A toddler being bath-avoidant is nothing to write about. For some, bath time can be as difficult as bedtime for parents of young children.
The aversion is so common that most parents dismiss the power struggle as a push for independence or distaste for stopping a preferred activity. But what if there is something more?
Most of the time, Ivy Lynn Angerman is a happy and active 18-month-old. But her parents sought help when bath time began to end in itchy hives and painful blisters.
Their daughter’s unexpected diagnosis left them shocked. Ivy Lynn was allergic to water.
Aquagenic Urticaria is a condition whereby a person develops this kind of reaction. Yes, you can be allergic to water.
The condition is so rare that there are only 50 documented cases in medical literature. As Ivy Lynn’s parents, Brittney and Dan Angerman, explained, their family doctor confirmed the diagnosis.
At just 1 year old, Ivy Lynn is believed to be the youngest person diagnosed with the ultra-rare condition. Normally — if you can say that of 50 cases — individuals develop the allergy at the onset of puberty.
With so few known cases, little has been done in the way or research and there is no cure. The best doctors can do is help the Angermans understand the condition and how they can keep their little girl healthy and comfortable.
Each interaction with water can potentially set off an allergic reaction. Therefore, the first line if defense is to minimize Ivy Lynn’s contact with water.
“I just thought, ‘Is she ever going to be able to go to daycare? Is she ever going to be able to go to public school?” Brittany recalled about hearing the diagnosis.
It would be hard enough to protect your child from water when you’re right there with them. Imagine the anxiety of letting them out of your sight — it’s water!
Antihistamines are a common secondary tool in coping with this condition. Even children’s versions of these medications, however, are not approved for kids under 2 and are not ideal for regular consumption.
The reaction to water is swift and severe. Doctors told the parents that Ivy Lynn shouldn’t be submerged in water for more than 15 seconds.
Even still, she could experience hives lasting upwards of 45 minutes. To minimize the likelihood or reactions, the Angermans have been advised to use only purified water systems and to keep Ivy cool using air-conditioning.
Our sweat is mostly water. If Ivy Lynn gets too hot and sweats, she could trigger an inescapable reaction.
The Angermans live in Minnesota in a house built in 1901. They have decided to move to a location that can better accommodate Ivy Lynn’s needs.
Knowledge is power. The attentive parents realized there was a real problem, got help, and now have the answers they need to minimize the effects of the condition. The family has also set up a GoFundMe page to help care for Ivy Lynn’s condition and fund research to find a cure.
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