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A relative ate peanut butter and gave my son a few kisses on the cheek. A little while later (15-20 ins), we saw a bunch of red bumps on his cheek. We can't rule out every other possibility but I wanted to see if its possible if this could be a sign of a peanut allergy?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I am not a doctor, but I believe so. I would call your pediatrician and do some google-ing in the meantime. And, keep your baby away from peanuts for now.

I know people have varying degrees of sensitivities and I've known friends that can have a reaction from contact with someone else that had contact with whatever they are allergic to. I don't see why babies or children would be different.

Edit: I just asked my partner, a nurse, and she says that people can react simply from the breath of another person.

I wonder if it is peanuts or something else? But still, I would be very aware of the potential for concern.

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While life would be easier if you could always connect A to B, things usually aren't that simple. It's quite possible that the "bunch of red bumps" you describe were a) there already but you didn't notice, b) related to something entirely different, or c) essentially random (which describes most baby acne).

If you want to make sure, I'd just dab some peanut butter on eg. his back (basically anywhere he can't touch or lick) and leave it there for a minute. If he gets bumps again, then he's allergic; if he doesn't, then it was a fluke. And yes, this should be fairly safe to do, as severe reactions generally require contact with the eyes, nose or mouth (source, source). YMMV, I'm not a doctor, disclaimers apply, etc.

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I really don't think this is a wise idea. Peanut allergies are potentially life threatening, if you suspect your child is allergic then take him to a specialist. DO NOT follow this advice! – GdD Oct 31 '12 at 9:35
Thank you for including sources. They do both seem to back up your assertion that peanut butter may be safe for testing for peanut allergies if kept away from the mouth, eyes, and nose, but I strongly urge anyone looking to take this advice to thoroughly read both sources cited first, and, as GdD says, contact a specialist. – Beofett Oct 31 '12 at 12:35
If the OP's son had such an extreme peanut allergy that merely being in the presence of peanut butter is life-threatening, they would have gotten more than red bumps on the cheek from that kiss. – jpatokal Oct 31 '12 at 23:53
There are ~3.3 million people in the US with nut allergies, yet only ~18 deaths yearly from all food allergies combined, vs. around 32,000 from traffic accidents. It's thus pretty likely that driving to the specialist and back is more dangerous! – jpatokal Nov 1 '12 at 0:08
@GdD is right. Don't follow the advise in this answer! Consult a medical professional. (-1) – smillig Nov 21 '12 at 9:36

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