Matthew’s mother noticed a rash on his face after his sister kissed him. His sister had eaten a peanut butter sandwich. As suggested by doctors and baby books, his mom had held off exposing one-year-old Matthew to peanut butter or peanuts. As it turns out, the rash was a symptom of a peanut allergy.

Tests confirmed Matthew’s allergy to peanuts – those nuts, actually legumes, grown in the ground. Now Matthew’s family keeps an allergy kit equipped with a syringe of epinephrine on hand at home, within reach no matter where they are and at daycare. Imagine my fright when I babysat Matthew, my grandson, and his father showed me the allergy kit. If by some chance, my son explained, Matthew encountered a peanut in any form, I was to jab the needle into Matthew’s thigh immediately, release the epinephrine and then call 911.

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