Now that we’re all settled in and getting ready for our first big snowstorm as Arlingtonites, we have discovered something… interesting about our younger child. She may have an allergy to cold, snowy weather.
On Wednesday, Laurel played outside in the snow in her regular clothes for about 20 minutes. Then, she came inside, we got on our jackets, and we went to preschool. While there, she complained of itchy legs, so I took a look at her legs. She had hives all up and down the outside of her legs. I put on some anti-itch cream, thinking that maybe she had an allergic reaction to the detergent I used. The hives seemed to fade as time passed, so I noted it and went on. Later in the day, we played at the playground in the snow for about 30 minutes. And I saw hives breaking out on Laurel’s cheeks! So, we went home and I put her in the bathtub. The hives faded again after less than an hour of warming up. I went online and read about some conditions that could cause such a reaction, and I decided that more data was necessary.
Yesterday, Laurel played for about 15 minutes in the snow. When we got home, she had hives on her butt and some on her face. So I made an appointment with the doctor for this morning. We did an ice test, and her skin reacted by becoming splotchy and producing hives.
My doctor’s office tentatively diagnosed cold urticaria. Tentative, because such conditions are rather hard to pinpoint. On snowy days, I’ve been advised to give her 5mg of OTC Zyrtec as a preventative measure. And I’m picking up a prescription for an epi pen, just in case.
We are going to be more vigilant about making sure her body temperature stays within a reasonable range during outside play, which means it’s time to find some purple snow pants and invest in more mittens, warm socks, and scarves. And insisting on warm-up time for every half hour of play.
I’m going to keep an eye on her, and if the hives get worse, I’ll escalate and get her to an allergist.