author of Feeding Eden

Allergic To Cold?

"It's always something!" How many times have I heard other mothers repeat that phrase? But when you are parenting allergic child it really is always something. This past weekend it was hives. All over my son's face. From. The. Cold.
Yep. There we were in Central Park, for the hundredth time in Eden's seven-year life, when he turned to me and said, "Can we leave? I'm cold and my face is so so itchy!" So I volunteered to my husband to take him home, while my husband rallied on with my daughter. Not twenty feet later, hives began to across Eden's cheeks, which were unusually red and puffy.
"Owww!" He complained justifiably. "Now my face hurts!"
My mind flashback to a support group meeting that took place years before where I had heard the mother of a toddler describe this very same phenomenon. And Eden hadn't had anything new to eat that day, nor had he ingested anything for two hours. It had to be "cold hives" or as it is generally called Cold Urticaria.
After hustling Eden into a taxi (I already have way too many memories of hustling this kid into a taxi due to an "allergic moment") and home into a warm bath, the hives receded and my heart stopped flapping about like a psychotic canary. And since this happened on weekend, I got to indulge in a 24 hour Google self-torture marathon where I learned that Cold Induced Hives can be a one time incident or ... last a decade or more. Whoa.
The next day of course my allergist reassured that given my son's youth and propensity to extreme allergic reactions, this kind of reaction to cold was more likely to be a phase, rather than a new allergy. In the meanwhile we must:
1. Keep him warm and unexposed in very cold weather
2. Cover his exposed skin with a barrier cream
3. Continue to carry around our emergency kit
I'm grateful to avoid the "years of suffering and avoidance" described by this reader in Allergic Living.
And we'll keep our mittens crossed.