11-year-old Denise Saldate passed away from an allergic reaction from an unlikely source: toothpaste.
Her mother, Monique Altamirano, is now warning other parents can caregivers about the hidden dangers of special products like the one her daughter used.
Monique was always very careful about thoroughly checking ingredient lists for dairy ingredients: her daughter had a severe allergy to dairy that could send her into anaphylaxis. While Monique was diligent about food products, she didn’t think about checking her daughter’s new toothpaste.
The toothpaste, MI Paste One, was recommended to Denise to help strengthen her tooth enamel. MI Paste One is known to help with white spots on teeth. Monique never thought that there could be dairy products in toothpaste, and didn’t notice the warning on the label that the medicated toothpaste contains Recaldent, which is taken from a protein found in cow’s milk, according to People.
The mom recounts the horrifying scene: as soon as her daughter started brushing her teeth with her new special toothpaste, she lost the ability to breathe.
Monique told Allergic Living:
“She said, ‘I think I’m having an allergic reaction to the toothpaste,’ and her lips were already blue,” says Monique. “I picked her up and put her on my bed. I ran to the living room,told my daughter – ‘Call 911!’ – and I grabbed the EpiPen.” She administered it, and also gave Denise her asthma inhaler.
“She was saying, ‘Mommy, I can’t breathe.’ I was saying, ‘I love you, yes, you can ….”
The mom reportedly gave her daughter chest compressions, but Denise passed away from the allergic reaction two days later.
Monique now has a warning for all parents which she wrote as part of her daughter’s eulogy:
Her family implores those who are aware to share their knowledge and to inform those who are unfamiliar with anaphylaxis of the seriousness of this condition. They hope that in sharing her story, families, caregivers, school staff, and people in general will take this condition more seriously and that all items will be checked for ingredients, even those that may seem irrelevant.
To Allergic Living, she added,
Read everything. Don’t get comfortable, just because you’ve been managing for several years. You can’t get comfortable or be embarrassed or afraid to ask and ensure that ingredients are OK. Be that advocate for your child.
Please listen to Monique’s warning. We are praying for her as she goes through this tragic time in her life.
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