him. He is going to start taking Zyrtec to try to control his breakouts. Think about it, every time he gets the slightest chill he breaks out!! Baths are really tough. So here we are, experimenting with how to control his breakouts! Pretty tough for a kid who LOVES the water!