With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

20 July 2010

Shellfish Allergies at the Beach

Since my son does not have shellfish allergies, my personal experience with food allergies really is limited to tree nut and peanut allergies. I am wondering if those of you with shellfish allergies can tell me about skin contact with shellfish at the beach. It sounds dangerous to me. I know my son reacts to skin contact with very minute amounts of peanut and/or tree nuts oils, so what happens at the beach?

There are lovely locations not too far from where we live, where children--and adults--dip their toes in the salt water and wade among hermit crabs, spider crabs, horseshoe crabs, shrimp, jellyfish and other sea critters. Their numbers are great enough that you can scoop up a handful of sea animals with your two hands. Can shellfish allergic individuals do this? What if you are pinched by a crab while you're simply standing in the water? Does anyone have personal experience with this? I imagine skin contact with shellfish for a shellfish allergic individual is dangerous in the same way that skin contact with peanut or tree nut oil is dangerous for my peanut and tree nut allergic son. Can anyone shed light on this aspect of shellfish allergies (and fish allergies)? Also, if you are unaware of shellfish or fish allergy and you have a skin contact reaction, what would be a typical or common reaction? In my son's case, we have witnessed hives after skin contact with nuts and peanuts. Thanks in advance for any info you can share on this subject. It makes me look at going to the beach in a whole new way.
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