Mom warns others after 11-year-old daughter dies from allergic reaction to toothpaste

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Denise Saldate and her mother, Monique Altamirano. Image via Facebook. Denise Saldate and her mother, Monique Altamirano. Image via Facebook.

The mother of an 11-year-old California girl who died after an allergic reaction to toothpaste is sharing her story.

Denise Saldate died on April 6, just two days after she received a prescription for MI Paste One brand of medicated toothpaste to help strengthen her tooth enamel.

Yahoo! reports her death was caused by a reaction to a milk protein in prescription toothpaste.

Saldate was diagnosed with a dairy allergy when she was a baby. Her mom says that despite being diligent when it came to checking labels and ingredients, she had never seen any milk product present in any previous toothpastes.

“I did not think to look at the product ingredients,” Monique Altamirano told Allergic Living. “She was just excited to have her special toothpaste. Contrary to what everyone’s telling me, I feel like I failed her!”

Saldate brushed her teeth for the first time with her new toothpaste on the evening of April 4. Her 15-year-old sister said Saldate began crying and ran to her mother for help.

“She said, ‘I think I’m having an allergic reaction to the toothpaste,’ and her lips were already blue,” Altamirano said. “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.”

Despite the EpiPen and her asthma inhaler, Saldate’s condition didn’t improve.

"She was saying, ‘Mommy, I can’t breathe.’ I was saying, ‘I love you, yes, you can…”

Image via Facebook.

Saldate died after arriving at the hospital. 

Allergic Living reports the toothpaste had a small warning that it contained Recaldent, a milk-derived protein, as well as a warning on the back of the tube.

“Read everything," Altamirano said. Don’t get comfortable, just because you’ve been managing for several years,” she said. “You can’t get comfortable or be embarrassed or afraid to ask and ensure that ingredients are OK. Be that advocate for your child.”

The eulogy for Saldate’s funeral contained the following warning written by Altamirano:

“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.”

GoFundMe has been set up to help with funeral expenses.

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